What Kind of Learner Are You?

There is SO much information out there. How do you actually absorb it though?

Information flows more rapidly and in more mediums than at any time in our history.  As communication devices continue to evolve, the ways in which we see, hear, or even touch the information will continue to become more diverse.  But regardless of the size and volume of such information, the way we interpret and then learn really can be broken down into three main categories - visual learning, auditory learning, and kinesthetic learning.

What is the purpose of communication?

When we communicate with others, our intent is usually to bridge a learning gap. Because of this our success (or failure) will be impacted greatly by whether we understand the natural learning style of the other party to the communication.  What if their preferred method is different than yours? For your communication to be effective, you must adapt. This can be somewhat simple in two-way communication, but what do we do when we’re trying to deliver a message across varying types of learners? Let’s examine each learning style to see how they learn best.

In a recent article on Thoughtco.com, the learning styles were well described as follows:


Visual learners want to SEE the information.

They learn best by reading, often alone. They also like presentations, notes or slides or following along with some sort of written word.

These learners are usually organized and can visualize things in their head based on what they read. They like to understand and follow directions.


Auditory learners want to HEAR the information.

They learn best by listening to a lecture or other group members speak the information. Reading aloud is more effective than reading to themselves. Participating and speaking out loud helps cement ideas.

They pick up on a lot of context from people’s voices, tones and the way they speak. They are best tested in more of a story telling manner, good at writing responses or responding vocally. They work well in groups.


Kinesthetic learners want to MOVE while learning.

They learn best through role play, trial and error or experimenting. Doodling, fidgeting and bouncing a ball helps them concentrate on learning new things as well.

They are often coordinated, energetic and involved. They receive things quickly in the right environment and are comfortable trying things out to learn more.

What type of learner do you think you are? Do you like to read, listen to presentations or engage in activity while learning? Maybe a mix?

At 12five, we put in effort in all our engagements to try to understand the learning style of our team members, our clients, our partners, and our vendors.  We listen for key words they use when we’re speaking with them, we look for key words when we’re reading email, text messages, or other written communications, and we try to pick up on descriptive phraseology used by kinesthetic learners. 

Why? When we feel confident that we have a good identification of how someone else learns it leads to clear communication and makes us more present in our communications. When we communicate across a broad spectrum of learners, we tailor the delivery of messaging and communications in a manner that hits the three communication styles in some way.  We like to think our mindfulness of the different learning styles is just one of the ways that 12five is Happily Different.

Consider this the next time you communicate with someone who may learn differently than you do!

Liz WhittenComment