Do you feel suffocated in your workplace? Do you think your superiors don’t appreciate your contribution? Do you always stay in a rush to come out of your office to take a breath of fresh air? Well, if the answers to these questions are yes, that means your workplace does not have a positive communication climate?
A negative communication climate is the cornerstone of toxic work culture. If your workplace does not generate a good vibe amongst its employees, your employee retention rate will never increase. It can also discourage employees, make them more stagnant, reduce productivity, and ultimately lead the business to its untimely closure. So, let’s find out how to create an excellent communication climate in your workplace.
Communication Climate – Definition, And Types
Communication climate is the overall emotional mood of people when they work together. It refers to the tone of people’s conversation as they interact with each other verbally and non-verbal. In a workplace and any kind of environment, maintaining a positive communication climate is essential.
There are two types of communication climates such as; 1) positive or confirming communication, and 2) negative or disconfirming communication.
1. Confirming Communication Climate
You must have an impersonal response to other people’s statements if you want to generate a confirming communication climate. Confirmation communication helps people interact with each other courteously and confidently. Their entire relationship is based on trust, openness, honesty, and likeness towards each other.
In a confirming communication climate, people are interested in talking to one another, asking them questions, asking for feedback, etc. So, if your organization has a positive communication climate, it will have a better chance of succeeding in the business environment.
2. Disconfirming Communication Climate
In a disconfirming communication climate, you always generate impervious responses towards others’ accomplishments. Thus, it creates difficulty for people to give and receive information. People lose interest in communicating with one another because they are always misunderstood and interrupted.
Disconfirming messages make people less willing to ask questions or feedback. It creates a negative work culture because people never get the correct information against which they will take action. The most damaging kind of disconfirming response is disagreeing with the other person.
What Are The Principles Of A Great Communication Climate?
The communication climate in a relationship is determined by the social tone of the conversation. There are a few principles that draw the line between confirming and disconfirming messages, so let’s take a look at them;
Recognition messages either accept or deny the other person’s existence. For example, you enter your office and greet your colleague with a good morning and a smile on your face. If the person smiles back at you and wishes you good morning, too, then he is confirming your existence.
However, if the other person ignores you and does not reply, that means he is disconfirming your existence.
Acknowledgment messages go one step further than recognition messages. For example, you enter the workplace and see your colleague upset. You ask her what is wrong, and she tells you what happened to her. Now, you must acknowledge her pain and respond accordingly to create a confirming communication climate.
However, if you disregard her pain and start telling her about how hard your day was, that means you are not acknowledging the person. It creates a disconfirming communication climate.
Endorsement is the strongest type of communication message. For example, you enter the workplace, and your colleague tells you how she fought with the team leader. Now, if you tell her that you understand why she is so upset, you support her right to own the emotion.
However, if you tell the person that the team leader reprimands you a lot more, she should not be so upset by it, which means you are sending her disconfirming messages.
How To Create A Great Communication Climate In The Workplace?
Most people spend a significant amount of time at their workplaces, which necessitates creating an excellent communication climate there. You may use horizontal, vertical, or diagonal communication to interact with your office people. But, none of these communications will yield a positive result if you don’t follow these strategies.
1: Be Empathetic
When you are empathetic to the other person, you feel what he feels. Empathetic people have the skill to retain distance and objectivity from a conversation. They also recognize the non-verbal cues of other people’s emotions.
2: Let Your Employees Know They Are Valued
You should find small yet meaningful ways to thank your employees for their contribution, no matter how trivial the achievement is. It makes your employees feel appreciated, and they will communicate with you more freely and more openly.
3: Create A Supportive Work Culture
Always support your employees no matter what the disaster is. Even if they have made a fault that has disrupted your project, let them know that they are not alone. Talking to your employees when they are having a bad day also creates an excellent communication climate.
4: Follow Self-Disclosure
Self-disclosure means you have to share your thoughts and ideas with the people who work with you. It enhances employee understanding, creates more satisfying relationships at your workplace, and thus generates a confirming communication climate.
5: Give Positive Yet Critical Feedback
Give positive feedback to your employees when they have done an excellent job. But, when you have to give them negative feedback, be a bit critical. Don’t just tell them what they did wrong, but also show them how to eliminate those faults. It will be a good strategy for creating a positive communication climate.
6: Encourage Team-Building Activities
You can arrange for a circle of appreciation, host a brainstorming session, organize a show and tell session, or give your employees puzzle games to solve. These are some of the most effective team-building activities that your employees won’t hate and help create a confirming communication climate.
7: Practice Provisionalism
Professionalism is the best confirming language you can use in a workplace. It is a tactic you use when despite knowing you are right, you remain willing to listen to what the other person has to say. You are even willing to change your opinion if the other idea sounds more reasonable to you, so you can see why it will create a positive communication climate.
Ans: If you prefer hanging out with your friends because they make you feel good about yourself and make you laugh, that means you are in a positive communication climate. On the other hand, if you dread hanging out with them because they always make fun of you and criticize you, that means you are in a negative communication climate.
Ans: Defensiveness is the process of protecting yourself. Some of the best examples of defensive communication climate are superiority, neutrality, certainty, control, strategy, evaluation, etc. On the contrary, professionalism, empathy, equality, spontaneity, problem orientation are some of the examples of a supportive communication climate.
Ans: The strongest confirming response is an endorsement message. In an endorsement message, you agree with the speaker in the highest form of confirmation. That’s why it generates far better responses than recognition and acknowledgment messages.
In the 21st-century workplace, we think that you have to prioritize creating an excellent communication climate if you want to retain your employees. If they are not satisfied with the job, they will not think twice before quitting it, and then you’ll have to hire new employees, train them, and start from the ground up. So, if you want to know more about the communication climate, let us know in the comment box below. We will wait for your feedback.