Learning Styles : Back to School Part 4

learning styles

Yesterday we learned more about communicating with our patients using Active Listening. But, even if we use good communication techniques and we listen well, if we aren’t instructing the way the patient prefers to learn, then will we be successful?  To further increase effectiveness, discovering your patient’s preferred learning style and instructing accordingly is essential.

There are four primary learning styles. They each have their characteristics and the most effective methods for being taught. They are:

  • Visual (Spatial)
    • Easily visualize problems and solutions in one’s head
    • Take detailed notes
    • Watch videos to see the process/function in action
    • Like and understand charts and graphs
    • Like to draw and doodle
    • Prefer maps, photos, drawings, images, and highlights
    • Health Coach Tip: These learners require time to think before full understanding is realized
  • Aural (Auditory)
    • Good at explaining
    • Read slowly
    • Follow spoken directions well
    • Can’t keep quiet for long periods
    • Often benefit from reading text aloud
    • Remember names easily
    • Health Coach Tip: Verbally present priority information in an organized manner
  • Physical (Kinesthetic)
    • Can’t sit still for long
    • Like adventure books and movies
    • Like role playing
    • Take breaks when studying
    • Often fidgety during lectures
    • Hands on
    • Health Coach Tip: Use physical tools
  • Digital (eLearning)
    • Prefer graphics/sound
    • Like to be “at the controls”
    • Want information on demand
    • Prefer electronics/wireless technology
    • Health Coach Tip: Use video, webinars, smart phone “apps” and web-based tools

Strategize best practices for each learning style and practice your techniques so that you are prepared for every style.

Don’t let yourself be overwhelmed! Learning is a complicated process! Learners take time to absorb information and strategizing for different learning styles will take time for you.

Here’s a resource to help visualize the learning process straight from the National Society of Health Coaches!

For more information, visit our website at NSHCOA.com! We will see you tomorrow for Part 5 of our Back to School series!

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