By Jason W. Womack, MEd, MA
When you’re meeting with someone—for example, a new customer or a potential vendor—you will get more from that meeting if you understand learning preferences. During a discussion, I once heard a client say, “I have a clear picture of what you’re talking about.” I did not understand—we were on the phone, and I hadn’t sent anything to look at ahead of time.
I knew that people have different learning preferences but didn’t really think too much about it. But by mixing the following three learning style preferences together, you will all get more from the next discussion:
Visual: People who “can picture it” or “see what you’re saying” like to have something to look at. Print a document or make a slide to gain their attention.
Auditory: People who “hear it once and understand.” Share a concise story that outlines the topic of the meeting so they can listen and gain a clearer understanding.
Kinesthetic: People who have to “get it” or “feel it” to understand. Ask them to underline key words in a handout, write certain notes or phrases down, or get up and walk to the other side of the room as they think about something.
The next time you meet with someone, plan to share information in all three ways. And pay special attention to what they tell you. During the conversation, listen carefully as they might tell you how they believe they learn best.