We all perceive and then process our experiences, along with the information gained from the experiences. The differences in thewe approach these two activities define our learning style.
Perceiving: how we take in information-through experiences, reading, listening, visualizing or other sensory modes
Processing: how we determine the meaning, store and retrieve information-reflecting, watching, jumping in and doing, sitting back and observing
These differences define our learning style. Type One learners are feelers and watchers. Type Two learners are watchers and thinkers. Type Three learners are thinkers and doers. Type Four learners are doers and feelers. Your learning style influences your communication, coaching, leading and training style.
Learning is so much more than classroom instruction. Reading an email, meeting, coaching, communicating are all learning processes. Our preferences impact how we engage and disengage in every situation that involves taking in and processing information.
I was recently in Minneapolis having a birthday dinner celebration with friends. We were at a great little bistro that allowed us to look out the window onto the street. My friend said, “Oh look, it’s snowing. Big, fat snowflakes.” Her husband said, “That’s definitely Cary Grant snow.” The conversation continued with the naming of the snow. They have quite a snow vocabulary in Minnesota. As a Louisiana girl, snow is snow. We see it every 2o years or so and it all looks the same–amazing.
This year, we experienced snow in South Louisiana for the first time in many, many years. My two youngest daughters, ages 9 and 5, experienced snow for the first time. Of course, they know what snow is. They understand that it is cold and white. Yet, they had never experienced it. My husband and I woke them up and they ran outside in overcoats tossed over their pj’s. After catching snow on their tongues and making snow angels, my littlest one said to me, “Mommy, I never imagined that snow would be wet.”
Understanding is not the same as knowing. It is experience that gives us true knowledge. Craft experiences that tap into what the learner knows. Lead the learner into deeper knowing by choosing activities that immerse into, explore, apply and adapt information. This deep dive moves the learner from understanding into knowledge.