Two concepts that frequently get confused by my students when we begin discussing interpersonal communication are communication climate and psychological climate. While they are similar, the differences between them have a significant effect on the actual implementation.
Let’s start with Psychological Climate. We first covered this component in our first unit, specifically when we began discussing perception in communication. Like all things psychological, this has to do with our inner workings, the mind’s effect on our actions and communication. The key factor is that it truly (and primarily) has an effect only on us.
Contrast this with the Communication Climate. While it is influenced by our individual psychology, it is primarily about the climate of the interaction between us and another person. For that reason, we need to make a clear and apparent distinction: if it directly challenges the communication between individuals, it is the communication climate.
Again, I know these are overlapping, and may seem a little confusing, but to my students: know the textbook’s definitions. Review them closely, and plan for ways to remember them. Give yourself a fighting chance!