Have you ever thought about the different ways people learn? Have you ever noticed that you can teach the same thing in the same way to different people and some understand and others seem confused?
If you are conscious of the ways you learn and the way others learn, it will help enhance communication and increase the effectiveness of transferring skills and knowledge to others. Could you or your company benefit from more effective training of others? If so, read on.
Although it could be expanded on even further, there are three basic ways people learn.
- Visual (seeing)
- Auditory (hearing)
- Kinesthetic (doing)
A visual learner learns best by:
- Taking notes and making lists to read later on
- Reading information to be learned
- Learning from books, videotapes, CD’s and printouts
- Seeing a demonstration
- Seeing all the study materials
The auditory learner learns best by:
- Talking aloud
- Listening to a lecture
- Discussing in small or large groups
- Hearing music without words as a background in the learning environment
- Hearing all material clearly
A kinesthetic learner learns best by:
- Doing, hands-on approach (manipulations, objects, simulations, live events)
- Physical involvement in learning
- Field trips to gain knowledge
- Small group discussions (2-3 in a group)
- Doing hands-on what is in the manual
There is no right or wrong way to learn and most of us have a primary and secondary preference to learning. The key factor is to understand the three different learning styles and make sure that you cater what you are teaching to the learning needs of the audience.
If teaching a group, it is best to incorporate all three learning styles to have the most effective training program. If you are teaching your staff how to use the new phone system, you will want to have an instruction manual and demonstration (visual learner), clear lecture & small group discussion (auditory learner), and hands-on use of the phone system (kinesthetic learner). Your training curriculum would include an instruction manual to review prior to the training, a clear lecture with demonstration in training and then the opportunity to have hands-on practice using the new phone system. This would be an effective training program to enhance the learning of all your participants.
We all have a tendency to teach in our own preferred style of learning. Next time you teach someone else, make sure you are meeting their learning style needs. By using the guidelines provided and making sure you incorporate the needs of each learning style, you will see the difference of how quickly others are able to learn when their needs are being met.