Learning Styles: Why are they so Important?
What’s your Style?
There are many tools and avenues available for acquiring information. Understanding how you learn and process data can be used to increase your capacity and ability to retain learning. According to the learning cafe we all have a primary or personal learning style.
Knowing your personal style and understanding the styles of the people you work with offers valuable insights and allows you to see the actions needed to move them forward more effectively.
Some of us are information learners and learn through data “Let me read, digest and sort, then we’ll talk”. Others are action learners and learn thru doing “Just give me the short hand and I’ll figure it out as I go” and finally, there are people learners who learn through interaction, vetting and integrating the experiences and ideas of other people and applying a new context to find a solution. “Hey, I know someone who did something like that…. Let me call them.”
All three styles are valuable but a manager or even the culture can validate one style over another. We often collaborate, manage and coach others according to our own personal learning style not theirs. Knowing your personal style and understanding the styles of the people you work with offers valuable insights and allows you to see the actions needed to move them forward more effectively. Pushing an employee for more collaboration can be a growth opportunity but understanding the challenge it presents to an information learner allows a manager to help them navigate more effectively. As a leader, it is important to meet people where they are. “Great managers don’t try to change a person’s style” Marcus Buckingham.
Discover your primary learning style and those of your team members. Try to sometimes incorporate your least used approach. We will always have a primary style but developing all three, encourages us to learn faster and we are more likely to retain what we have learned. An effective team will benefit from having members with different primary styles.