Tip #778: The Seven Levels of Engagement

“Where my reason, imagination or interest were not engaged, I would not or could not learn.” Sir Winston Churchill

We know that engagement is important, whether it be in a personal relationship or a work situation. To help us all, Amanda Slavin, CEO of CatalystCreativ and her company have created a taxonomy for engagement.

The idea is if you know at what level of engagement a person is, you will know what needs to be done so that person becomes more truly engaged.

The following descriptions of each of the seven levels of engagement are drawn from a handbook printed by HubSpot Academy and CatalystCreativ.

Since they directly relate to behavioral change, I’ve correlated my definitions of the levels of Bloom’s affective domain to these levels of engagement:

Level 1: Disengagement. Characterized by a person showing disinterest; they’re completely idle and avoid tasks, interactions, or attempts at communication.

Level 2: Unsystematic Engagement. Characterized by a person’s confusion and feelings of inadequacy; they don’t understand an element of your message, so they give up quickly.

Level 3: Frustrated Engagement. Characterized by a person’s interest and understanding of your message, but there’s a loss of interest due to a distraction or inability to complete a task.

Receive: listen, take an interest in, and passively participate

Level 4: Structure-Dependent Engagement. Characterized by a person’s active response and participation to instruction and activities, provided the barrier to entry and their personal sacrifice is low.

Respond: react, question and probe ideas, and actively participate

Level 5: Self-Regulated Interest. Characterized by a person’s genuine excitement and interest in a message because it fulfills an element of their own self/personal interests; their engagement is driven by self-interest, not an interest in the specific individual or company.

Value: decide the worth and relevance of ideas, accept or commit to a particular stance or action

Level 6: Critical Engagement. Characterized by a person’s inspiration to make a change in their own life; taking personal action to set goals and transform their lives to achieve an objective after a message or interaction.

Organize: reconcile internal conflicts, integrate a new value

Level 7: Literate Thinking. Characterized by a person’s reflection using prior knowledge, experience, feelings, and values; they connect with the message on an intrinsic and personal level and that direct alignment with their personal beliefs leads to loyalty and action without incentive.

Internalize: act consistently with the new value

The levels of the affective domain and the levels of engage correlate beautifully, don’t they?

May your learning be sweet.


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