Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Learning Styles

We've just bought a new remote control for our television.
Our toddler managed to destroy our old remote, so there was no way around it:
We had to go buy a new one.

A universal one.
One with lots of unfamiliar buttons...

Now something you should know about me is that whenever a new electronic device enters our household I get a bit uneasy. Because it means I have to learn how the damn thing works all over again.

Here is a snip-it of the conversation that took place between me and my partner last week after buying the new remote:

Me: (pressing all buttons hysterically): I can't change the channel!!!
He: I'll grab the manual so you can look up what to do.
Me: Nah. (disgusted face) Too many pages.
He: Well there's no logic in just randomly trying things.
Me: I don't understand... This used to work with the old one.
He:  Just take your time. Turn it off and start from the beginning.
Me: Never mind. I'll just keep trying and see what happens.

Needless to say my partner and I have two different learning styles.
A learning style is the way you approach a new learning situation. Like learning how to use a new remote control. Or drive a car. Or how to manage people.

And learning styles are neither good or bad, they are just different.

These are the 4 different learning styles:

Dreamers learn by experiencing something first and then observe and reflect. They have a great imagination and have many different ways of looking at reality. In learning situations they like to have group discussions and moments of reflection. They often work as Artist, HR Professional, Adviser or Counselor.

Thinkers learn by reflective observation and logical thinking. In learning situations they need their time and logical steps to take or theories to use. They often work as Scientist, Financial expert or Researcher.

Decision makers are focused on applying ideas. Their learning style is a combination of  abstract thinking and active experimenting. They like to learn in a structured and goal orientated way. They learn less from other people and tend to be more technical. They often work as Engineer, Manager or Project Leader    

Doers learn by active experimenting and experiencing. Their learning style focuses mainly on executing plans or goals. They can imagine what it's supposed to look like and then they try. They are very practical and usually don't overthink things. Doers often work in action orientated professions like Sales, Hospitality or Marketing. 

So did you figure out which learning style I have based on this information?
And what about my partners learning style?

It can be very helpful to know your learning style, to help understand your own talents and working methods.

As a Trainer I believe it's crucial to know the learning styles to be able to connect the learning content with the different ways of learning. It can be very tempting to give instructions solely based on your own preference.

The trainer who explains one theory after another? Probably a Thinker.
The trainer who exhausts the group with activities? Probably a Doer.

So balance is key.

Would you like to know more about our learning style based workshops?
(Or how our remote control works? ;)

Have a look at our Training Programs for 2016 here.