Learning Styles Quick Reference Guide

Ever wonder how your diverse workforce learns and processes information? We've put together a quick guide on the most common learning styles.

Visual Learners
LearningMemoryProblem SolvingCommunicationLanguageMisc
Learn by seeing; Benefit from demonstrations; Form mental pictures; Particularly enjoy training that uses video a variety of visual aidsRemember faces;

Forget names;

Take detailed notes & refer to them later;
Recall colors & shapes easily

Plan in advance;

Organize thoughts by writing them down;

Keep lists of problems or things to do Refer to instructions
Talk quickly but rarely at length;

Become impatient if extensive listening is required
Uses visual words such as see, look, watch I “see” what you mean I “see” it clearly nowAffected by color of room;

Affected by order or chaos;

Seldom get lost;

Are often easily distracted

Auditory Learners
LearningMemoryProblem SolvingCommunicationLanguageMisc
Learn by hearing; Benefit from verbal instruction; Speak aloud to self to reinforce direction; Especially enjoy discussion as part of learning processRemember names;

Forget faces;

Remember by hearing then repeating;

Take cryptic notes to help with process of under-standing but rarely refer to notes later
Talk problems out or think them through verbally;

Talk to self;

Slightly indecisive;

Prefer instructions stated verbally
Enjoy listening but have a hard time waiting to talk;

Is bothered by pauses or silence in a conversation;

Go into long detailed descriptions;

Use internal dialogue to work through problems
Uses verbal words such as ask, listen, hear, tell That “rings” a bell I “hear” you Speak with a melodious voice;

Do not always trust feelings;

Like background music;

Toys are distracting

Kinesthetic Learners
LearningMemoryProblem SolvingCommunicationLanguageMisc
Learn by doing; Benefit from hands-on involvement; “Feel” way through experiences; Need to understand some of the big picture before applying the detail; Prefer training that involves skills practice and activities with physical movementRemember events;

Forget details;

Take notes to help with process of learning but rarely look at them later for
Attack problems physically;


Often select solutions involving greatest activity;

Might need guidance through steps of a problem Rarely refer to formal instructions
Gesture when speaking;

Have to work hard at listening effectively;

Stand close;

Pace when thinking;

Frequently pause or interrupt self when speaking
Uses action words such as impact, get, take, make, understand I “get” the picture I “feel good” about that I’ll “handle” that Let’s jump in Can’t sit still too long;

Listen better when touched;

Doodle a lot;

Toys keep hands busy & help the mind

Conceptual Learners
LearningMemoryProblem SolvingCommunicationLanguageMisc
Learn primarily through a thinking process; Benefit from understanding background that leads up to specifics; Need to discuss concepts in general & use examples to support points; Enjoy case studies and experiential learningRemember the context of events;

Places and conversations;

Remember some details;

Take notes in bulletpoint format (in own words) and sometimes refer to notes later to help recall points of interest
Step back from problems to understand the context and scope of the situation;

Typically follow a process that helps narrow alternatives
Move eyes a lot when speaking; look up to think; Need space;

Often speak “beyond” other participants;

Tendency to make issues bigger or more complex than they need to be in the training environment
Use clarifying phrases when speaking Let’s see if this example fits the situation Help me understand… Does that make sense?Enjoy knowing
the research;
Are frustrated
when examples
are used
presenting the
general concept
Need to know