Research Shows the Lasting Benefits of Positive Communication in Well-Being and Conflict Resolution

Summary of:

Mirivel, J. C. (2019). Communication behaviors that make a difference on well-being and happiness. In Velazquez, J .A. M. & Pulido, C. M. (Eds.), The routledge handbook of positive communication (Ch. 6). New York. Taylor & Francis.

Background & Theory

The author of this article evaluates real-life experiences to answer questions surrounding positive communication and the effects of peak communication. This article is creating the foundation for further research into this critical (and rather new) area of study, which is linked to positive well-being.

Research Questions

The author seeks to answer these two specific questions in their study:

  1. “What positive communication behaviors constitute peak communication?”
  2. “What are the short-term and long-term effects of peak communication moments on personal and relational happiness?”

Methods

The methods used to conduct this study revolved around the author first doing a deep-dive into what positive communication is and what the key components are. Mirivel created his own model of Positive Communication, called the “Art of Positive Communication”, which contains the following 6 components: listen, encourage, disclose, greet, ask, and compliment.

Mirivel and his colleagues then interviewed (all accurately recorded in person) a diverse group of adults about three peak communication moments they have personally experienced; the interviews included a set of questions used for each person that allowed the author to see what that moment was like, what aspects of it involved positive communication, and what the effects of that moment were. The data was then analyzed using qualitative measures to determine what the broader picture and implications were of each moment.

Results

The results show, and are explained with multiple examples, that all components of the “Art of Positive Communication” model can be used to create a peak communication moment, and all have the ability to create happiness and contribute to positive well-being. As the author states, this research can be further studied to evaluate other limitations, as well as other contributing factors to peak communication moments and positive communication as a whole, but this study affirmed the author’s initial hypothesis that positive communication can create positive ripples to all involved.

What This Means

  • Positive communication is crucial to creating some of life’s most encouraging and special moments — peak communication moments
  • These peak communication moments can certainly have short-term and long-term positive effects on the individuals involved
  • In terms of conflict, positive communication tactics can help those involved understand one another and share a positive and helpful moment, possibly coming to a point of resolution

Final Takeaway

For consultants: If your clients are in a place to be understanding and communicate effectively, encourage them to use the positive communication tactics laid out in the “Art of Positive Communication” model. This may help them share a new perspective and a meaningful moment crucial to ending the conflict at hand.

For everyone: There is no downside reflected in this research to treat those around you with positive actions and communication. This is shown to be beneficial for all involved, and if not to resolve conflict, can likely help avoid conflict altogether.