Chapter 10: Communication Climate

Do you feel organized or chaotic in a small workspace? Are you more productive when the sun is shining than when it’s gray and cloudy outside? Just as factors like physical space and the weather impact us, communication climate can influence our interpersonal interactions. In this chapter, we will define and explore the basic principles of communication climate. Then, we will lay out some strategies for identifying, achieving and responding to communication climate. Lastly, we will explore how context influences perceptions of climate, and address reasons communication climate is important in interpersonal relationships and in society.


Essential Questions

  • How does communication shape the relational and emotional tone of a relationship or interaction?
  • How do we communicate in ways that effectively achieve a desired climate?
  • How can we effectively respond to climate behaviors that are undesirable?

Successful students will be able to:

  • define communication climate.
  • identify five principles of communication climate.
  • recognize examples of messages that contribute to warm and cold climates.
  • demonstrate three skills that help improve climate effectiveness
  • recognize how three types of contextual nuances influence our needs
  • explain how mindfulness plays a role in helping us achieve a desired climate


  • Interpersonal Communication Abridged Textbook (I.C.A.T.); Central New Mexico Community College; 2019; CC BY NC SA 4.0 except where noted below:
    • Section 10.3.1: adapted from Survey of Communication Studies; 2018; CC BY SA 3.0
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