- Entries A-Z
A characteristic of interpersonal effectiveness in which one partner of a communication dyad or group conveys empathy, attentiveness, concern, and interest via verbal and nonverbal cues (also referred to as altercentrism). Such signals include acknowledging and confirming the other's viewpoint.
Other-orientation is contrasted with self-orientation, or egocentrism, in which one interactant or participant is largely self-referential, assumes a shared frame of reference, lacks empathy, and tends to give direct advice.
Other-orientation carries a positive connotation as an indicator of communication competence and skill. While it can be perceived as overly accommodating, it generally indicates an ability to adapt to other people and effectively perceive others' viewpoints.
It is an example of phatic communication, that is, for social purposes and relationship building, as differentiated from the communication of information.