LEARNING STYLES & THINKING STYLES
What is a LEARNING
our Free Learning Style Indicator)
A learning style
is how you receive information most efficiently
Auditory learners receive information
best by listening; they tend to
learn best through lectures & audio-based
Visual learners learn better when
visual aids are used (slide presentations,
films, white boards, etc.). They
would rather read to learn than
listen to learn.
Tactile learners prefer to learn
by doing. They learn best when they
are allowed to use their hands and
sense of touch to learn new information
and apply new skills.
What is a THINKING STYLE? (Take
our Free Thinking Style Indicator)
A thinking style is how you process
information most efficiently (and naturally).
(or "sequential thinkers") prefer a
structured approach when processing
information. If instructions use a sequenced
format (i.e. Step A, Step B, Step C,
etc.) strong linear thinkers will feel
more comfortable starting "Step B"
only after "Step A" has been
completed. Overall, linear thinkers
like predictability and consistency.
Mathematics & Accounting are linear-oriented
(or "strategic thinkers")
are more comfortable with new information
if they can put it into context with
the big picture. They also tend to be
impatient with linear subjects and step-by-step
instructions - they prefer access to
all the information (early on) so they
can relate it to their overall goals.
Philosophy & Literature are global-oriented
THINK ABOUT IT
Planning a "Road Trip"
They plan out every detail.
(i.e. they will determine
the location of restaurants, roads to
travel, items to bring)
They get in the car and drive.
they will determine the destination
and deal with any issues along the way)
Toys, or Electronics
They neatly lay out all the parts and
carefully read the instructions before
starting the assembly.
They look at a picture of the assembled
product and try to put it together like
a jigsaw puzzle.
(i.e. "this piece looks
like it fits here, this piece probably
goes over here...").
Of course, it would be nearly impossible for
a person to possess only one learning style
- or be strictly a linear or global thinker
- and still be able to function adequately in
our complex world. Even if you have a dominant
style, at some point you will need to incorporate
a variety of learning and thinking styles to
complete certain tasks. For example, when
determining how much to tip a waiter or waitress,
you must use linear skills (to calculate the
percentage for the tip), and global skills
(to judge the quality of service.
What game do you like to play the most? What
part of that game was the easiest for you to
learn? As you think about it, you will notice
that you incorporate your own personal thinking
style into how you learn (and play) your favorite
games. A golfer with a strong linear
preference, for example, will have a set
routine before each swing and focus intently
on the mechanics of the game. A golfer
with a strong global preference tends
to be more of a "feel" player and pay less attention
to the numerous details of the golf swing.
Of course, it doesn't have to be a game; it
can be a hobby, or even a work-related task.
Think of your personal thinking style as your
personal aptitude, something that comes relatively
natural to you.
But what about those boring and tedious tasks
you tend to avoid? The first step is to examine
how you usually complete those tasks. You might
be using a technique that someone else taught
you - a technique that worked for your instructor,
but may not match your particular way of thinking.
If so, consider what you ultimately want to
achieve, then re-invent the process using your
own learning and thinking style. At first, it
may seem a bit awkward because we're all accustomed
to following instructions from others, but if
you make small changes in the process as you
go, the transition to your own style will feel
more natural. Equally important, as you apply
your own way of thinking to each task, the process
becomes less of a chore, and even a personal
challenge on how to do it better each time.
MAKE IT EASY ON YOURSELF
Despite the known benefits of using one's personal
learning and thinking style, adults often neglect
using their strongest style when learning new
information. In fact, many adults still follow
the standardized way of learning they were taught
in elementary school. But don't blame
the school system entirely, it was designed
to educate as many children as possible, as
quickly as possible, and as inexpensively as
possible - a very difficult assignment, to say
Of course, generic learning in today's fast-paced
world is not practical. How quickly you learn
and process information will determine how valuable
you are to your employer, and how successful
you will be in managing your time and resources
well into the future.
COMMUNICATING WITH STYLE
WHERE WE COME IN
how to learn and process new information efficiently
is only the first step. Unless you're
stranded on a desert island and only talk to
a volleyball named "Wilson", you need to know
how to effectively communicate new information.
Therefore, you should always consider the learning
and thinking styles of the people you communicate
with. Do you know someone that "needs"
to hear all the details before making a decision
- or maybe someone whom quickly loses interest
if you provide too many details during a conversation?
Essentially, you need to hit the
of the people you communicate with (e.g. provide
details to a linear thinker and provide concepts
to a global thinker). In the end, when
you provide others the information they need
- in a format that's natural to them - they
will be more receptive to your message and more
likely to remember what you say or write.
we can show you how to take advantage of your
personal learning and thinking style, and how
to communicate with others whom have different
styles. We can also show you how to personally
"cross-over" to a style that's not natural to
you. After all, there will be times at
work, home, or school when you need to leave
your thinking comfort zone to
learn and communicate new information. Knowing
how to seamlessly adapt to a new way of doing
something will reduce your stress, and improve
your overall efficiency and effectiveness.
Because we recognize that everyone has their
own unique style, our programs do not involve
rigid models or formulas that must be followed
without deviation. Life is full of deviations;
therefore, we'll show you a variety of flexible
strategies so you can select which strategies
work best for your personal learning and thinking
style. And as you already know, if you're
comfortable with a particular strategy, you
will continue to use it.
If you have questions, contact us at (800)
692-1727 or at
Or, to learn more about each of our programs,
visit the web page that fits your particular