Do you enjoy reading books and magazines to improve your knowledge on a specific subject? Or do you prefer going to lectures and seminars or listening to CDs to educate yourself further? Maybe you just dive into experimenting and experiencing anything new you want to learn about.
In general, we all have preferences for how we like to learn and process information. I find this fascinating, and have experimented with different types of learning styles to see which is right for me. You may be surprised at how much more you recall when you stimulate different areas of your mind.
When I work with coaching clients, I offer a variety of learning styles to assist with the absorption of information. For example, some might benefit greatly from the one-on-one, personal contact that comes with in-person coaching or coaching by phone. Others may prefer a form of self-coaching that involves reading and engaging in mental exercises on their own. Still others prefer a combination of the two, as the more areas of their brain are engaged, the more information they are able to retain and use.
Most people are a combination of learning styles, with one being dominant. The three primary formats for learning are: visual, auditory, or kinesthetic. It’s useful to know what kind of learner you are as well as knowing what your friends, family, teachers, co-workers, or clients are. The way we learn best is often the way we like to communicate best, so knowing learning styles improves communication as well.
Visual learners are concerned with how things look and use their visual world most often. They use terms like, “I see what you mean,” “That looks good,” “I can visualize that.”
Auditory learners are influenced by how things sound and use their hearing above other senses. They might say, “I hear what you’re saying,” “That sounds good,” “Hear me out.”
Kinesthetics usually reference their feelings about information and experiences and like to be somehow involved in the learning process. They might say, “I get it,” “I’m feeling the energy,” “I have a sense of what you’re saying.”
Knowing your learning and communication style is valuable in both personal and professional situations. Personally it can enhance the way you learn any subject you study by knowing if you’d rather read a book or listen to a CD. You can also let others know how you prefer to learn and communicate.
In work settings, this awareness can significantly improve your interactions with others. If you observe, hear, or sense that another person’s style is different from yours, you can adjust your language so your ability to communicate is enhanced. Disagreements and misunderstandings can be avoided just by knowing and practicing this information.
If you’re not certain what your preferred modality is, check off these characteristics and see which style has the highest number of answers. Chances are that’s your optimum learning style.
Visual learners usually:
- Speak quickly
- Are avid readers
- Notice details
- Take pride in their appearance
- Prefer art to music
- Are strong doodlers
- Plan and organize carefully
- Are neat and orderly
- Need instructions written down
- Remember what they saw rather than heard
Auditory learners typically:
- Speak in rhythmic patterns
- Enjoy music over art
- Talk to themselves, often out loud
- Are distracted by sounds
- Tell stories rather than write them
- Remember what they heard more than what they read
- Like lively discussions
- Offer lengthy verbal descriptions
- Move their lips as they read
- Listen to educational CDs in their car
Kinesthetic learners typically:
- Move their body when they speak
- Thrive on interactive learning experiences
- Speak in action words
- Like to play games
- Touch people when they talk
- Talk in a slower pace
- Can’t sit for extended periods
- Are good at role-playing and acting out
- Learn best by doing the same thing over and over
- Use all their senses more than the other styles
Once you’ve identified what kind of learner you are, expect to increase your ability to learn more effectively as well as improving your communication and connection with other people. At SlowDownFast.com, we compensate for the variance in preferred learning methods – with coaching materials in auditory, visual, and combination learning formats. Find out more… visit our website today.