On Sunday, I did a THIS IS BS post, debunking a quote that I often see going around WhatsApp/Slack groups for CEOs, business owners and startup founders:
All CEOs are readers
I went on to explain that it's only partial true, because psychologically, there are different preferred modes of processing information.
Since that day, I've gotten a few PMs asking if there are ways to identify someone's learning style, so they can maximise their personal growth.
Today, we're gonna look in-depth into the four different styles of learning, and a quick and dirty way to help you identify which is yours.
BUT WHY IS LEARNING STYLE SO IMPORTANT?
In school, I'm pretty sure you have some subjects you preferred, and were better at, than others. It's not always just about the interest for the subject, nor the effectiveness of the teacher. Sometimes, the way the information is being delivered plays a big role too.
Some of you may liked it when the subject has lots of hands-on activities, like experiments, art crafts, or even mathematic calculations.
Then, some of you enjoyed subjects where the teacher was a great storyteller, while another group may complain that she did not provide sufficient handouts!
Most teachers were not aware that when they were teaching, they were essentially talking to four different kinds of students in the class, which is why they usually resort to only one way - their own preferred way.
Yup, sometimes when you "connect" with a teacher or lecturer, it wasn't always about just the personalities, but rather, both of you may share the same mode of processing information.
Most of us inherit the learning methods we learned in school into our adult lives, and if that method was inefficient, chances are, your growth potential will be limited too. I mean, how can you enjoy processing information in a manner that's unnatural to you?
So which is natural to you? Let's have a look.
*Note: These signs are just indications, and not conclusive. You may find you are a bit here and there, which is fine, because over the years, we have become good at learning using multiple senses. The trick is to find the one that is most comfortable to you, and leverage on it.
TYPE 1: VISUAL LEARNERS
Well, these are the most common group of learners. They are the ones that can pick up any reading material and consume it with ease. To them, a picture is worth a thousand words, and giving them instruction over the phone is tough; they probably would ask you to meet up instead. They generally enjoy meetings too, because then, they can use their sights and power of observation to study others. And in this meetings? They are usually the smartest dressed in the room!
A few signs that you are a visual learner:
- You take short breathes, usually at the top of your lungs
- You speak fast, and sometimes in a higher pitch
- You like to gesture with your hands
- When talking to someone, you look at their eyes, and are conscious if they don't look at yours
- You are easily distracted by visual prompts, flashes of light, people/cars/things passing by etc
- You use words like look, sight, visualise, watch.
- You are conscious of details in any environment you go in to
- You are good with spelling, and when you think of a word, it's first spelt out mentally in your mind's eye
- You prefer to show rather than tell
- You like having subtitles in your movies or anything you watch
- When given instructions, you prefer it to be written down or have the map drawn out, rather than listening to the instructions
- Flash card/memory cards work really well for you
- You are good at planning for the future
- At times you have something you want to say, but you can't seem to find the words to "describe it"
Recommended Learning Tools:
Well, books work super well for you. As a matter of fact, anything that is visually appealing registers easily in your head - infographics, diagrams, charts, illustrations etc. To remember, use mind maps and flash cards, and the more you see something, the more "impressions" you have of it, the more likely you will be able to recall them too.
TYPE 2: AUDITORY LEARNERS
Next up, the auditory learners. As you would have guessed, they love to process information using their sense of hearing. If this is you, you'll always have an internal "beat" in you, and you may tap your feet, shake your legs or flip a pen to that "rhythm". The beat is evident in your walks too!
A few signs that you are an auditory learner:
- When trying to spell a word, you would whisper or mouth it
- You would read out a Steemit title and ask "How does it sound?"
- As a matter of fact, you like to use words like sounds good, talk soon, and looking forward to hearing from you
- Can't really stay idle, and your feet or fingers have to move to your beat
- You enjoy talking and voicing out your opinions
- You are conscious of someone's tone, pitch, volume and timber
- You hum songs unconsciously
- You can pick up even the slightest change in pace or mood in music
- You are easily distracted by noises
- You are put at eased with calming music
- You usually "mouth" your words when you read
- Because of the internal rhythm, you also speak in rhythm
- Good at imitations and impersonations (of how someone speaks)
- You enjoy listening to music (duh)
- Lengthy discussions are your favourite, because you get to discuss and exchange points and banter
- You may not notice this, but when you are talking to someone, the more engaging the conversation gets, the more likely you will break eye contact because you want to tilt your head so you can position your ears better.
- When you're young, like baby young, you probably spoke first before starting to walk
Recommended Learning Tools:
Podcast, radio interviews, audiobooks works really well for you. Check out Blinkist.com or Audible.com. They will make great resource for your personal growth, and you're in luck because you are the rare type that can learn on the go (commuting, driving etc)
TYPE 3: KINAESTHETIC LEARNERS
Hello, action people! These are the people who like to roll-up their sleeves, get their hands dirty and create a learning experience for themselves. Hands-on work, getting-out-of-the-room activities, producing physical handicrafts, and movement are things that excite you, and now, you're gonna know why.
A few signs that you are a kinaesthetic learner:
- You speak slower then normal people
- You touch others to get their attention
- You are also sensitive to the touch of others, and if it's from someone who you do not trust or dislike, you will flinch whenever they approach you
- But if it's from people you like or trust, you welcome their hug. You may even be the one who initiated it!
- You can remember places you've been to really well, not because of the visuals or the sounds, but because of the experience
- You enjoy physical activities. You like to move it, move it.
- On that note, dancing is your things too. Especially if no one is watching, haha!
- Sitting still in a classroom for long periods of time will bore you
- You will pace back and forth when trying to commit something to memory, or trying to "clear your head"
- If you spoke to your parents about your toddler days, they would probably say you walked first before you uttered your first words.
- When you're reading, you may have a habit of "pointing", using your finger as a guide
- You fidget a lot, and probably have a fidget spinner somewhere near by right now
- You're sensitive to the surfaces of materials
- You're also sensitive to temperatures and the moisture in the air
- Because kinaesthetic also involves the sense of taste, you are probably quite sensitive to flavours
- Like the visual learners, you gesture a lot to when you speak, but usually at a less intense pace
- You are also sensitive to emotional and mood changes
- When processing information by listening, your hands will be holding/fidgeting something, or may even be doodling. But unlike the doodling of a visual learner, your "artwork" is usually in rhythmic strokes
Recommended Learning Tools:
It has got to be action. You need to be able to move around your learning environment, so role-plays, simulations, games, activities, even Legos help you make learning "fun"!
TYPE 4: AUDITORY DIGITAL (SELF TALK) LEARNERS
Let me ask you a question: do you talk to yourself?
If you're asking yourself "Do I talk to myself? I do, right? Not that often…"
Then yeah, you got your answer. You do talk to yourself. Chances are if you record yourself or have someone observing you, you will realise that you tend to look down to your left (if you're right handed) often. That's when you're talking to yourself.
Auditory Digital is usually a secondary mode of learning, which means you'll probably have one of the three above as your primary.
A few signs that you are an Auditory Digital learner:
- As mentioned above, you talk to yourself quite a bit.
- You like to journal after learning something
- You reflect quite a lot
- You often check-in with yourself regularly too, on decisions you've made, or impending decisions
- Before saying something, you will think it through a couple of times
- You can be quite thorough in your work as well, not necessary because you are a detailed-orientated person, but rather, you want to consider the point of views from different perspectives
- Friends and loved ones come to you often for advice, usually citing your insightfulness, ability to think in another person's shoes, and covering all the bases
- You sometimes think of going on a soul searching journey to "find yourself"
- You enjoy quiet time on your own, not because you like the silence, but rather for you to reflect on your day
- People will comment that you're often lost in thoughts, or have those blank stares
Recommended Learning Tools:
Journalling, questions to provoke further thoughts, and introspective assignments are probably on top of your list. Because you are naturally inclined to evaluate your growth, you're probably more aware of your own personal development paths, and the best tools to help you achieve your goals.
So… which of the four are you? Which is your preferred mode of learning?
DID YOU JUST MADE THIS UP?
Haha, I wish. It's actually taken from the representation systems module of Neuro-Linguistic Programming. Also known as sensory modalities, or VAKOG (Visual Auditory Kinaesthetic Olfactory & Gustatory). Google it. :)
Wait, why's Mav posting on Steemit nowadays?
Well, unlike other blogging and social media platform, Steemit is the only platform that allows me to earn cryptocurrency when I engage with it. Yup, one Steem is about USD7, and you, too, can earn Steem Dollars every time you:
- Create content (articles, blog posts, podcasts, videos, photos)
- Upvote (like) other people contents
- Comment on other people's posts
- Have discussions, share opinions etc!
Yup, basically it's the very same thing you're doing on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc all along!
The only difference? For once you can earn a nice income on the side!