Each person has their own learning style. One area of learning comes from neurolinguistic programming (NLP). In NLP there are four main modalities. Those are visual, auditory, kinesthetic, and olfactory. Each person tends to learn based on those areas. And how each of us takes in information will either help or hinder our ability to perform at peak. A 5th way of taking in information is known as auditory-digital.

I remember reading that Albert Einstein was lousy at mathematical formulas as a child. Most formula-based mathematics is based on the auditory-digital way of taking in information. Einstein was known as a visual mathematician. He could visualize a mathematical structure and even use analogies to help describe math. His famous theory on traveling at the speed of light was based on watching people from a train – at stop and in motion – and the effect it had on time. He theorized that light would act in the same way and that time would slow the faster we approach the speed of light.

Think about how you learn best. How would somebody in the music industry learn best? How about an auto mechanic? A chef would be best at using their sense of smell (olfactory), right?

Most people use a combination of all their senses to learn. What I’m saying in this sense – what is the primary mode of learning that you may use. If you are like Albert Einstein, you may be more visual. Whatever your primary mode of taking in information, you can use it to help you learn more & faster.

Most athletes tend to be kinesthetic, which means they learn better through their physical body. In my own case, that’s my primary modality. People who work with their hands tend to be the same way. When I want to learn a new move in the martial arts, I imagine how it feels to me and then how it looks. I then associate the feeling to the visual. That way I can look at a video of the movement and imagine the physical feeling I would get from it.

If you teach others, then look at their primary modality in which they learn. While it may not be feasible when teaching a whole class, you can explain the lesson to them when working one-on-one. When you do teach a whole class, make sure you incorporate all modalities, okay?

Besides the NLP model of learning, there are other models. In the 3-types of learning model, the Type 1 person may learn through both visual and emotional experiences. These people are good with others and tend to be very empathetic. The Type 2 person is more adept to learning from a structured environment. They also learn very well through reading. The Type 3 person is good at taking the information presented to them and experiment with it. They are very organized and focus on goals. Again, each one of us will have traits of each, though one would dominate over the other.

Another learning model is the one developed by Bernice McCarthy. It is known as the 4MAT system. Each learning style is based on WHY learners, WHAT learners, HOW learners, and WHAT if learners. You can find out more about this amazing system at http://www.aboutlearning.com

Again, discover your own learning style and apply it into your own life so you can perform at a higher level.

Bob Choat