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How to accommodate different learning styles in the workplace

by | Dec 22, 2022

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The workplace is an incredibly diverse and unique place, filled with different types of people from all walks of life. Each individual brings their own skills and experiences to the table that make them stand out from the rest. It’s important to recognise that everyone is special in their own way and should be respected for who they are. By embracing the uniqueness of each person, we can create a more productive and harmonious environment where everybody feels valued and appreciated. Let’s celebrate the diversity within our workplace by recognising how each one adds something special!

We understand that it can sometimes be difficult to understand others who are different from us, but with open communication and respect, we can learn more about those around us while still celebrating our differences. Diversity isn’t just accepted, it should be celebrated! By embracing the uniqueness of each person in our workplace, we can create a culture that is productive and enjoyable for everyone involved.

Diversity can be in many different forms. It can be cultural, religious, spiritual, even the way we think and learn.

What are the styles of learning?

The 7 different learning styles are Visual, Auditory, Verbal, Logical, Social, Solitary and Physical.

Visual Learners: These learners prefer to see information in order to understand it. They like charts, diagrams and visuals that illustrate the material they need to learn. They also benefit from reading summaries or overviews of material before diving into details.

Auditory Learners: Auditory learners prefer to hear information in order to understand it. They learn best when spoken instructions or explanations are given and can retain information for longer periods by repeating them out loud.

Verbal Learners: These learners prefer written words – words written on a page or heard aloud – to understand information. They benefit from reading textbooks and other materials, hearing lectures or discussions, and having conversations with others to help internalise new material.

Logical Learners: These learners like to use logic and reasoning in order to understand new concepts. They are often drawn to solving puzzles, working with numbers, or analysing data in order to make sense of the material they’re trying to learn.

Social Learners: Social learners prefer learning through collaboration with others. They need the support of their peers in order to fully comprehend new material, and lean on group discussions or activities for clarification on difficult topics.

Solitary Learners: As opposed to social learners, solitary learners learn best when they are alone and work independently. They often choose to study in a quiet, secluded place where they can focus on the material without interruption or distraction.

Physical Learners: Physical learners learn best when they use their hands and bodies to explore new concepts. These types of learners benefit from activities such as making models or drawing diagrams. They also thrive in interactive learning environments that allow them to move around, experiment with materials, and take part in hands-on activities.

No matter the learning style, it is important to find an approach that works best for each individual. With a bit of exploration, everyone can develop their own unique methods and strategies for successful learning.

How to accommodate different learning styles in the workplace

When it comes to workplace learning, one size does not fit all. Different learners have different needs and preferences related to how they like to absorb new information. To maximise the effectiveness of training programs, it’s important to recognise that everyone learns differently and accommodate their individual learning styles.

Some people are visual learners and find they take in more information when they can see visuals such as images or diagrams. Others may prefer audio-based approaches such as listening to podcasts or webinars, while some people learn best by reading text or doing hands-on activities.

Managers should work with employees on an individual basis to identify their preferred way of learning before rolling out any kind of training program. Survey tools can be used to collect information from employees on their preferred learning style as well as what kind of content they would like to cover during training.

By taking the time to understand each employee’s individual learning needs, it will be easier to develop a workplace training program that caters to everyone. This can help ensure that all training is effective and eases employees’ transition into new roles or environments, allowing them to reach their full potential in the workplace.

Don’t forget that learning doesn’t have to take place only in a classroom style setting – there are plenty of other opportunities for employees to learn and grow at work, such as attending seminars or workshops, participating in team-building activities, or shadowing experienced colleagues. All of these activities can help build a better-informed, more capable workplace environment.

By catering to individual learning styles, employers can ensure that their employees are given the best chance at succeeding in their roles and making a positive contribution to the business. This can lead to improved job satisfaction, increased productivity and a more positive working culture overall

Learning styles and thinking styles

Similar to how we all learn differently, we all actually think differently too. It’s important to accommodate different types of thinkers too, just like how we need to accommodate different types of learners in the workplace. The HBDI® is based on the Whole Brain® Model, a metaphor for how people tend to use their brains and how their thinking works. In the Whole Brain® Model, thinking falls into four preference clusters of equal importance that everyone has access to: 

The Upper Left Blue A Quadrant: specialises in logical, analytical, quantitative, fact-based thinking. 

The Lower Left Green B Quadrant: focuses on details and specialises in planning, organising, and sequencing information. 

The Lower Right Red C Quadrant: places a priority on feelings and the interpersonal, emotional and kinaesthetic aspects of a situation. 

The Upper Right Yellow D Quadrant: synthesises and integrates information and is more intuitive and holistic in its thinking.

If you want to learn more about how Whole Brain® Thinking and the HBDI® can help you and your organisation, have a look at how it works here or get in touch and we’ll help you find the right solution.

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