They say it’s important to “Know Thyself…”

If you want to stay competitive in your industry or field, it’s a good idea to be the best version of yourself you can be, right? Part of that journey should be focused on understanding yourself and how you work. After all, how can you improve if you don’t know yourself? And, just as importantly, understanding your own habits and needs can help you work better with those on your team.

That is where learning styles come into play.

Taking the time to understand and unlock your team’s individual learning styles can have an incredible impact on communication, team morale, and overall long-term success.

Try to incorporate learning styles from the get-go

Acknowledging the diverse set of learning styles present within your team will enhance communication and collaboration between the individual members, as well as the organization.

Taking small steps, like including a visual diagram or demo to ensure different learning styles are accounted for in training and onboarding processes, can make all the difference. If you can proactively accommodate the various learning styles of your team, this can decrease ramp up time and increase productivity. This will also help teammates learn how to best work with each other, maximizing individual and collective potential and help foster a positive and inclusive team culture.

Now that we understand the benefits, let’s get into the good stuff – what are the different learning styles, and how can you discover yours?

Different learning styles defined

To put it simply, “learning styles” are different methods of learning or understanding new information. Although there are many unique learning styles, there are 4 predominant types, commonly referred to as VARK:


  • Visual learners - These learners prefer to physically see the content and learn through the graphs/images. some text
    • Examples: presentations, diagrams, videos, images, charts, graphs, etc.
  • Auditory learners - These types of learners learn best through listening. some text
    • Examples: lectures, training workshops, recordings, meetings, voice-overs, etc.
  • Reading/Writing learners - These learners align with actively reading or writing the words down to grasp the information. some text
    • Examples: taking notes, reading books, company-provided materials, hand-outs or research on the internet, etc.
  • Kinesthetic learners - These learners prefer a hands-on, experiential approach to learning.some text
    • Examples: Pairing with a partner, physical activities, tactile experiences, etc.

What is the best way to discover your team’s learning styles? Don't over complicate it, just ask! Your employees know what works best for them. But, if you are looking for a more detailed test, there are a variety of online tools and assessments available, like this one. You could even take the quiz together as a team activity.

The most important part is instilling confidence in your team to share their learning preferences and communicate openly about them.

You’ve Identified Your Team’s Learning Styles. Now What?

Once you’ve discovered your team’s learning styles, it’s time to put them into play. Here are some ways of accommodating different learning styles in the workplace.

Scenario 1

  • As a project manager, say you usually assign new tasks in a written format, but you discover that your team is predominantly visual learners. How do you further engage them and ensure the task at hand is understood?some text
    • Incorporate Visual Aids!some text
      • Include diagrams, charts, or graphs relevant to the task. Create flowcharts or mind maps to illustrate the workflow or steps involved in the task.
    • Highlight Key Informationsome text
      • Use bold or different colored text to emphasize important points, or key elements of the task.
      • Break down tasks into distinct steps by utilizing bullet points, numbered lists or subtasks.
      • Share screenshots to demonstrate specific actions or feedback.

Scenario 2

  • After your company takes a learning styles test, you find out that 1/4 of your team are kinesthetic learners. How might you accommodate them in a remote working environment as a manager? some text
    • Interactive Tasks:some text
      • Assign hands-on tasks or projects that require physical engagement. For example, if applicable, encourage them to create physical prototypes, conduct experiments, or engage in practical exercises related to the task.
    • Physical Movement Breaks:some text
      • Incorporate short breaks during long virtual meetings to allow for physical movement. This could include stretching, or short walks to help kinesthetic learners stay engaged.
    • Collaborative Platforms with Shared Boardssome text
      • Utilize collaborative platforms with shared/interactive boards where kinesthetic learners can draw, write, or manipulate virtual objects during discussions or brainstorming sessions when applicable.

Keep in mind that learning styles are not rigid categories, and individuals can have preferences that are more fluid and adaptable. People might have a dominant learning style but still benefit from incorporating elements of other styles depending on the context. For example, you may have a Visual-Auditory Learner on your team. A great way to engage them that combines both visual and auditory learning styles would be including a video or presentation.

This may feel like a daunting challenge to incorporate various learning styles into the workplace. So what happens if you ignore them instead? When someone is presented with information in a way that doesn't align with their preferred learning style, they may experience challenges and delays in understanding, retaining, and applying the information.

By taking the time and effort to incorporate elements that cater to various learning styles, it becomes more likely that individuals will engage with the material in a way that aligns with their preferences, leading to better understanding and retention. Additionally, individuals can also develop strategies to adapt their learning approach and advocate for resources that better align with their preferred style in the future.

Lead with empathy – learn your team’s learning styles.

Understanding that everyone learns differently is one of the most important steps for the long-term health of an organization. It directly improves the connection between individuals and teams, increases productivity by bridging gaps, and maximizes potential. All in all, your organization will develop a stronger capability to learn, adapt, and succeed in an unknown future.

Interested in moving to the JAMstack? Let's talk.

Want to stay in the know on what we know?

Sign up for our email newsletter. Nothing spammy about it. Just a monthly rundown of what we’re sharing.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.