Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What's your Learning Modality?

Being a corporate trainer, i have to be aware of people's learning modalities because different people have different preferences when it comes to processing information. What you say to some people may make absolute sense, but you might have others giving you a blank stare. that's because you are not conveying the information in their preferred style. In short, there are 3 different learning modalities and we are all capable of all 3, but we have our preferred and of course our least preferred modality. So below are the 3 and a small description of each

1) Visual Learners - learn best through visual aids or when they see pictures. Don't tell them about something, show it to them.
2) Auditory learners - Learn best from listening to people. These are the people who can easily understand road directions on the phone. Visual people would understand better is you drew them a map
3) Kinesthetic learners - learn best by actually doing it. So they understand how to do something better once they do it themselves. They are also known to be more empathetic than other learners.

As you can see, when i give my trainings, i have to ensure that i satisfy the needs of all 3 modalities or else i would lose the crowd. If i I only talk continuously, then i would satisfy the needs of the auditory learners, but the rest would be yawning out of boredom. So i have to ensure i meet all 3 modalities. But like i mentioned earlier, we have all 3 in us, its just that 1 of it will be our dominant and most preferred style.

Now what does all this yapping about learning modalities have to do with fitness? Well interestingly enough, i discovered that if you understood your learning modality, you could find ways to easily motivate yourself better when you train and exercise? How? Let me explain further.

Lets take jogging as an example. If you are an auditory person, running without music will be extremely boring for you. In fact, you would feel unmotivated to give it your full if you had to jog without music. My wife is an auditory person and she can't run much without her trusted MP3 player. So for her, as long as she has music, she is fine. Me, i am more of a visual person. Being a visual person, i don't like going round and round the same block. i need to see new things to keep me motivated in my running. So i have to run a random course which is visually appealing to me or i will feel bored and fed up. My wife, she is fine with running around the same block 20 times... as long as she has her music. See the difference? Kinesthetic people are also emotional learners and for them, they will be encouraged to go further if they are running with someone or if someone continuously encourages them that they can do better. They would not enjoy running alone.

Lets look at the weight room. Auditory person, no problem. Blast some music and they will be able to lift heavy. Visual people would probably want to wear more fitted clothes that shows off their muscles, as this would inspire them to lift heavier. They would also love to see themselves lifting if possible. Kinesthetic, if you are spotting them, make sure you give them loads of encouragement as how much they lift, depends on how they are feeling.

So now that you know all this information, your next questions would of course be "so how do i find out my learning modality? Well easy. Go to the site below and take the quick test.


From there you will easily learn if you are an auditory, visual or kinesthetic learner. Now remember, just because you have a low score in one, it doesn't mean you are not capable of it. It just means, that that is your least preferred style.

There is actually a 4th learning modality which is new and that is known as the digital learner. I can't find an online test for that, but if you were to buy the book Law of Connection from Michael J Losier, then you can take the test there. Digital people like sequences that make logical sense and they need a lot of information before making a decision. The reason i didn't add this is in earlier, is because i am not quite sure how Digital learners would benefit in fitness. when i did the test, my most preferred style is Digital, Visual, Auditory and lastly Kinesthetic. So my 2 preferred styles are Digital & Visual. Probably explains why i love watching TV so much. :-)

Anyway, just thought i would share that there is a 4th one and like i mentioned, not too sure how it fits in for fitness, even though i am a digital person myself. But I do know how to motivate myself visually.

So what is your learning modality. Take the test and find out and you will even discover why there were certain things you couldn't do or just hated doing. But with the right stimulus, you can easily motivate yourself to do much more. As usual, look forward to hearing your comments on this.

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