Cool People Doing Great Things with 4MAT: Daisy Asiimwe Byarugaba of Compassion International

Daisy Asiimwe Byarugaba, EAA Learning and Support Specialist, Program Communications at Compassion International, partnered with Dennis Mugimba (whom we met last month) in applying 4MAT during our recent 4MAT Instructional Design Fundamentals online course.

What are you working on? How are you using 4MAT in this work?
I worked on a team assignment with Dennis Mugimba (one of my colleagues) in using 4MAT to design a training on HPI and performance management. The 4MAT training was timely because we were able to use this approach in instructional design that married a number of concepts that we would ordinarily have handled separately. I have also been working with our global learning team to design sessions for a tours management summit which is beginning today in Colorado Springs.

What have you discovered lately that has positively impacted the results you are creating through the learning experiences you design?
Oh my goodness, so many things!  Given that I had only been a learning professional for a year at the time I begun the training, one of the most important things for me was is the importance of being systematic in designing a learning experience that is impactful. Although I knew intuitively the importance of having the learner in mind and have always designed my sharings (again intuitively) on the 4 quadrants, I had never fully realized that one can actually address all four aspects in a training.

The other was that one must always follow the cycle while delivering learning, but not when designing the sessions (that was quite the eye opener). I also learned the importance of not delivering learning for its own sake (information transfer) but for visible and measurable transformation – hence the critical importance of evaluation of learning.

What’s your favorite quote? Why?
My all time favorite quote is “If men could only know each other, they would neither idolize nor hate.” ~Elbert Hubbard.

I love this quote because it reminds me that people are people wherever we go – it doesn’t matter what the race, size, creed or stature is. We often admire or hate people from a stand point of ignorance/not having a full picture of who they really are and it is only when we see people as people … that we are able to fully appreciate and work with/impact them appropriately. It also reminds me that in the school of life, anyone can be my teacher, not just the people I like and admire.


Understanding Learning Styles Using 4MAT

When you combine the perceiving preference for feeling or thinking with the processing preference for watching or doing, you discover four distinct preference combinations. These four combinations are the foundation of the 4MAT learning styles model and the 4MAT learning styles descriptions:

Learning Styles

Source: Engage, The Trainer’s Guide to Learning Styles (Wiley 2012)

Perceiving Preferences in the 4MAT Learning Styles Model: Perceiving and Processing

Two primary actions define learning: perceiving and processing. The 4MAT Learning Type Measure assesses individual learning style preferences for taking in and making meaning of new information.

  • Perceiving refers to the act of taking in information through our senses
  • Processing refers to how we make meaning of that information

By this definition, when we read an email, sit in a meeting, or talk to colleague, you are learning.

How do you prefer to take in information?
Some of us prefer to take in information experientially. “Feelers” enjoy being immersed in an experience. Feelers take in information from an “inside” place. They rely heavily on their own experience and intuition. They prefer to be personally involved in a learning experience. You will see these preferences in action in a classroom situation. Feelers like to hear and share stories. They enjoy dialogue and group activities. Are you a feeler?

Other learners prefer to take in information intellectually. “Thinkers” prefer to read, research, or learn from an expert source. Thinkers prefer to take in information from an “outside” place. They enjoy structured, well-organized presentation of information. You will see these preferences in action in a classroom learning situation. Thinkers prefer well-researched data, concepts and organized lecture. Are you a thinker?

Source: Engage, The Trainer’s Guide to Learning Styles (Wiley 2012)

From Engage, The Trainer’s Guide to Learning Styles: Handling “Negative” Dialogue


Engage, The Trainer’s Guide to Learning Styles
Purchase your copy

Trainers often share that one of the greatest fears of encouraging dialogue is maintaining focus on the content being explored. Trainers often ask, “What if it goes off-track? What if they start to complain about things I can’t do anything about?”

The only way we can tap into the learner’s commitment to the content is to welcome the dialogue. The dialogue will tell you what the learners are committed to. In Seven Languages for Transformation: How the Way We Talk Can Change the Way We Work, authors Kegan and Lahey share, “… people only complain about something because they are committed to the value or importance of something else.” (Kegan and Lahey, 2001, p. 30). When a learners says he is upset about one thing, what he is really telling you is that he is committed to something else. It’s your job to figure out what that is. Rather than thinking about how you address the complaint, focus on the bigger message being delivered. The opposite of what we complain about is what we want. With each complaint, the learner is giving up the key to engagement—what it is he truly wants to create.

Source: Engage, The Trainer’s Guide to Learning Styles (Wiley 2012)

Perceiving Preferences in the 4MAT Learning Styles Model

The 4MAT Learning Type Measure assesses learning style preferences in how we take in and make meaning of new information.

Once we take in information, we process the information. We make sense of it. Some of us linger in reflection. “Watchers” prefer to reflect before moving into action. Watchers like to understand the information. They want to make sense of what they are experiencing before deciding how to act upon this new information. You will see these preferences in a learning situation. The watchers will hang back and observe. The will ask clarifying questions. They will be more reflective as they approach learning activities. They like to see things unfold before jumping in. Are you a watcher?

4MAT Learning Styles Model

Others prefer to jump into action. “Doers” are imagining how they will use the information you are sharing. They will be quick to move into activity, sometimes disregarding the directions. They will finish quickly. And, they will have little interest in content that doesn’t seem to be practical. Are you a doer?

In any learning experience, you will find watchers and doers. The key is to balance the needs of both simultaneously.

Source: Engage, The Trainer’s Guide to Learning Styles (Wiley 2012)

Cool People Doing Great Things with 4MAT: Dennis Kagimba Mugimba of Compassion International

Compassion International exists as a Christian child advocacy ministry focused on supporting the needs of children throughout the world. The Compassion International learning team began using 4MAT online courses to certify their global instructor team in 2009. Dennis Kagimba Mugimba, Child Survival Program Specialist based in Uganda, recently completed certification in the 4MAT Instructional Design Fundamentals online course.

What are you working on? How are you using 4MAT in this work?

This 4MAT training came in handy at a time when our work-team was in the preparations for rolling out the Human Performance Improvement (HPI) model to the Field staff we support in the five East African countries of Rwanda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda. We had drawn up some training plans for this rollout training prior to the 4MAT training. However, following the 4MAT training, we felt compelled by the knowledge we had acquired to completely overhaul our earlier plans and return to the drawing board. Everyone on our work-team as well as Management is quite pleased with the new look of Instructional Design that we have come up with – so, well done 4MAT for equipping us.

What have you discovered lately that has positively impacted the results you are creating through the learning experiences you design?

The greatest discovery during this training was the realization that even though we all learn differently because we are wired uniquely, with proper training and skill, the trainer can facilitate learning in a way that addresses the various learning styles/preferences of the learners. By the end of the training, I felt more empowered and equipped to be a better facilitator of learning. From the home-front, through this training, I also became more intentional in trying to understand how my children learn. I have realized Elizabeth likes to be given instructions, Grace-Joy prefers to be shown how to do something before she can go it alone, whereas Christina has no patience for instructions; she simply jumps into the fray!

What’s your favorite quote? Why?

Without a shadow of a doubt, Bernice McCarthy’s quote “The tension between these two ways of perceiving, feeling and thinking, is the central dynamic in learning. So the real issue in learning is how to balance being subject to our feelings with relating to our feelings as object.” is my favorite quote during the class.

The next session of 4MAT Instructional Design Fundamentals begins on October 5, 2012.

4MAT Interview with Julia Watt, Corporate Cosmetic Sales Director, Dillard’s

What have you discovered lately that has positively impacted the results you are creating through the learning experiences you design?
The idea of “begin with the end in mind” has become my compass for education and conversations.  By being crystal clear on the outcome the learner wants to see, and the outcome I want to see, we are able to move much more effectively through the learning cycle.

What are you working on? How are you using 4MAT in this work?  
Our “big rocks!” Each of our managers have identified an area of their business where measurable improvement will elevate our guests’ experience … and … our business! By going narrow, yet deep in one area, we are identifying the belief (4MAT Engage step), knowledge (4MAT Share step), skills (4MAT Practice step), and refinement (4MAT Perform step) needed to move the needle. We are using 4MAT through all communication avenues … huddles, meetings, one-to-ones, education, leadership. 4MAT causes us to ask four questions about the “big rock”: Why is this rock important to our business? What do we know for sure? How will we make it work? And what is the commitment we want to celebrate?

What’s your favorite quote? Why?
Oh my, the hardest question of all! I do love quotes! While my favorite can change throughout the day, here is one that speaks to the urgency of my life: “I get up every morning determined both to change the world and to have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning the day difficult.” ~E.B.White

What are you consuming (eating, reading, buying, taking in) these days? 
Food consumption = A salad and Chick-fil-a sweet iced tea, almost every day of my life! Reading = The Advantage, by Patrick Lencioni. He has a wonderful perspective on the ability of healthy organizations to unify management, operations and culture.

What do you think that we should be paying more attention to? 
Is there trust?  If so, the rest is a walk in the park.

Leading and Coaching from the Inside Out

Look around and you’ll notice most brands communicate from the outside in: they define themselves in terms of what they do.

Look closely at brands that inspire you and inspire your loyalty, and you will likely find that they communicate in quite the opposite way: from the inside out. They speak in terms of “why.” Truly inspiring companies invest much more of their time communicating their “why,” and much less on their “what” and “how.” The recently popular MAC vs PC ads are a great example of the difference in selling “why” we do what we do versus “what” we do.

A powerful “why” is the catalyst to action. A problem that many businesses face is having a “how” and “what,” but no clear “why.” The “how” is the action taken to produce something and the “what” is the product we offer, the result of our action. Without a clear sense of “why” the “how” and “what” are often unclear and uninspiring.

On a personal level, this would be like saying you plan to write a best-selling book (the “how”) in order to gain fame and fortune (the “what”) but you have no idea what to write about or what you want to say—a total absence of “why.” A clear and compelling “why” is an essential ingredient to successful action.

Think about this in terms of leading and coaching others. Sharing “what I need you to do” and “how I would like you to do it” and “if this happens, be prepared to …” may be enough to equip others to act. But, to inspire others to act, you have to facilitate a conversation around the “Why.”

We follow leaders who start with “Why.”

Download this chart

If you would like to explore bringing the 4MAT Lead and Coach workshop to your team, contact us at or 866.888.4628.

4MAT Activity: Team Visioning Session

A departmental team begins an annual strategic planning session by completing a “Team Visioning” session. Team members are invited to reflect on how they can contribute fully to the vision process by completing a series of three statements:

  • The value of my perspective lies in…
  • My vision is…
  • My biggest hope for this process is…

Each team member then creates a visual collage which represents his or her responses to the statements. The group begins the planning session with each team member explaining his or her collage.


Focus: Visual processing exercise designed to encourage personal reflection and elicit sharing in partner and group exercises.


  1. Develop the statements to be completed by learners as they develop their collage. See examples of prompt statements mentioned earlier.
  2. Instruct learners to use the materials provided to create visual representations of their personal responses to the prompt.
  3. Invite learners to form small groups to share their collages.

Trainer Script:
“To encourage reflection, I am going to invite you to reflect upon the following: <share question or prompt>. On the table in the back of the room, you will find images and the necessary tools needed to create a visual representation of your reflections. Your task is to create a visual collage that you will use to share your insights with the group.”

Resources Needed:

  • Magazines with colorful images and interesting headlines
  • Poster boards or personal journals
  • Scissors
  • Glue sticks


4MAT Interview with Sheryl Holladay of Aveda Services Northwest

Meet Sheryl Holladay. Sheryl is the Executive Director of Salon/Spa Development  for Aveda Services Northwest. In her role, Sheryl uses 4MAT to coach, train and develop her sales team to support the business growth of the salon/spa customers they serve (with impressive results showing up).

What have you discovered lately that has positively impacted the results you are creating using 4MAT?
I am coaching more than I ever have before.  I had my entire team create vision boards in one of our meetings … it is powerful for them to really have a pulse on their desires and for me to know what those goals and desires are.  I have had them bring the boards back for an update and it is so amazing how much they have already achieved and some have made a second one. Visualization has been my driving tool this year.

What are you working on? How are you using 4MAT in this work?
I use 4MAT in all the meeting preparation I do and now I have incorporated it into my thinking about problems and strategy.  How will I connect to the issue, what steps are necessary to address my topic, how can I get people to DO something and finally can we make it bigger and can we track results?  That’s the process I use in my mind as I am in the planning mode.  I am passionate about my work in developing talent of my team, as well as, helping salons develop their teams.  I am often asked to speak to salon teams … I use 4MAT for all my planning.  It helps me strategize and plan.

What’s your favorite quote? Why?
“Life is a mirror and will reflect back to the thinker what he thinks into it.” We become our thoughts.

 What are you consuming (eating, reading, buying, taking in) these days?
I’m consuming lots of organic foods these days. I am about 90% organic while at home…it’s harder to do while traveling.  I am consuming very little these days in the way of “stuff”, my mantra has been to become lean, both my body and my belongings.  I moved a few years ago into a much smaller home, it’s amazing how little I actually need, I went from a huge walk-in closet (that I filled up) to a much smaller one, it is comforting to know I don’t “need” things.  I buy much higher quality items and fewer of them.

I am taking in lots of music these days, I’m getting away from talking on the phone the entire time I am in the car to actually listening to music again.  I have made it a habit to go back to the “good old days” when I used to buy albums … now I download music once a month faithfully.  I use Pandora and Shizam to find new music … I’m listening to Cake and Lady Antebellum right now.

What do you think that we all should be paying more attention to?
Art – I saw a very cool saying on Pinterest: “The earth without ART is just Eh.”  For me, it’s about finding beauty as I am driving, taking lots of pictures and compiling beauty albums that I can use to paint, draw or frame.  I drive a lot in my role and I live in one of the most beautiful areas of the world…Northern California, so I am paying attention to everyday beauty and interesting people.

The Olympics – I love to watch champions strive for excellence … it is so inspiring!

What’s rocking your world today?
Love – I know it sounds corny, but I am in love and it has been a very long time since I have known this amazing emotion.  Having someone that loves me and that I love and adore is truly empowering.  I have been single so long that I developed an internal belief that I can do it all alone … I am strong, self sufficient and can take on the world.  It is so interesting to know that I am all that AND can be vulnerable too … WOW! Vulnerability is so strong to me now.