Imagine I put an unfamiliar contraption in front of you. You have no clue what it does or how to use it. You’re curious and want to figure it out. What is your most likely reaction?
- Start pushing buttons
- Read the manual
- Ask someone to explain it to you
Your answer illuminates your learning preference.
What are learning preferences?
Your learning preference is all about which set of circumstances are best to help you get information into your brain, help it stay there, and get it out when you need it.
It points the way to how to help you learn with more ease.
What aren’t learning preferences?
A specific, set prescription for learning. We’re not robots. Don’t think of this as a prescription that can’t be changed, but rather a frame that you can step in and out of with ease. You can flex your learning muscles and shift your preference.
Here’s how to discover your learning preference.
Seriously, do it right now. I’ll wait.
Here’s some additional information on what your results mean
- If you picked mostly audio responses then you likely respond best to listening and speaking.
- You pay attention to people’s voices.
- If a speaker has what you consider to be a good voice, they’ll have you in the palm of their hand. Someone with an irritating voice will be, well, very irritating to you.
- You may also talk, mutter or whisper to yourself. No judgment! That’s how you’re getting information into your brain.
- Podcasts and audiobooks work well for you.
- If that foreign object I mentioned above was in front of you, you’d likely to ask someone to describe how to use it to you.
- If you picked mostly visual responses then you likely prefer images, graphs, charts, and pictures.
- You notice colours and design elements.
- A PowerPoint slide that has colours that are off, or the centre of a circle graph isn’t truly centred will have your teeth aching in frustration.
- You may like to doodle when learning or summarize your learning with charts or graphs.
- Well-designed presentations, infographics, and charts appeal to you.
- And that foreign object? To learn how to use it you’d likely read the manual.
- If you picked mostly kinesthetic then you likely prefer to do stuff.
- You are drawn into learning when your body is engaged.
- Having to sit still without being able to move at all will have you squirming in discomfort.
- You may find yourself fiddling with something or bouncing your knee, especially when bored because it literally gets your body moving.
- An interactive activity that gets you moving, taking notes, or commenting in the chatbox during an online meeting (because your hands are moving) are likely to appeal to you.
- You’d be likely to jump in and start pushing buttons when faced with that unfamiliar object.
Knowing what you’re instinctively drawn to – whether it be audio, visual, and/or kinesthetic (and by the way, some people can have two preferences) makes learning and life easier. That awareness can help you identify when you’re bored (nothing to do, look at, or hear) and/or struggling to learn something.
It can then help you target your learning to your needs, introducing audio, visual, or kinesthetic elements as the case may be.
BONUS: Your increased awareness can also help you lead online or in-person meetings and workshops with more effectiveness because you’ll know where you shine (a.k.a. your identified learning preference) annnnd where the gaps are you’ll need to fill in for others who don’t necessarily share your preference.
Go ahead and shine with your newfound learning preference awareness. Your brain and your meeting/workshop participants will thank you for it.
Now go on and learn, laugh and lead
- Take my quick learning preference survey to discover your preference
- For visual learners check out this post on infographics
- Here are some suggestions for kinesthetic learners
- Take a listen to some of my favourite podcasts, for audio learners
- Learning and leading online and in-person meetings and workshops can be wayyyy more effective if you know your learning preference and make sure you’re addressing all three. Your increased awareness can bring such ease, unlike this little one expending an enormous amount of effort trying to blow out a candle.
- Get your team members to take the learning preference survey and share your results.
- Make a plan to fill in the gaps and address all preferences for your next online or in-person meeting/workshop.
P.S. Want to join our community and receive regular invitations to my monthly Learning and Development Roundtables plus get access to all nine-plus years of Roundtable resources? Easy peasy. Sign up here.