This week we look at why knowing how your team prefers to learn can help performance.
Most people would agree that each person has their own preferred way of learning – some like to acquire information through reading, some would choose to have it explained to them and some get stuck in and try it out.
Learning styles group common ways that people prefer to take on new knowledge – there is no fixed learning style – it is encouraged to try different methods of obtaining information and to not neglect methods you do not feel as comfortable with.
According to Dr Peter Honey, the creator of the Learning Style Questionnaire (LSQ), being aware of your preferred learning style has implications not just for your own learning but will also enable an insight into the styles of colleagues.
By discovering how your employees learn, you are able to ascertain how they might interact with others, thus boosting the potential for improved teamwork.
Paraphrasing Peter Honey – knowing how you learn is a key (perhaps even the key life skill.)
The LSQ is based upon the work of David Kolb, who proposed the concept of the Learning Cycle (right).
It's purpose is to identify one’s preferred style and then highlight individuals’ perceived areas of strength and weakness, encouraging concentration on any areas requiring development.
Based upon responses to an online or print questionnaire, team members will report as Activists, Reflectors, Theorists or Pragmatists (see descriptions right).
Being closely aligned with the Learning Cycle, the central theme underpinning the LSQ is fluidity.
Completing the LSQ is an attractive way to get individuals within a team interested in how they learn.
This helps team members become more aware of the short cuts they tend to take (for example skipping the review stage) and to see how their learning could be made more thorough.
Most people take their learning for granted and rarely think about how they do it and whether they could become more effective at learning.
Being aware of your team’s learning styles preferences is a good starting point.
Have a go at the LSQ and receive the new report free of charge upon completion.
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