When we train or teach others, we tend to use our own natural learning style. But most people won’t share that method and, in fact, there are at least eight different learning styles.

Figuring out how to integrate different learning styles into your trainings is the key to successful results. Here are the eight most common learning styles and what helps them succeed.

  • Visual learners remember best what they see and learn best by reading and writing. Help these people by providing charts, graphics and visual aids, and provide written instructions to assignments. Allow for writing time during your training.
  • Auditory learners remember what they hear and focus on listening during presentations. Ask questions of these people during training to monitor their understanding and provide verbal instructions to any tasks or assignments.
  • Active learners are hands-on people who understand and remember information by doing something with it. They work best in groups and benefit by explaining the material to somebody else.
  • Reflective learners like to let new information soak in for a time and prefer to work alone. Give them time to think, take notes and process the information. Too many details can be information overload to reflective learners, so don’t pack too much into any time frame.
  • Sensing learners like facts and well-established methods. They like hands-on work and don’t like training that has no apparent connection to the real world. They need time to brainstorm practical information for concepts taught, and they prefer specific examples of concepts and procedures.
  • Intuitive learners prefer discovering possibilities and relationships. They are good are grasping new concepts and are comfortable with abstracts, but dislike memorization, repetition and routine calculations. They are interested in the theories behind the procedures, so explain the reasoning behind processes.
  • Global learners absorb material almost randomly, and then suddenly get it. They may be fuzzy on details, but are great at grasping the big picture. Allowing them to skim over material before training is helpful, as is focusing on material in large blocks of time.
  • Sequential learners use instruction that follows logical steps. They learn and solve problems in linear steps, so they have trouble learning material that skips steps or bounces around.

Incorporating all these styles into one presentation is difficult, but the more you attempt and the more you connect with your audience, the more successful you will be.

What tricks do you use to teach groups with a variety of learning styles? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet your responses at #MCGblog.

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