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Learning Styles – Are you the visual, auditory or kinesthetic type?

The world today is all about soft skills. Every Tom, Dick and Harry can complete his education and training and constitute his hard skills. Soft skills, however, are much more elusive. A PMA attitude or adaptability are not exactly traits that can be easily acquired. They are more akin to characteristics, predisposition we either have or not. Fortunately, this is not the case with all soft skills. The majority of them can indeed be acquired by learning and practising.

One of these is the ability to learn quickly. Many reading this will contest this fact immediately and their scepticism is understandable: The make up of our societies and educational systems, nowadays, does indeed suggest subliminally that people are born clever or less clever and cannot change that. It cannot be denied that there is a sort of predisposition in play here, Albert Einstein for instance was doubtlessly born with a better genetic disposition for quick learning than most of us. However, as many a social worker will affirm, most people that fall through educational systems are not in fact dumb, but have a rarer learning style than most people and have given up before figuring that out.

Even if you have made your way far with conventional learning methods, you may indirectly be subject to the same problem. If you are a mixed type, you can learn quite well without ever finding out that another way of learning would be more beneficial for you. This is where this article comes in: Read through the profiles of the learning styles and decide which suits you the most and which suit you at least partly. Then read through the tips, you might be surprised how much quicker a learner you will become by doing nothing more than changing your methods.

Visual Style

Most people learn best using a visual style. Visual types retain the written word easily and learn well with graphs, charts, pictures and just watching something in general. Understanding body language comes easily to them and they have an eye for aesthetics. If you are a visual type, you should avoid distractions and work with mind maps and colour coding. For learning vocabulary, flash cards can be very helpful.

Auditory Style

Being suited for auditory style learning means that you retain the spoken word easily both if you are speaking or listening. Auditory types notice different aspects of speaking really quickly and can often concentrate better with soft wordless music in the background. If you are an auditory type, you should try to record lectures so that you can listen to them again. Repeating learning material out loud and discussing it will help you immensely.

Kinesthetic Style

People best suited for kinesthetic style are rare. They prefer the hands-on approach and will always choose a demonstration over an explanation. Kinesthetic types enjoy group work most of all working modes. If you are a kinesthetic type, you should take regular breaks and live by the motto “learning by doing”. It will help you to pursue a physical activity while learning. Chew a chewing gum when studying, cycle on an indoor bike while reading, etc. At school and university you should opt for courses with a lot of demonstrations and fieldwork.

Hopefully, this article could help, so that you can add “quick learner” to your soft skill list in your CV.

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