Learning Styles

Learning and education - what's your style?

Learning Styles

Have you ever tried to learn something fairly simple, yet found it difficult or impossible to grasp the key points or ideas? Or have you tried to teach people something and found that some were overwhelmed or confused by something quite basic, whilst others ‘get it’ straight away. This is because, we all have different styles of learning and this affects the way we process information.

Do you know your preferred learning style?

Knowing your learning style will enable you to learn smarter. Whilst everyone has a combination of ways in which they learn; most people have ONE predominant learning style. Learning styles are typically broken down into seven major categories.

Visual (spatial)
Aural (auditory- musical)
Kinaesthetic (physical)
Verbal (linguistic)
Solitary (intrapersonal)
Social (interpersonal)
Logical (mathematical)

Let’s look at this in a little more depth:

Visual (spatial)

  • Use images, pictures, colour and other visual media to help you learn
  • Use colour, layout, and spatial organisation in your associations and use many “visual words” in your assertions
  • Use mind maps
  • Replace words with pictures, and use colour to highlight major and minor links

Aural (auditory – musical)

  • Use sound, rhythm and music in your learning
  • Use sound recordings to provide a background and help you get into visualisations
  • When creating mnemonics or acrostics make the most of rhythm and rhyme, or set them to a jingle or part of a song
  • If you have some particular music or song that makes you want to “take on the world” play it back and anchor your emotions

Kinaesthetic (physical)

  • Focus on the sensations you would expect tin each scenario
  • For assertions and scripting, describe the physical feelings of your actions
  • Use physical feelings of your actions
  • Use physical objects as much as possible
  • Keep in mind as well, that writing and drawing a diagram are physical activities
  • Use role playing, either singularly or with someone else, to practice skills and behaviours

Verbal (linguistic)

  • Try the techniques that involve speaking and writing
  • Make the most of the word-based techniques such as assertions and scripting
  • Record your scripts using a recording and use it later for reviews
  • When you read content aloud, make it dramatic and varied
  • Try working with others and using role-playing to learn verbal exchanges such as negotiations or sales

Solitary (intrapersonal)

  • You prefer to learn alone using self-study
  • Align your goals and objectives with your personal beliefs and values
  • Create a personal interest in your topics
  • When you associate and visualise, highlight what you would be thinking and feeling at the time
  • You drive yourself by the way you see yourself internally
  • Modelling is a powerful technique for you
  • Be creative with role-playing
  • Your thoughts have a large influence on your performance and often safety

Social (interpersonal)

  • Aim to work with others as much as possible
  • Role-playing is a technique that works well with others, whether its one on one or with a group of people
  • Work on some of your associations and visualisations with other people
  • Try sharing your key assertions with others
  • Working in groups to practice behaviours or procedures help you understand how to deal with variations

Logical (mathematical)

  • Aim to understand the reasons behind your content and skills
  • Create and use lists by extracting keep points from your material
  • Remember association often works well when it is illogical and irrational
  • Highlight your ability to pick up systems and procedures easily
  • Systems thinking helps you understand the bigger picture
  • You may find it challenging to change existing behaviours or habits
  • If you often focus from analysis paralysis, write “Do it now” in big letters on some signs or post-it notes

Learning just becomes more enjoyable once you are aware of your preferred style. This is how you get the best out of yourself and more importantly the people you live and work with when you share your newfound understanding.