VARK | How Others Learn To Better Teach / Inspire

vark explained

Understanding how we learn to better teach / inspire others into action.

For many years and until recently, I developed and delivered social media courses for a vast array of cross sector clients. Early on it was apparent that attendees learned and reacted to what we were sharing in different ways, which in turn broadened our delivery to accommodate these varying styles.

Some participants would literally run ahead of the pack clicking all the buttons and figuring it out on the fly, a fair few would need to take their time and consider the notes / outlines / examples given and move forward checking themselves as they go, whilst a few literally needed one-to-one careful tuition which meant lots of reinforcement and a higher intensity of care (which is why we always delivered in tandem).

The VARK model gives a great insight into how we all have biases towards specific stimuli and learning. It’s my go-to when describing or helping clients deconstruct their own delivery / content around teaching staff or inspiring others:

  • visual—they like to be shown not told, prefer illustrated examples and visual cues of achievement;
  • aural—this group prefers to listen and will be adept at converting spoken instruction into action;
  • read / write—these do best within the ‘traditional’ educational approach by devouring text and replicating the medium;
  • kinesthetic—the more action focussed party of people who love just getting their hands on tools and figuring it out through physical feedback cues.

If you’re involved in any kind of capability building or skill increasing activities check if your ‘teaching’ style is fluid enough to cater for all those who learn differently.

What is your learning / teaching style?



  1. Great article! This is a hot topic in NLP and also hypnotism (you can’t influence someone without knowing their learning state). As coach it’s imperative to know people’s learning preferences, it’s important because it helps you establish and build rapport with your client. It is not just important to listen to what is being said but to how it is being said. Once you understand their preferred thinking /learning mode and you can tailor your own language, exercises and techniques to compliment your clients preferences.

    How to spot them…
    Kinaesthetic people like to talk slowly. Each word has well thought out meaning and is chosen carefully. There tone tends to be deep and resonant.
    Examples of what they might say:
    • I have the feeling that…
    • I can’t get a grip on this
    • Something doesn’t feel right about this

    Auditory tend to have a rhythmic, even and musical tone. They enunciate clearly and love lists. They enjoy making their points in sequential order
    Examples of what they might say:
    • I hear what you’re saying
    • Sounds good to me
    • Listen to this

    Visual people will have a clear picture in their head which they will want to share with you, they are also often rapid speakers. Because of their desire to share their vision they may jump from topic to topic. They may also speak in a high pitched manner.
    Examples of what they might say:
    • Look, the way I see it…
    • I get the picture
    • See what I mean

    1. Many thanks for taking the time to both comment and more importantly share such amazing insights relating to the language and learning styles. Something I never thought about deeply and now will work on so that my talks / masterclasses / advising sessions are reflective of this. Thank you.

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