If you ask all the businesspeople around you how they learned their craft, each one would probably tell you a different story. Some folks voraciously read every book they could find on the subject, while others actively sought out mentors to show them the ropes. Personally, I understand something best by jumping straight in the deep end - which has given me as many rewards as it has headaches. 

The graphic team Funders and Founders has a great infographic breaking down the different learning styles. It has 9 approaches:

  • Visual: Learn what they see
  • Kinesthetic: Learn what they do
  • Auditory: Learn what they hear
  • Stress: Learn what stresses them
  • Ease: Learn what relaxes them
  • Scribble: Learn what they write out
  • Trust: Learn from authority
  • Teach: Learn by teaching
  • Copy: Learn what they can copy

 

Understanding your learning style has an importance well beyond grade schools and universities.

First, knowing how you best absorb information is absolutely crucial to startup success. For instance, audiobooks work well for me with casual reading, but anything that requires memorization or deep concentration has to be read in book form. Choosing the wrong format would have had a severe impact on my road to entrepreneurship, especially when I was teaching myself new, difficult skills.

Second, understanding other people helps you better curate group dynamics. Pairing a stress learner with an ease learner may not be the best route for an important project. However, a scribble learner and a visual learner may be more compatible - and productive.

Finally, seeing the different styles cultivates empathy. As a kinesthetic learner I naturally dive into new situations, and I always assumed that people who didn't do the same thing were either more afraid or not interested. As I learned more about personality types and learning approaches, I became more sensitive to entrepreneurs who handled things differently than me and actually began to admire their strengths, too.

What learning style are you? How is it impacting your business?

Published on: Mar 17, 2016
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.