type of learning styles

Train your team based on their type of learning styles

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You might have noticed, not just at work, but within your friends at school, your kids or siblings that not everyone learns in the same way or at the same pace. We all have different type of learning styles, and that is perfectly fine. 

We have passed the times when everyone had to memorise the rivers or capitals of each country in the same way, or you learnt languages by memorising vocabulary, and just by doing that. 

Society has now different methods of learning and teaching and we can adapt them to how students learn. That is really good news. 

For that reason, when you are doing the Traning Need Analysis at your company (TNA), it would also be important to check the kind of learner type that your employees are so you can provide them with the ideal version of learning for each of them, according to their type of learning style.

Obviously, when a company is small, and you need to do a training of , let’s say excell, you might not be able to do different courses. However, you might have noticed that some of them read books about it, some others do online courses on udemy, they go for tutorials on youtube and some of them may prefer sitting with someone with the knowledge and just shadow.

Knowing their learning preferences might help

Understanding their preferences in advance might be a great advantage for you. It will save you some money, or just by making sure that training is not a waste of time if you are doing the right one.

It is true that an small company may not have the resources to do every single type of course for the same topic, but it may help you if you are be able to give each of them a budget. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to know their type of learning style and ask them to look for what they really fancy, enjoy or feel that it would be better for them? Maybe just give them the time to study on youtube and come back from those days with all the needed knowledge. 

Things are more flexible now. Why do we have to stick to the old kind of learning programms when it is not needed? 

How do you know the type of learner that they are? 

On this article we wanted to share the most commonly agreed types. Honey and Mumford developed their learning styles in 2000 and it has been widely approved by the HR and Learning and development professions.

It obvioulsy has it faults as a system as it only counts 4 types, but the overview helps to understand how you better learn, and it is free. Find a pdf on this link.


Knowing these type of learning styles will  help you and your employees and collaborators to go through the best learning experience for everyone, and for sure the most effective. Therefore, the budget better spent.

You can send it to those employees that will be involved in your training programs and check the results with our description below. 

How your employees and collaborators learn and other characteristics, might help you not just for their development but to get insights on how to influence them or how to organise meetings to achieve better objectives. 

Obviously, there are only a few people who learn purely in one way… most of us are a mix of 2, 3 or even the 4 of them. 



They are learners by doing. Need to do things, experience, and do mistakes if necessary. Open mind about learning, they get involved and are open to any new knowledge. 

Activities that help them: Anything that involves acting or solving problems. 

  • Brainstorming
  • Solving real issues
  • Puzzels
  • Role play acting


Learners who are theorists need to understand the theory behind everything they do. These type of learner need concepts, facts in order to be engaged with the learning experience. They prefer to analyse what is already in place. 

What they need to learn: 

  • Models
  • Statistics
  • Stories
  • Background information
  • Bibiliography list to go deeper


They need to see how learning applies in the real workd. Pragmatists are not for abstact concepts or theory if they can not apply. They like to experiment and try new ideas to see if they work.

What a pragmatist needs in order to learn:

  • Time to think
  • Examples, cases studies, etc… 
  • Solving problems
  • Discussions around the topic 


They observe and think about what has happened. Reflectors might not be interacting in active trainings, but they will be observing. They collect data, work on it and end up with conclussions

Reflectors learn from:

  • Paired discussions
  • Self analysis
  • Personality questionnaires
  • Observing activities
  • and feedback from others.

If they want to do an automatic test online, here you have a website that does the calculations for you https://www.mint-hr.com/mumford.html instead of the PDF above.

Use the style of learning to improve their onboarding process.

The onboarding process might be one of the key parts in the learning process of your employees at a new company. If you have read our articles about the topic you know we are really keen on improving this area to make your employees effective as soon as possible. 

However, we also advocate for the automation of it, or at least as much as possible. So how do you combine automation and adapting it to every learner type. 

Make sure you include activities for every learner. Reading materials, videos, speaking to people and “on the job” activities. This way, every person will have a combination of the things they do to learn better and they will really learn. 

Make sure than when you prepare your onboarding, it doesn’t leave the important staff for the reading materials, or that we do only videos with lots of information. People who are not able to learn from those experiences might not be able to catch the needed information. 

Use the learning types for your meetings and reports

When you want to pass information, make sure you also use different types of formats. It will break the monotony, but it will also help with gaining a better understanding of the information you need to pass on

Summary Tips: 

  • Do the training need analysis for your employees and your company
  • Ask those who will need training to do the honey and mumford questionnaire to learn about they type of learning styles
  • Group them by needs and preferences and select the right training for them
  • If you are doing inhouse training for everyone, mix it up and add an activity that will be good for each type of learner in each module.

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