Do you recall watching a presentation filled with animations only to walk away with a little motion sickness but having gained little else?
When you pick up one of those sculptural puzzles, the ones with blocks of wood, some rope and a few washers on it, do you put it back down because you know you will never solve it?
If you have heard, seen on done one of these and walked away frustrated, you have also done, seen or heard one of these and succeeded.
Each of us has a learning style that we excel with. You may be primarily and auditory, visual or kinesthetic learner.
If you are an auditory learner you probably did fairly well in public school. Most teachers prefer a lecture styled approach to education. Let’s face it, it requires less effort and preparation on their part. You are a great listener and tend to absorb the spoken word. If directions are provided verbally you will likely retain it and execute better than your peers with other learning skills.
You also like to talk and share stories. Given the opportunity you may even enjoy getting in front of a class or audience to speak or act. You read slower than many but retain much more. You might even read out loud to yourself.
Visual learners get lost in the conventional classroom. It is hard to follow the lecture and keep the key learning points straight. However if the teacher puts up some graphs or charts you will perk right up. If you see it, you can retain it. You don’t want to be read to, you want to read and read you will. You’ll likely read faster than your auditory friends and visualize the big picture though you may miss some of the details.
You are likely to be doodling while the teacher is talking. You’d prefer quiet time to read to yourself or let a lecture sink in so that you may understand it. You probably wear brighter colors and enjoy fashion.
This is where most of us start out as young children. To learn you must do. A teacher can tell you and show you but to truly understand you want to try. As people get older, the learning style for most will change to visual or auditory. A few, however, are stuck, or you might say are lucky. While kinesthetic kids are often described as impatient or hyperactive. They fidget, tap their fingers and bounce their legs. These behaviors are exhibiting a need to be engaged in the learning activity. Once you get involved however there is no holding back.
You may be a gifted actor or a natural athlete. Sitting still is a challenge and unless you become engaged in your learning, you are more likely to build some paper airplanes or turn your click pen into a rocket launcher (not that I ever did that!).
What kind of learner are you?
Check out this survey at the University of South Dakota website to take a Visual, Auditory, Kinesthetic test.
What does this have to do with Lean or Personal Finance?
Easy, if you are committed to personal and financial growth it requires learning. You need to learn about yourself, you need to learn about finance and investment and you need to learn about the economy. Understanding your preferred learning style better enables you to focus on finding education that is more suited to you.
Auditory Learners – Books galore! Take a look at the list of Amazon books on my sidebar to start.
Visual Learners – Search personal finance in YouTube. Check your local listings for shows by Dave Ramsey, Suze Orman or Clark Howard among others.
Kinesthetic Learners – It is time to dig in. We have the advantage of being able to use both books and video effectively but we have to do it as we are learning it. If your reading about stocks, open a virtual trading account to play with while you are reading about investing or watching crazy Jim Cramer.
Do you know what kind of learner you are? If you take the test, come back and let us know what you learned about yourself.
Based on your style of learning, do you have other suggestions on where to turn for self-development?