Today’s competitive business world requires people to continually learn and grow to become more effective in their jobs. This can pose challenges for bosses who have to figure out how to best convey new information to a wide range of employees who have different learning styles.
A mismatch between learning styles and training or communication methods can be discouraging to everyone involved. After all, the majority of people (65 percent) are visual learners.
Traits of Visual Learners.
Per Inc., employees who are strong visual learners often dress well. They are usually found in a meeting with a well-used notepad jotting down information or drawing out important concepts.
Many visual learners also do well in opportunities to self-instruct but will often lose focus very quickly if a discussion or lecture turns into a long monologue. Reaching visual learners in the workplace is vital because they are often creative, design-savvy, and have a strong sense of orientation and planning.
These attributes can be beneficial to a wide range of businesses and other team members who might learn in different ways. But to get the value and true potential out of visual learners, the processes first need to be put in place.
Three Ways to Maximize Visual Learning in the Workplace.
1. Less Talk, More Words.
The best way to reach visual learners is to make sure relevant information can always be seen and that discussion stays on point. Communicate through email or by note when possible instead of over the phone or speaking in person for these reasons.
Encourage people to take notebooks to meetings so they can write down key points and outline what is being said. Structure meetings and collaboration sessions to allow everyone a chance to speak. Limit interruptions and cyclical discourse to keep the meeting notes clear. These process tweaks will allow visual learners enough time to take detailed notes, which you should encourage them to share following the meeting to make sure everyone is on the same page.
Next time you see an employee doodling during a meeting, don’t assume they’re spacing out. They are probably just a visual learner coping with a boring discussion.
2. Bring Raw Information to Life Through Data Visualization Software.
Using data to try and convey information can be a formidable task if you have a room full of visual learners. Fortunately, there are a wide array of data visualization tools that can bring complicated spreadsheets and disparate data sources together for engaging and actionable insights.
Using data visualization software not only aids visual learners, but anyone in the organization that depends on data to make decisions. Visualizing data does not have to be a complicated process when insights are automated. Data visualizations generated by ad-hoc search queries, like ThoughtSpot’s platform does, allows any employee to digest information and apply it in their daily workflow. Since visual learners respond very well to color, mapping numbers and data points using hue or shading positions can be another good way to convey important information in an easy-to-digest manner.
3. Incorporate Lots of Graphics & Pictures.
Visual learners are not going to take much away from a 5,000-word whitepaper or a long lecture-style meeting. Break up long documents with charts, and other diagrams that show key information in an aesthetically pleasing manner.
Incorporate color and photos into presentation slides to keep visual learners engaged. Even better, print and pass out the necessary diagrams and charts before a meeting or lecture so visual learners can follow along and digest information at their own pace.
Embracing the range of learning styles in the workplace makes businesses more agile and productive as employees have access to learning mediums that accelerate their takeaways. Reaching visual learners through training, meetings, and other day-to-day activities in a suitable format will allow creativity to flourish in the workplace and keep businesses ahead of the competition.