In case you didn’t realize it, not everyone works in the same way. Our individual learning styles have a lot to do with the way we work. People who have learned to work with their learning styles often excel at their jobs or businesses, while people who work against their learning style often see their productivity diminish over time. There are times where our productivity level at work may decrease because we are tired, uninterested, or just plain lazy. However, when we aim to know more about ourselves and the way that we work best, we can often combat these problems. This article will help you find out what kind of learner you are and what you can do to increase your productivity and be a top performer at your workplace.
Visual learners like to use pictures or images to communicate information to others. This also means that they best learn when they can visualize something in their heads. For example, you can easily “see” how the steps of a project plan will play out in the real world. Because of your visual abilities, you can increase your productivity at work or in your business by doing the following:
- Using mind-maps and structural diagrams to plan projects or illustrate a point. This will help you avoid tripping up on words and help you visualize what needs to be done so that you can do it faster.
- Use a map when you are attending a business meeting at a place that you are not familiar with. Using directions with words may be more confusing to you.
- Use storyboards when you are explaining a real-world situation that involves action. For example, you may need to draw a visual representation when you are creating a to-do list for the day or explaining an interaction you had with a business partner.
Someone who is a verbal learner works best with words. Whether they are reading, writing, or speaking them, these learners have a much easier time expressing themselves with words. Verbal learners also find it easy to pick up new words and phrases when reading or in conversation with others. If a verbal learner wants to be more productive at work or in business, he or she should do the following:
- Find a way to incorporate more verbal activity into your workday. Talk to your employees or co-workers about projects, or write them detailed emails.
- When you attend meetings or hear important information, make sure that you write everything down so that you can have another way to remember what you have heard.
- Use acronyms when possible. As a verbal learner, this will help you bring meaning and understanding to what you are doing.
- Use verbal role-playing in order to demonstrate real-world techniques with your employees or colleagues. This especially helpful when practicing sales or marketing tactics, as it will help you teach or remember what to say or how to communicate information during those types of activities.
Aural learners are all about the sound in the environment. These types of people usually like the elements of music, sound, and rhythm. Sound is usually an emotional experience for them, so they are deeply affected by what they hear. If you are an aural learner, you can be more productive when you:
- Listen to music while you are working to help you “get into the mood” and focus on the task at hand. A writer may need to play soft music in order to relax, but someone in the Public Relations field may prefer more upbeat tunes to get them in to mood to talk to people.
- Use rhythm and rhyme to help you learn or remember important information. Big companies who advertise on television to this all the time. Think about how many jingles you have heard that can help you remember phone numbers!
If you are a logical learner, everything you do is all about making connections and seeing patterns. These people tend to be good with anything that involves math because they like projects that allow them to use their reasoning skills. Logical learners are not satisfied with taking things at face value, so they must dig deeper in order to properly analyze things. If a logical learner wants to ensure productivity in the workplace, they can take the following steps:
- Aim to figure out the meaning and value behind everything you do. Because logical learners never settle for the surface, dig deeper into the material and learn all that you can.
- Create systems for yourself that make sense. As a logical learner, you thrive on patterns and connections. Use this to your advantage as you design schemes for project management, human resources, or any other area in your company that requires structured procedures.
- Don’t overanalyze things. Your logical need to know everything before taking action can sometimes slow your productivity!
The physical learner, sometimes referred to as a kinesthetic learner, generally likes to use body movement and touch to communicate and learn things. These learners often use hand gestures when they speak, and they find it hard to sit for long periods of time without getting up and moving around. Since they relate well to the physical things around them, physical learners can use the following techniques to improve productivity in the workplace:
- Use objects that you can touch in your demonstrations. This will better help you understand and relay information as you can touch the physical items around you.
- Schedule time in your day to exercise or at least get out and go for a walk. You’ll find it hard to concentrate and be productive if you try to sit in one place all day.
- Keep something in your hand (like a foam stress ball) to keep your body occupied throughout the day. This will allow you to expend your energy while also keeping you on track to finish your tasks.
Social learners are those that love to work with other people. They hate working alone, and they have a great way of communicating with a group of people and bringing them together to accomplish one goal. These people are almost always good listeners, and they do a great job at giving feedback and advice on any projects you may be working on. As a social learner, you can take the following advice to increase and maintain your productivity at work:
- Try to work on projects with other people as much as possible. This will help you stay focused on your shared goal.
- Share your work with others and get feedback on what you’ve accomplished. Even when you have to work on a project by yourself, this is a great way to use your social nature as a means to get better as you go along.
A solitary learner is much different from a social learner. These types of people prefer to work all by themselves. Solitary learners are generally self-starters who can work without supervision. They are thought-driven, and they thrive on being able to set a goal and outline the steps to achieve that goal. As a solitary learner, try the following methods to boost your productivity:
- Work on things that are of personal interest to you. If this isn’t possible, try to find something within your work that piques your interest.
- Make sure that you really believe in the project that you are working on. If you don’t really believe in it, you will find it hard to be inspired enough to be productive and follow through with it.
- Evaluate yourself and your goals each day. Solitary learners are introspective by nature, so you’ll increase your productivity when you reflect on how you’ve done and outline the necessary steps to improve your performance the next day.