Did you ever notice how you feel comfortable talking with certain people but not others?
Did you have more in common?
Was the other person a good listener?
What was it?
Chances are the other person had a similar conversation style as you.
There are three primary styles:
- Question askers – navigate conversations by asking questions, getting responses, asking more questions, and hoping they will get a question in return so they can talk about themselves as well. They will listen to shared stories but won’t openly share their own.
- Open sharers – will choose topics about their own lives to share and hope the other person will do the same. They will answer questions but won’t ask any of their own.
- Those who can do both
Engaging with someone of a different style can be difficult.
If you’re a question asker, an open sharer can come across as self-centered.
If you’re an open sharer, a question asker can come across as an interrogator.
Most people can do both but lean toward one style.
To have a fruitful conversation, it helps to be aware of your dominant style and to work on your subordinate style.
If you’re a question asker, devote more time in conversation talking about yourself, telling stories and initiating conversation without asking a question.
If you’re an open sharer, be more curious about the other person and start conversations with questions that spring from that curiosity.
What’s your conversation style?