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Tuesday, 1 November 2011

What’s your learning style?

I have the good fortune of attending “free” trainings from my company from time to time.

And one of the best training I did was this learning style training:

It has helped me understand myself better, and during the journey of self-discovery, I’ve found out that I don’t know I actually knew certain things all along!

There are many versions or schools of learning styles. Just google and you will get swarmed by the many different versions – some simple; some quite complex (I suspect it’s a ruse just to charge more for consultation!)

It does not matter. Below I will share my unscientific and DIY ways to find out your learning style:

1)     How did you learn in school?

Do you prefer traditional lectures where your teacher tells you what you should learn, via school projects, or you prefer tutorials? (Disclosure: I never attended pre-u or JC. So no clue what are tutorials!)

2)     How did you learn at work?

Do you prefer to read your company’s Standard Operation Procedures (SOP), learn from a mentor/senior, or via discussions with colleagues, or when got problem, always go to your boss and ask what you should do?

3)     How did you learn from your hobbies or interests?

Let’s say you buy an IPAD or IPHONE, do you start playing around with your new toy immediately and figure out the apps and functions yourself, or do you prefer to read the manual from A to Z, or do you prefer a buddy to show you how to use the device?

And when thinking about a song, do you hear the melodies and tunes in your head, or do you “see” the song being performed by the artiste?

Some by now may have a rough idea what’s your learning style (never mind if you don’t know the exact textbook definition for your particular learning style); while some may prefer to have a proper test done by professionals with the right certification (you need precision of definition!) – ask your HR dept on it. Best if “Ah Kong” (company) pays! Hey! Whatever works for you!

Round peg to round hole

If you are an audio person, you may want to buy CDs on investing or trading and listen to them while on the MRT or driving – a great time saver!

If you prefer reading, you would invest in books or surf the internet for the information you need.

If you prefer human contact, you may have to dig deeper on what kind of human contact you prefer before simply signing up for an investment or trading course/seminar ;)

If you need hands-on “show me how it works” examples; perhaps workshops where the trainer gives live demonstration would be more suitable for you.

If you learn best through interactions with fellow like-minded people; perhaps get together sessions/conventions with fellow investors or traders would be a better option?

And of course, due to Singapore’s style of education, I believe most of us would prefer the classroom kind of lectures where the trainer talks down to us from his podium. (Somehow I have a nagging suspicion that’s not how we learn best…But then, what do I know?)

So take advantage of the “free” preview sessions and ask how the training will be conducted ;)

Why set yourself up to fail?


  1. Hi Jared

    I remember reading about people being kinesthetic learners, visual, aural etc. I guess most of us have a stronger learning style but do take inputs from all.

    Personally, I am a visual (read a lot) and also learn from asking questions. Over time, I prefer learning by trying out stuff to get the hang of it and reading up to find out if I've missed any of the key features, especially when learning IT stuff.

    Be well and prosper.

  2. Yes Panzer,

    As a "part-time" (yes, it's the multi-tasking bullshit I was sold to) facilitator in my company, my take away is that I must structure my trainings to include all styles of learnings.

    You never saw a more "rojak" facilitator than me!

    That is until I discovered my personal favorite pedagogical technique: Playing games!!!

    To me, that's the best way to learn: Self-discovery.

  3. Hi MOL and Panzer,

    Hmmm...I wonder what kind of learner is Warren Buffett and George Soros?


  4. Eh Sm@llfry...

    Your guess is as good as mine!

  5. Hihi,

    I am visual.

    So what is the answer to Sm@llfry qn?

  6. Hello OT,

    LOL! I have no clue about Warren and Soros. I've never met or talked to them before.

    There lie the paradox: Some people after reading their writings and biographies, assume they know their idols personally...

    Remember the movie - I am your no.1fan? Shudder...

    And we laugh at young boys and girls screaming their lungs out for their idols at the airports! Adults do the same - just in another way ;)

  7. Hi SMOL,

    In my line of work, I've got to figure out if a person learns best by audio, visual or kinesthetic. Got to tailor the lessons accordingly. Didn't they say, if children can't learn the way you teach, you've got to teach the way they learn? haha :)

    I'm highly visual, quite badly audio and never kinesthetic. That makes up most of the express students (mainly they are audio/visual), which makes them '
    capable' of sitting down and listening to a person standing besides the whiteboard talking and talking. The technical steam are mostly kinesthetics, which explains why they have to run around and basically making them more 'rowdy'.

    Singaporean schools teach only visual and audio mainly, thus generations of students who are not learning well in that way are deemed 'stupid'. Tsk tsk..

  8. LP,

    We need more teachers like you!

    I remember those teachers who took the time to talk to me personally - it shows they "see" me.

    But how many teachers can do so when the teacher/student ratio is 40 to 1?

    To all the teachers out there, I love you! (We don't show enough appreciation to those people who make us what we are today... Not me!)


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