Howard Gardner had a theory that there were different styles of internalizing information. While he called them "forms of intelligence," these forms of internalization have since been adapted to describe different styles of learning. These are the learning styles or types of intelligence that we know of today:
People internalize things and learn in different ways. Let's say that you're a visual learner. If this is true for you, you will learn best by reading information or seeing images. Most schools focus primarily on visual learning, and sometimes, auditory learning, so if you are a bodily-kinesthetic learner, you might've struggled in school as a child but thrive as an adult when engaged in hands-on work. Auditory learners learn by listening, so when a teacher relays information verbally, it's ideal for auditory learners. Interpersonal learners internalize information the best in social situations and interactions; these people will thrive in groups. On the other side of the coin, we have intrapersonal learners who prefer working alone and learn best if they are in solitude. Naturalist learners are connected with nature and often have a deep love for the outdoors or animals. Their strengths in learning reside in those areas, and if they're able to work or learn by interacting with nature, it's ideal. Musical learners are similar to auditory learners in the sense that they learn by listening, but they are particularly stimulated by songs or rhythms and find that these things help them internalize information. Logical-mathematical learners think methodically and will determine the best when things are linearly presented to them.
How do I know what my learning style is?
Think about how you internalize information best. Do you understand information when you listen to it? Is it easier for you to learn or grasp a concept when you read about it or see an infographic about it? Or is it ideal for you to learn by doing? Being aware of this will help you understand what your learning style is, and once you know how you best internalize information, it'll help you tremendously at work or school. There are a ton of online quizzes out there that can give you clues as to what your learning style is. It's essential to meet people halfway in the workplace; for example, if an employee and supervisor have a different learning style, they can collaborate and use both of their learning styles to relay information to each other.
How can my learning style help me with leadership?
If you know what your learning style is, you can adapt and understand what your employee's learning style is or are, which is extremely helpful in a leadership position. Let's say that you're a supervisor, and you're a visual learner, but most of your employees are bodily-kinesthetic learners. You can meet each other halfway and train them at work by letting them do things hands-on, and have them present to you what they did by filling out a chart or spreadsheet. That way, you understand what they completed in a way that makes sense to you and is easy for you to remember. They can pick up the concept that you're teaching them efficiently because they were able to internalize it due to the ability to learn in a way that suits them. You can show them that you're a good leader by asking how an employee learns best and meeting them in the middle. Doing this will show workers that you care, and it will help a team run well because everyone is utilizing their unique strengths.
In online counseling with a company like BetterHelp https://www.betterhelp.com/start/ you can talk about how you best internalize information and use it to your advantage. Knowing your learning style won't just help you in college or the workplace; it'll also help you emotionally. If you know that you process things through visuals, your therapist will be able to teach you new coping strategies using graphic tools or art. Alternatively, if you're an auditory learner, you might thrive using the phone option on an online therapy platform. Therapy is an excellent place to talk about leadership. You can also discuss any issues that you're having in the workplace or your career. Whether you see someone online or in your local area, therapy can help you understand yourself better and work through any obstacles in your life.
This article was written by Marie Miguel
Marie has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.