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“Visualize this thing you want. See it, feel it, believe in it. Make your mental blueprint and begin.”
― Robert Collier
Some people see it, others hear it, and some people feel it. Which type of person are you? Many years ago I learned about VAK, which stands for visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.
To help explain, I’ll take some information from my friends at one of my favorite sites: www.businessballs.com. This site also offers a simple test to help you determine if you are a V A or K.
The Visual-Auditory-Kinesthetic learning styles model or ‘inventory’, usually abbreviated to VAK, provides a simple way to explain and understand your own learning style (and learning styles of others).
‘Learning style’ should be interpreted to mean an individual mixture of styles. Everyone has a mixture of strengths and preferences. No one has exclusively one single style or preference. Please bear this in mind when using these ideas.
Alternatively the model is referred to as Visual-Auditory-Physical, or Visual-Auditory-Tactile/Kinesthetic (or Kinesthetic). Some people also extend the model to VARK (Visual-Auditory-Reading-Kinesthetic) or VACT (Visual-Auditory-Kinesthetic-Tactile), and you can decide yourself about the usefulness of such adaptations.
The Visual-Auditory-Kinesthetic learning styles model does not overlay Gardner’s multiple intelligences, or Kolb’s theory, rather the VAK model provides a different perspective for understanding and explaining a person’s preferred or dominant thinking and learning style, and strengths. Gardner’s theory is one way of looking at thinking styles; Kolb is another way; VAK is another. The more perspectives you have, the better you see and understand your own personality and learning styles, and the learning styles of employees, colleagues and staff.
If you think about how you absorb information, you must admit that you absorb information in one of the above 3 ways better than the other two. I’m a big reader and always have been. My Mother was a elementary and middle school librarian and thus if I didn’t have a book in my hand at all times I was beat with a belt made out of leather and nails (this is an exaggeration, although, reading was very important in our household).
As I stated my professional career and found the wonderful world of audio books, I started to realize that I could learn much faster or as my son’s friend stated recently “more better” if I first listened to the information. If I want to become a “master” of something, I’ve learned that if I can listen to the audio book, pod cast, or online tutorial two times and then study the material, I can pretty much lock anything into my tiny brain.
No one likes to complete forms; I would rather have a chopstick shoved up my urethra than complete a form. But today, we have so many forms that must be complete. Think about a mortgage, an insurance transaction, your taxes, forms dominate society. As a company our approach to these dreadful forms is to offer a “form completion service”. While many of our competitors ask their clients to complete the forms, we simply send them a copy and then set up a time that they can vocally answer the questions and we scribe the information on the form and at the end of the conversation, they sign our scribed copy. This approach leads too much quicker turn time of our needed information and saves our clients the headache of completing yet another form.
Technology allows for all types of learning with seminars, audio books, pod casts, Itunes University, video pod casts from Stanford University are simply amazing. Once you identify your preferred way of learning, goggle search a topic and be amazed at the sheer amount of data you will find on that topic.
Lifetime learning is a gift that many people fail to take advantage of. Understanding your learning style might just help you plug back into to the wonderful world of knowledge that surrounds us all.
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