In the movie Hichki, Rani Mukherjee plays the role of a struggling educator with Tourette’s syndrome.

As a teacher, she observes that her students have different learning styles and employs out-of-the-box teaching methods. She brings out the potential of one of her students, who’s involved in gambling, by encouraging him to calculate algorithms faster than a calculator.

The movie teaches us that not everybody learns and acquires knowledge the same way. People have different learning and working styles. This is why you should pay attention to different learning styles at work. It helps bring out the best in employees and encourage them to be productive and stay motivated.

Let’s explore the different learning styles in the workplace and see how they can be critical for career development.

  1. What Is A Learning Style?


  2. Why Pay Attention To Learning Styles At Work?


  3. How Does Your Learning Style Affect The Workplace?


What Is A Learning Style?

Employee learning and development are crucial for a successful organization. However, everyone learns and retains information differently; everyone’s learning style is unique. Put simply, a learning style refers to behaviors, attitudes and other relevant factors that facilitate learning for an individual in any given scenario. It’s how an individual gathers, interprets, analyzes, organizes, draws conclusions and stores information.

It was in the late 1980s that Neil D. Fleming, a university teacher from New Zealand, designed an inventory to understand the learning preferences of students. It came to be known as the VARK (Visual, Auditory, Reading/Writing (Verbal) and Kinesthetic) Model that described how learners process and organize information. Let’s look at each of these learning styles in detail:

  1. Visual Learning Style

You learn best by seeing. Graphical or visual representations such as charts, illustrations, diagrams, videos and images make it easier to process information. You need to see something to remember and recall it later. You tend to connect information with visual concepts and ideas to gain a deeper understanding. For example, you enjoy books with pictures and remember the story better because you paid attention to the images.

  1. Auditory Learning Style

Hearing something helps you learn faster. You find audiobooks and podcasts useful in storing information. You find it easier to remember something when someone tells you about it. For example, you’d rather pay attention to someone in a meeting than take notes and be distracted. You may repeat things to yourself to commit information to memory.

  1. Reading And Writing Learning Style

Do you take notes during a lecture or a seminar? Then you’re a reading and writing learner. You process information better when it’s presented as text. You write down information and read it repeatedly to memorize it better. For example, you like to do your research, take notes and analyze data before jumping to conclusions. Some learners enjoy making lists and reading books.

  1. Kinesthetic Learning Style

Also known as tactile learners, kinesthetic learners use ‘touch’ (i.e., sensory organ) to learn new information. Have you been good at activities like sewing, cooking or woodworking? You find a hands-on experience the most effective way to process and store information. In many ways, you act out the information you gather. For example, you practice yoga every day to learn about the different poses.

Why Pay Attention To Learning Styles At Work?

Everyone’s learning style is unique. Employees come from various walks of life—with different experiences, knowledge and skills. If someone isn’t good at something, they’ll probably do better in other areas. As a leader, you should be able to identify and navigate different learning styles in the workplace so that you can provide your team with growth opportunities.

Once you work around their learning styles, you’ll find ways to engage them as well as encourage them to use their potential. You can play to their strengths and confidently delegate responsibilities. This will further help individuals find meaning in their work, therefore reducing turnover rates.

Here are a few simple yet effective tips to motivate employees and help them make the best of their learning style.

  • Let your team know that there aren’t any hard and fast rules for completing a task; you will accommodate their needs if required

  • You can either circulate a survey or ask your team during feedback sessions about preferred learning styles; by actively seeking out information you can provide them with multiple options

  • When dealing with a new employee or someone who isn’t able to meet the project expectations, provide them with opportunities to upskill or reskill themselves

How Does Your Learning Style Affect The Workplace?

Changing industry demands are at the core of fast-paced organizations. There will be times when you fall behind and are unable to keep up. Self-introspection and reflection will help you gauge your preferred learning style. Once you know which learning style is most effective for you, it’s easier to communicate and collaborate with your coworkers. You’d be surprised to see how others can impact your methods of learning and working.

Harappa Education’s Practicing Excellence course will teach you how to recognize your true potential and continuously improve your performance. The 1% Rule framework will teach you how to make small improvements that will go a long way. The Pomodoro Technique and Eisenhower Matrix will help you in tackling procrastination and prioritizing tasks while being productive. Achieve the high levels of excellence that you and your organization want.

Explore topics such as How to Set Life Expectations, the Habits of Successful People & How to be Consistent in Life from Harappa Diaries and achieve success in your personal and professional life.

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