There are three communication styles that you use in conversation, and not just in talks about change. Sometimes we need to instruct, sometimes listen and sometimes guide. Below you will familiarize yourself with the different styles.

Instruct or control
The style is all about the interviewer giving information to the person to help them understand something in particular. Basically, you instruct the person you’re talking to. 

Listen or follow
This one is more about the interviewer trying to listen to the person to try to understand them. Listening is thus an important ingredient. Asking questions is, however, somewhat less so when one uses this conversational style. The following style means that the interviewer actively listen with full attention and tries to understand the person’s difficulties and how they think. Active listening = affirmations, open questions, reflections, summaries.

This style is the one that is most consistent with MI. This way of communicating gives the person the opportunity to articulate how they want to deal with their problems. This is done under the guidance of the interviewer and using the tools that MI offers. Guidance, for example, is used to help the client achieve their goals, learn new skills or begin a change.

Today’s task
Today, I want you to be aware of what style your colleagues and the people around you use the most. Can you recognize any of the styles?