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How Do You Learn?

The 2nd team captain of my local club (for such are the heights I am now only able to reach) selects his team by text. He is in his early 20s and on a Wednesday he sends out a group text asking for availability. Then on Friday he texts back the team.

I struggle with this system. Both my daughter and I play for the 2nds and I need to check with her, and my wife, if we are free to play. I don’t keep checking old texts, however, I use emails for my personal ‘to do’ list. They are all in one place, in a list, and I can mark them ‘read’ or ‘unread’.

The text system is more convenient for him, and that’s why he uses it. But the result might be that he doesn’t get responses from as many people as he might (depending on whether more of his potential players prefer text or email).

People take on information in different ways. Three, in fact, according to the VAK model. This acronym stands for

Visual – diagrams, pictures, writing notes

Audio – audio, podcasts, conversation

Kinaesthetic – doing, talking, can’t sit still

The VAK model suggests that we are all dominant in one of these ways of learning.

We asked all our staff to complete a test to determine in which of the three ways they were dominant. When it was the turn of Mel I told her that the results suggested she was heavily visual. “That’s really interesting,” she said, then wrote the words ‘I am visual’ on the notepad on her lap. She looked up and saw that we were all smiling at her. “Ooh!” she said. “I really am!”

Being an adviser means imparting information. A real skill is being able to explain complicated concepts in a way people will understand. One of the skills of a business coach is assessing how a client best receives information and then tailoring the means of communication accordingly.

So just pause for a moment next time you draw a diagram to illustrate a point you are trying to get across – is this for the clients’ benefit, or yours?

Chris delivers coaching as an associate of Quiver Management. They run courses specifically designed to give advisers access to coaching skills. See here for a list of events this year

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