“Every­one learns dif­fer­ent­ly” is a phrase we have all heard at some time in our edu­ca­tion­al endeav­ors. It may have been over­heard from your par­ents as they explained to your teacher why you have to get up and move all the time dur­ing class. You may have heard it said in high school as a com­mu­ni­ca­tions teacher gave you exam­ples of learn­ing styles. This phrase may have even been said recent­ly as you sat through a lead­er­ship sem­i­nar at work as the pre­sen­ter encour­aged you to speak to the dif­fer­ent learn­ers you will encounter at the office. What­ev­er the case, it’s true! Now, let’s learn!

Three Types of Learners

  1. Visu­al—This is the biggest pop­u­la­tion of learn­ers out there. A whop­ping 65% of peo­ple say they best learn with visu­al aids. These learn­ers will be the ones doo­dling dur­ing your meet­ing or tak­ing copi­ous notes. They are the group that says, “Don’t read it to me. I need to see it.” Your cre­ative types in the office will most like­ly fall into this category.
  2. Audi­to­ry—Our next learn­ing group (30%) is made up of those learn­ers that need to hear it out loud to retain infor­ma­tion. As you inter­act with and lead your audi­to­ry learn­ers, remem­ber that your voice is impor­tant to their under­stand­ing of the sub­ject mat­ter. Fluc­tu­ate your tone and pitch. Ask open-end­ed ques­tions so that they can ver­bal­ize deliv­ered infor­ma­tion. And, most impor­tant­ly, this group learns best in dis­cus­sions and oral presentation.
  3. Kines­thet­ic—Move it or lose it (their atten­tion). Kines­thet­ic learn­ers make up only 5% of the pop­u­la­tion but they are prob­a­bly the group you notice the most. Why? Because they will be the ones that can­not sit still dur­ing a meet­ing or train­ing. They thrive on move­ment so give them a team chal­lenge to rein­force your train­ing sub­ject mat­ter. Make sure you are also giv­ing this group lots of breaks in your train­ing time.

How to Make This Work Remotely

The work­force has dis­played a great abil­i­ty to work remote­ly with a report­ed 17% of com­pa­nies mov­ing to work-from-home orga­ni­za­tions. This work-from-home mod­el does have a draw­back, though, in that it is more dif­fi­cult to train employ­ees with dif­fer­ent learn­ing styles. But this doesn’t have to be the case!

Help­ful Tips to Train­ing Three Types of Learners

  1. When you are cre­at­ing mate­ri­als for train­ings, make sure you cre­ate things that appeal to all three learn­ers but don’t lean too hard on one style.
  2. Your resources should be eas­i­ly acces­si­ble from a home office (email) and con­tent eas­i­ly digestible. Remem­ber, though, that not all learn­ers can retain infor­ma­tion in writ­ten form so make sure there’s an option for visu­al and kines­thet­ic styles.
  3. Recre­ate the socia­bil­i­ty of the in-per­son office for the remote office. Encour­age online meet­ing web­sites for teams such as Zoom and Skype. This allows your employ­ees the chance to see their cowork­ers face to face and retains camaraderie.
  4. Offer con­tin­u­ing edu­ca­tion through online train­ing sites such as lessonly.com. This site appeals to the three learn­ing styles by train­ing through video (visu­al learn­er), spo­ken word (audi­to­ry learn­er), and move­ment (kines­thet­ic learn­er: typ­ing, mov­ing mouse, etc.).

With three types of learn­ers, it is often over­whelm­ing for train­ers as they pre­pare for and deliv­er their edu­ca­tion­al ses­sions. How­ev­er, it is not impos­si­ble! By iden­ti­fy­ing the type of learn­er you’ll inter­act with, you can pre­pare sup­port­ive mate­ri­als that best speak to each group. Visu­al, Audi­to­ry, and Kines­thet­ic learn­ers have one thing in common—they are eager to work and con­tribute to their company.