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GIBBS DEFENSIVE AND SUPPORTIVE COMMUNICATION CLIMATES

AGENDA

Groups can be identified by observing behaviors characteristic of supportiveness or of defensiveness After identifying these characteristics, you want to enhance supportive behaviors and eliminate or reduce defensive ones

Organizational communication researchers have studied numerous interaction behaviors in an effort to operationalize the notion of effective communication. Gibbs (1961) theory of supportive and defensive communication offers insight into specific communication behaviors that influence workplace interactions.
Although Gibbs theory is ubiquitous, it has received only modest attention by empirical researchers, despite its potential for building a model of effective communication in

Gibb described a defensive climate as an atmosphere of mistrust and fear that typically constrains communication. A supportive climate however, engenders trust which opens communication channels. Based on his observation of group dynamics, Gibb identified six supportive and six defensive communication behaviors arranged in six, bi-polar pairs. These six pairs of elements are contrasted in terms of specific communication behaviors and styles

Gibb described a defensive climate as an atmosphere of mistrust and fear that typically constrains communication. A supportive climate however, engenders trust which opens communication channels. Based on his observation of group dynamics, Gibb identified six supportive and six defensive communication behaviors arranged in six, bi-polar pairs. These six pairs of elements are contrasted in terms of specific communication behaviors and styles

DEFENSIVE BEHAVIORS 1. Evaluation 2. Control

SUPPORTIVE BEHAVIORS 1. Description 2. Problem Orientation

3. Strategy
4. Neutrality 5. Superiority 6. Certainty

3. Spontaneity
4. Empathy 5. Equality 6. Provisionalism

Description: judgmental and accusatory language.

Evaluation: blaming, finding fault, why

focus on what & how


Problem Orientation: task focus, each member does her/his part Focuses on collaboration. Spontaneity: openness, self-disclosure consistent and transparent. Empathy: concern for others, perspective taking Equality: little status differences, say we, us, our Provisionalism: tentative/flexible: We could . . . One way we might do that is . . .

arouse minimum uneasiness because the listener perceives genuine requests for information.
Control: manipulation of other to do my work

Persuasive, controlling
Strategy: withholding information cautious wording implies hidden motives and deceit. Neutrality: impersonal, whatever attitude Superiority: us vs. them competition, cliques or coalitions Certainty: fixation on one way: My way or the highway

willingness to investigate issues, and

dogmatic, single-minded behavior; combined with unwillingness to

Interpersonal climates occur on a continuum from confirming to disconfirming. Confirming messages recognize that another person exists, acknowledge that other person matters to us, and endorse what we believe is true. Disconfirming messages deny the persons existence, indicate the other person does not

Use communication to create healthy climates


Assume responsibility for communicating in ways that actively enhance the mood of the relationship.

Accept and confirm others


Accept and confirm our prospects or friends, communicating that we accept them, even though we may not always agree with them or feel the same way.

Accept and assert ourselves


Accept and confirm ourselves just as fully as we do others. Assert our own thoughts, feelings and needs, thus honoring ourselves and as a result, potential business partners will understand us better.

Self disclose when appropriate


Self-disclose when appropriate so that we increase security in relationships and ad to the info we have already shared about ourselves

Embrace diversity in relationships


Realize that diversity in relationships is a source of personal and interpersonal growth - giving insight into the fascinating array of ways humans form and sustain a variety of relationships.

References

Wood, Julia : Communication in our lives, Cengage http://ezinearticles.com/?6-Guidelines-to-Supporting-a-HealthyCommunication-Climate&id=3156564