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What Type of Learner Are You and How Can You Use Your Learning Style to Better Your Career?

If you had all the world’s most successful professionals in one room, and asked them what is the best way to achieve your career goals, they would all answer: “never stop learning”. Whether you are looking to land that dream job, grow your business or win that coveted promotion, expanding your skills and knowledge base will get you there faster. 

However, how do you learn effectively, in a way that will allow you to retain and apply new information to what you do? 

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Every individual has a “learning style”, a preferred way of absorbing and retaining information. Although we can learn in more ways than one, and we do not fall exclusively into one category of learner, we all have a predisposition to learn better in a particular way.

When we are presented information in our preferred learning style, we are more likely to interpret and organize its content faster, apply it correctly and retain it for a longer period of time.  

So, what type of learner are you? Let’s take a look at 3 very different types of learners and what they do to learn best. 

Visual Learners

Visual learners need to see it to believe it. 

The best way for visual learners to process information is through images. They understand printed text quicker than verbal instructions, and they are able to visualize abstract concepts better than anyone else. Visual learners also tend to visually separate information into categories so that they can later link ideas and concepts together. In other words, they need to visualize the relationship between ideas. 

Ideal Learning Tactics for Visual Learners

If you tend to write everything down and doodle or scribble when someone is explaining a foreign concept to you, then you are probably a visual learner, as is approximately 65% of the population.  

The best way for you to process information quickly is through: 

  • Visual presentations (Powerpoint, videos, or at a minimum, a very engaging speaker) 
  • Graphs, charts, maps and diagrams
  • Connecting concepts together to understand the bigger picture 
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Auditory Learners

Auditory learners talk it out. 

The best classroom for an auditory learner is a one-on-one conversation. Auditory learners process information best through verbal directions, rather than through written notes. Interaction and communication are their thing. Being able to ask questions is therefore an important part of their learning method. Working in groups, brainstorming and debating ideas are their forte. 

Ideal Learning Tactics for Auditory Learners

If you tend to remember almost every word of a spoken presentation or need to play background music when trying to grasp written instructions, you are probably an auditory learner, as is approximately 30% of the population. 

The best way for you to process information quickly is through: 

  • Lectures, spoken presentations, recordings or audio books
  • Group discussions and / or one-on-ones
  • Repeating written content out loud, especially when it needs to be memorized
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Kinesthetic Learners 

Kinesthetic learners are doers. 

The absolute best way for a kinesthetic learner to absorb information is through hands-on experience. Kinesthetic learners do not like to be shown or told about a new concept, they want to test it out. They are far more likely to remember what has happened rather than abstract concepts they have read or heard about. 

Ideal Learning Tactics for Kinesthetic Learners

If the museum of archeology field trip you attended in the 9th grade is the only thing you remember from your history classes, then you are probably a kinesthetic learner, as is about 5% of the population. 

The best way for you to process information quickly is through: 

  • Physical, hands-on experience, testing out theories and the use of practical examples
  • Shadowing and assisting, rather than attending a traditional lecture-style training
  • Game based learning, workshops, role playing
  • Using movement to improve focus

Maximizing your learning potential will benefit you in more ways than one. By discovering what is the best way for you to process information, you will be able to expand your knowledge and increase your self-awareness and self-confidence. Knowing how to grow your knowledge base effectively will also allow you to stay ahead of the curve and up to speed with the latest industry developments, help you manage teams more effectively and, ultimately, it will help you work, learn and live more efficiently.

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