More Than One Way

When you are learning something new, what helps you learn more easily and what interferes with the process? Today, let’s talk about learning styles.

There are different styles of almost everything you can do or buy, from playing a guitar to picking out a new car. But, did you know that there are also different styles of learning? Some folks are visual learners; they literally need to see relationships with their eyes before they can understand. Other people learn best when they can hear new ideas.

Some people like to think a problem through before they try to solve it, while others feel more comfortable with a trial and error approach. Some people like to see an overview of how what they’re doing fits into the big picture before it makes sense. Others feel just fine working on one isolated area of a larger project, as long as they understand how their particular part works.

You see, there is no one best way to learn or to teach. The best teachers adjust their styles to suit individual learners, and the best learners learn to make their needs known, or they set up circumstances that facilitate their own unique style. Remember, your child may not have the same learning style that you do, and two kids in the same family may learn equally well but by very different methods.

One other thing to remember: child learners become adult employees. When there is learning to be done on the job – and there always is in thriving, growing organizations – wise leadership provides for different learning styles, and benefits even more because of this respect for diversity of thought. If organizations only think or learn in one way, locking on to what they do and how they do it, then they automatically lock out everything else. A better way or opportunity isn’t even recognized when it crosses their path.

For best results, honor these differences. Open up your field of vision! Find out all you can about your children’s and your employees’ learning styles, and refrain from trying to force square-peg-learners into round-hole-experiences. You’ll both be happier. Along the way, you might just learn something new about yourself in the process.