What’s Your Communication Style: High Involvement or High Consideration?
Have you ever been in a conversation where you felt like you were tripping on each others words? I have. And it had everything to do with this concept of Communication Styles called High Involvement vs. High Consideration.
In a nutshell:
A High Involvement person is a very energetic conversationalist. One who is excitedly jumping in to blurt out what is on his/her mind. An H.I. person thrives on the fast-paced back-and-forth nature of the dialogue….and the interchange is stimulating and heightens the conversation-satisfaction factor.
A High Consideration person is a very respectful conversationalist. One who politely waits for the other to finish their thought before responding and even take a few seconds as they finish their own thoughts. An H.C. person holds themselves and their communication partner in high regard….with responses that are thoughtful and deliberate – appreciative of a healthy dialogue.
Sounds simple enough, right? And it is when you are communicating with someone who is the same type. The trouble begins when conversing with someone who is the opposite style.
Well, I can tell you from experience – it is awkward. I was with a new friend – our conversation was strange. Why? We had so much in common! Ahhh, but we were so different in a very important way – communication style. I’m sure you’re shocked to find out I’m a High Involvement person. She was a High Consideration person. Uh-oh.
A High Consideration person views the ever-interrupting-talk-over-me High Involvement person as rude.
A High Involvement person views the low-energy-slow-to respond High Consideration person as disengaged or boring/bored.
…when in fact we were both interested in the topic, both respected each other, both wanting a smooth dialogue. But that wasn’t happening. It dawned on me this concept of H.I. and H.C. was the source of the disconnect, so I explained the concept of High Involvement and High Consideration communication styles, and her response? (btw: I was hoping for “I don’t get it, why are you telling me this, there is nothing wrong with our conversation”) instead she responded with a very knowing “Oh-h-h”. Darn, so she felt it too….
After that, she sped up a little (understanding I was excited not rude) and I waited a little longer (understanding she might have something more to say) – we’d narrowed the gap. Now, I’m not saying it is perfect, at times we still talk on top of each other, but not as frequently and certainly not intentionally. With understanding and perspective, our friendship has survived!
So what is your communication style? And have you had a similar experience? Please share!
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