About the Chapter: Chapter 10 is about improving communication climates among individuals. A communication climate is the state of emotional tone of someone's relationship with another. To improve it is the key to a positive relationship. The relationship's climate is based mostly on how valued each person in it feels about themselves and their partner. In order to preserve the relationship in a positive way, one should make sure that the other person in the relationship feels valued. Confirming messages make one feel valued and creates a positive atmosphere in the relationship while disconfirming messages make one feel unvalued or unappreciated which has a negative impact on the relationship. A positive communication climate can become a positive spiral which may continue once developed. Likewise, a negative climate can develop into a spiral which in turn can destroy a relationship from the core. Once individuals have a sense of not being valued and the relationship is spiraling out of control, each individual can become defensive against one another and make the relationship become stagnant. By learning to talk to one another, a relationship can be saved and each person can feel a sense of value to one another once they learn how to relate to one another by supporting one another instead of becoming defensive against one another. Five of the key concepts and definitions from the chapter are:
• Communication climate – refers to the emotional tone of a relationship
• Defensiveness – guarding oneself from attack through verbal messages
• Saving face – refers to one’s honor or prestige or the image one projects to be respected
• Constructive criticism – being able to accept any input from an outside person on your behavior
• Provisionalism – refers to people may have a strong opinion but are willing to acknowledge that they don’t have a corner of the truth and will change their stance if another position seem s more reasonable.
Interpersonal Conflict: One of the scenes where Atwone Fisher had a communication breakdown was when he and Denzel had their second meeting and Denzel sent the Security Patrol to bring Antwone to his office. Antwone told Denzel he didn’t have anything to say to him but Denzel told him that he was going to sit in his office until Antwone decided to talk to him about what was going on with him. Antwone told him he wasn’t going to say anything but Denzel made him sit there in silence until the time was up. This went on for three or four more meetings. Eventually after the fourth or fifth meeting Antowne finally started speaking to Denzel by telling him that he should ask him questions and they finally started talking.
During this time, Antwone was displaying a defensive listening concept because he didn’t want to discuss anything with Denzel about him or his past. He was also using an impervious response to the questions that were being asked to him by the doctor. He was trying not to give any time of response to any of the questions that were being asked of him. He came from a broken home and went through different foster parents, abused and was neglected in his upbringing. Denzel used some tangential responses to shift the questions in a way to get Antwone to open up and discuss his past of where he came from. Antwone, would eventually open up and start talking to Denzel revealing things about his past that he never told anyone, especially the mistreatment he was receiving from his foster mother which she eventually kicked him out the house. Conflict Styles When the doctor invited him over to his house for one of the session, I think he was using a collaborating approach to his counseling session. I think he was trying to take him out of the base atmosphere and make it more personal so that Antwone can open more. By making him feel at home by meeting his wife and inviting him over for