Background Note | HBS Case Collection | October 1975 (Revised June 1983)

Understanding Communications in One-To-One Relationships

by John J. Gabarro


Introduces the concepts of assumptions, perceptions and feelings, and applies these concepts to the problem of understanding the behavior that takes place between people in relationships. The note discusses a particular interaction that takes place between two men in a work setting in terms of how each person's point of view influences his behavior. Also discusses the topic of facilitating understanding and several assumptions that impede communications.

Keywords: Interpersonal Communication; Emotions; Behavior; Attitudes; Perspective; Relationships;


Gabarro, John J. "Understanding Communications in One-To-One Relationships." Harvard Business School Background Note 476-075, October 1975. (Revised June 1983.)