Analyze behaviors that contribute to a supportive or defensive group climate.
Read: Chapter 6 in your textbook
Watch: Supportive and Defensive Climates
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Watch: Cultivating Collaboration: Don’t Be So Defensive!
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Writing Resources
SNU Library
StormSearch Tutorial
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Using Google Scholar to find scholarly sources
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APA Style and Formatting Guide
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Assignment Instructions
General Requirements:
Use of APA Format (including a title page and reference page not counted in required pages)
3-5 typed pages in length
Double spaced
One (1) inch margins
12 point font
Free of mechanical and grammatical errors
Specific Requirements:
After reviewing the assigned materials, you should understand how confirming and disconfirming messages create supportive and defensive communication climates.
PAPER OUTLINE: Use the following guidelines to develop the paper.
INTRODUCTION – (2-3 sentences)
Provide a brief opening paragraph that prepares the reader for the tone and purpose of the paper.
SUPPORTIVE and DEFENSIVE CLIMATES – (1-2 well developed paragraphs)
Provide a general description of Gibb’s supportive and defensive behaviors and the framework it provides for an effective communication climate. Explain why this is important to accomplishing small group goals and tasks.
PERSONAL APPLICATION- (3-4 well developed paragraphs)
To develop this section, address the following:
Describe three different times you perceived that you were feeling threatened or under attack and responded by using one of the Gibb defensive categories.
As you describe each situation, identify the Gibb category you used. What was the person saying or doing that made you feel defensive? Also include how you responded. How might you have responded differently in order to create a more positive and supportive climate and name the supportive category? In other words, show the contrast between what was said, using Gibb’s defensiveness arousing responses, and what could have been said using Gibb’s supportive responses.
PERSONAL ACCOUNTABILITY – (3-4 well developed paragraphs)
To develop this section address the following:
Analyze your defensive behavior. In general, do you consider yourself to be someone who gets “defensive” easily? Why or why not? Are there certain topics that tend to trigger your defensiveness and emotions? What are you experiencing when defensive?
Discuss some practical suggestions you will use (or already use) to work with minimizing defensiveness in order to make sure you are responding with confirming messages and fostering a supportive climate? What are some ways you can internally alert yourself (or do alert yourself) that you are getting defensive? Feel free to conduct an internet search for practical and professional suggestions. Any outside sources should be included in a reference list.
CONCLUSION – Provide a brief summary that gives closure to the paper (1-2 sentences)

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