How Adult Learners Learn
I’ve been reading a lot about how adult learners learn lately, and one thing is for sure, everyone learns differently! This last week I developed a short sales meeting for my real estate sales meeting members on helping real estate agents learn how to stay motivated. As I prepared and researched for this meeting it dawned on me that if people wanted to learn ways to stay motivated, they needed to first know how they learn best. In other words, if I could get my agents to tell me how they like to learn, then I could guide them in what they needed to do to stay motivated.
Step #1 – Take an assessment.
My first goal was to have the agents take a short assessment on discovering how they learn best. You can find this assessment at www.AgelessLearner.com. There are several free assessments at their site you can use. After a few short questions and some addition to your totals in each column you will quickly find out if you learn best through visuals, auditory or kinesthetic. Once you discover your best learning method, move on to step #2.
Step #2 – Know What Your Learning Style Requires
As the web site points out from www.agelesslearner.com (the assessment):
If your primary learning style is visual, draw pictures in the margins, look at the graphics, and read the text that explains the graphics. Envision the topic or play a movie in your thoughts of how you’ll act out the subject matter.
If your primary learning style is auditory, listen to the words you read. Try to develop an internal conversation between you and the text. Don’t be embarrassed to read aloud or talk through the information.
If your primary learning style is tactile/kinesthetic, use a pencil or highlighter pen to mark passages that are meaningful to you. Take notes, transferring the information you learn to the margins of the book, into your journal, or onto a computer. Doodle whatever comes to mind as you read. Hold the book in your hands instead of placing it on a table. Walk around as you read. Feel the words and ideas. Get busy—both mentally and physically.
Step #3 – Apply Your Learning Style to Motivation
Now that my team members knew how they learned (most being visual in my situation) I was able to help them apply their proper learning style to staying motivated in a down-market. For visual learners that meant putting pictures up of goals they had, photos with motivational sayings, and yes, writing their goals down and reading them every day.
For the auditory learners (like myself) we are motivated through tapes and CD’s, listening to others speak and I believe positive affirmations. It’s funny; I had never done the assessment until my sales meeting and found out that my best way to learn was through auditory. Today I practiced using positive affirmations in my car on my way to speak to a group of real estate professionals in St. Louis and I must admit it was a “big” help for me to stay motivated throughout the day.
Kinesthetic learners need to just get out and “do it!” Prospect, cold call, and begin doing the things they need to do to become successful. Doing it will help you stay motivated and give you that sense of accomplishment.
Once my team members discovered their best learning method, I encouraged them to use the correct applications to recharge their batteries and to go out and get motivated! In a down economic market people need to learn ways to stay motivated. To me, it only makes sense to first know how we like to learn, then, apply those strategies to motivational skills to help us meet our goals and achieve our dreams.