It’s all about Climate

Communication climate, to be exact.

This is another concept I had no knowledge of until I started studying B628. In fact, I think it’s fair to say that I had little knowledge of communication theory in general.

Learning about communication climate (and how it can be open or closed), as well as what can be done to improve an organisation’s communication climate, is one of the most valuable things I’ve learnt so far.

It’s all about:

  • Adequately satisfying information needs
  • Helping individuals to feel valued
  • Gaining and building trust
  • Managing conflict
  • Allowing people to air grievances
  • Providing continual feedback

Understanding communication barriers and how to overcome them was also an incredibly valuable lesson.

  • Physical barriers and distractions
  • Perceptual barriers
  • Emotional barriers
  • Cultural barriers
  • Language barriers
  • Gender barriers
  • Status barriers
  • Interpersonal barriers

Don’t forget the six-steps to perspective-taking and empathy:

  • Assume difference
  • Know self
  • Suspend self
  • Allow guided judgement
  • Allow empathetic experience
  • Re-establish self

Even thought it’s kind of obvious, it’s also useful to keep in mind the concepts of:

  • Locution (dictionary meaning)
  • Illocution (intended meaning)
  • Perlocution (understood meaning)

I also found it useful to learn about the different types of active listening and questioning:

  • Support listening
  • Responding listening
  • Retention listening
  • Closed questions
  • Open questions
  • Direct questions
  • Probing questions
  • Leading questions
  • Loaded questions
  • Hypothetical questions
  • Mirror or reflective questions
  • Answering questions with questions

Stuck how to make meetings more effective? Refer to this chapter for a goldmine of tips.

Reiterate: this chapter was probably one of the most profound and useful in the book. Refer back to it regularly!

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