Tamara D. Afifi and Samantha Coveleski

13Relational competence

Abstract: Communication competence has generally been held as the ability to appropriately and effectively use communication to obtain a desired outcome or goal. Traditionally, the focus of communication competence has been on how behaviors and cognitions, such as cognitive complexity, empathy, role-taking, and interaction management, are enlisted for goal achievement. This chapter takes a “macro approach” to competence in relationships by first reviewing the operation of these fundamental behaviors and related cognitions in close relationships. Shifting, then, to a wider frame, we expand the traditional perspective to include a broader set of communication processes and remark on ...

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