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What is your learning style and what does it say about you?

28/01 2016Posted by: npower Resourcing Team Subscribe to this blog


If it’s true that you never stop learning, then it’s vital to understand your personal learning style and how this can guide you through your career. Each of us learns differently and relies (consciously or not) on different strengths to absorb and comprehend new information. So how can you harness these learning quirks and turn them into strengths?

In this instalment of a two-part series on learning styles and careers, we explore how you can identify and apply your learning style to make you a force to be reckoned with in the workplace.

Identifying your learning style

Though there are myriad sub-categories and overlapping features, the general umbrella of learning styles can be broken down into four main categories. While there’s no right or wrong style for any person or occupation, some features lend themselves more strongly to particular jobs. You’ll likely use a little of each style in your daily learning, but by identifying which one you rely on most you may develop workplace techniques that are more suited to you, as well as developing your weaker areas to improve the speed and efficiency at which you learn.

Visual learners are those who identify, comprehend and remember information that they see. According to RMIT University, they prefer to read and write information down rather than simply listening to it, with diagrams, pictures, videos and demonstrations all favoured. They typically don’t retain as much information when it’s communicated verbally and learn best simply by observing.

Aural learners do best when listening to information, discussing and questioning it. They’re good listeners who follow verbal instructions and often contribute to talks on the information they’re being given, as discussion helps them to understand concepts and ideas. They may find themselves reading aloud and relying on tone of voice and vocal emphasis to discover more about what is being communicated. Sound and music are key for these workers.

Verbal (reading/writing) learners love words and language, whether written or spoken. They’re likely to take notes and easily reproduce what they’ve learned into concise and easily understandable sentences. This type of learner is typically creative in their language use and may relish the chance to read, write, learn new languages and play word games. They prefer using spoken or written materials in their work.

Kinaesthetic learners like to physically do things, involving themselves in activities in order to learn more about them. Like visual learners, they benefit from demonstrations, but take them one step further by preferring to have an active role. They’re hands-on and rely on practice rather than theory, remembering things that they did rather than those they saw or heard.

If you’re still unsure which style you identify with, you may find the VARK Questionnaire helpful.

Once you’ve got a handle on your learning style/s, it’s time to apply these to your career path. Check out our second article in this series here.
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