Over these past few weeks, I’ve been watching various documentaries and reading news articles, and the one thing that has continued to jump out at me, and remains of keen interest, is the power of the word. I do not mean the words that are selected to form a question or statement, but rather how those words are arranged, and most importantly how they are meant to be interpreted.

Words however do not act alone. They have context. They are either spoken by someone, or they are written by someone. If you hear or know the person speaking those words, there is additional context that is added, which can potentially bring more value to the message. In addition, if the message is an instruction, it is therefore critical to ensure that it is communicated in the right way.

“Why won’t that person do what I told them?!”

I’ve been asked many times from many people, “Why won’t that person do what I have told them?! Why won’t they listen?”. The answer lies within the question. When you are trying to communicate to someone, you need to best understand HOW they prefer to have their communication.

VISUAL: Some people need to see the information presented to them so that they process it best. This means that you could tell them a thousand times to do something, but if they cannot visualize it, it will be challenging or difficult for them to do. So to get the message across, a flow-chart, or a diagram is best.

KINESTHETIC: Others prefer to be taught or shown how to do something, and it typically involves the hands, so that they can “experience” it themselves. To tell someone to turn the lever sideways until it clicks, and then push 4 specific buttons in a sequence can be quite difficult. Showing them by example is the best way to achieve results!

AUDITORY: The folks that fall into this group are typically the ones that do not need the visuals, nor the physical actions of doing something. They are keen listeners, able to understand process exactly what the instructions are. This doesn’t mean they are superior to others when taking verbal instructions, but they will certainly understand it better than others.

To identify what type of learning style someone is, you’ll need to have them answer a few questions. Here’s a link to 39 questions that can help identify what type of learning style someone is. Keep in mind that you are likely never 100% in one group — some people are very visual with some things, and kinesthetic with others. The questions will help sort that out. Good luck!