Learning Styles

Imagine you want to tell someone how to use your new product. Do you show them? Do you just tell them about it? Do you let them actually experience using it? When you understand communication styles, you’ll know which approach works best.
Have you ever explained something to someone and they caught on quickly and easily? Then you explained the same thing in the same way to someone else and they were unable to grasp your idea? When you understand communication styles, then you’ll know why this is happening and what you can do about it!

What & Why &

In the last 50 years, numerous typologies have been developed as a tool to help us understand the diversity of human thinking and behaving which in turn enables us to communicate more effectively.
Even though we all perceive the world through our 5 senses, research shows that we have preferred modalities (sensory perception). These preferences deeply affect our ability to understand, learn and communicate. The 3 modalities are visual, auditory and kinesthetic.
When we interact with others, we want to express our thoughts so that our listeners can understand us. They are likely to grasp our message more easily if we use, for example, a picture for the visual, or the opportunity to speak for the auditory or movement for the kinesthetic. Conversely, we – as listeners – are more likely to understand others when we know what our preferred modality is.
The goal is to provide balanced communication by adapting to individual preferences. When we communicate only in our preferred modality – which may be different from our listener’s – , the interaction is not aligned and the communication is hampered or it breaks down completely.
There are nonverbal and verbal indicators which tell us about a person’s preferred modality.
When we have learned these, we can adjust our communication accordingly. For example, the visual tends to use “seeing” words (see list below) and to have a stiff posture, blink frequently and is disturbed any excessive movement. Someone with a kinesthetic preference, who likes to move around and uses “feeling” vocabulary (see below), will need to adapt these in order to be on the same wave length with their visual partner.

Who benefits

This is fundamentally important for everyone and most especially if you are a professional where communication is an important part of your job.

You learn

• 3 sensory styles: visual, auditory, kinesthetic
• more about Felder & Soloman styles; global, sequential, intuitive, reflective
• your own preferred modality
• to determine preferences by observing the verbal and the non-verbal indicators of others
• to adapt to each of these spontaneously
• to establish rapport and then guide your listener
• more empathy and understanding
• more balance in your own communication style
• to stretch beyond your preferences and
• open yourself up to different ways of perceiving the world
• improve your ability to absorb new information and to make sense of it quickly, accurately, and effectively
• to make better decisions and choose better courses of action
• to communicate your message in a way that many more people can follow you
• to break out of your comfort zone
• to assimilate information and make sense of what is happening more quickly

© Copyright 2023 - AOC - ART OF COMMUNICATION / Kathleen Brandhofer-Bryan