Communication - Five Keys To Effective Supervisory Communication – Article Example

Defensive and ‘non-defensive’ communication Communication refers to the transfer of information from one party, the sender, to another, the recipient, and an ultimate feedback to the sender. Based on developed attitudes and prejudice in involved parties, communication can be either defensive or ‘non-defensive’. This paper seeks to summarize the article ‘defensive communication,’ as was authored by Gibb and published in 2010.
Gibb, in his article, argues that one of the ways to improving communication is the transition from a defensive communication to a less defensive or alternatively non-defensive communication. The author defines defensive communication to be based on a predicted threat that induces a defensive behavior. The communication that is ‘self-centered’ is associated with barriers as it threatens listening and induces similar behavior on the other party in the communication. A ‘non-defensive’ communication, however, undermines communication barriers and allows the receiver to focus on the message. Features of the two communication approaches distinguish them. While defensive communication is characterized by elements such as “evaluation, control, strategy, neutrality, superiority and certainty,” persuasive communication is identifiable by its features such as “description, problem orientation, spontaneity, empathy, equality, and ‘provisionalism’” (Gibb, 2010, p. 1).
A ‘non-defensive’ communication, for instance, promotes easiness and confidence as opposed to an evaluative approach to communication in defensive approach. The author also argues that exercising control over other parties in a communication is likely to generate revolt, while motive based communication approach, which is characteristic of politics among other influence-based roles, captures parties to a communication. Similarly, strategic approach to communication identifies secretiveness that elicits rebellion, while spontaneity facilitates confidence into a ‘non-defensive’ communication. Neutrality is another feature of defensive communication that triggers sensitivity due to perceived “lack of concern” from the other party, while empathy induces confidence into a relaxed communication. Defensive communication is equivalently characterized by lack of equality among the communicating parties, a factor that causes instability in information flow, while a non-defensive communication assumes equality among parties and eliminates barriers towards understanding. Gibb similarly argues that being extremely certain, not in regards with others in a communication, leads to resentment from other people, while a communicated intention to be investigative extends a perceived authority to the recipients (Gibb, 2010).
The article, therefore, compares defensive and ‘non-defensive’ communication and identifies defensive communication with communication barriers. The author consequently concludes that features of defensive communication undermine transfer of information from the sender to the receiver.
Gibb, J. (2010). Defensive communication. Retrieved from: