We often complain about certain people as “he / she doesn’t understand anything” or “it is so hard for him/her to grasp”. We often jump to judge them as stupid, moron, dumb etc. But genuinely who has to be blamed? Is it the speaker who is not communicating well or is it the receiver who is dumb? That’s why it is important to master the art of communication (verbal and non-verbal) in which you make sure that the receiver has understood what you want to share or what you want to teach. It is not easy to immediately acquire that ability but at least being aware of different kinds of people will help you to modify the way you communicate with them. Especially it is crucial for teachers, working people, parents to understand these differences so that it will help you not to judge your children or your employee or your boss but can alter the way you relate with them. Each one of us have certain preferences in the way we think, store our memories and learn concepts. Broadly we can classify these preferences or learning styles as Visual, Auditory and Kinesthetic.
People who are visual will be very tidy. They highly value their personal space and becomes very uncomfortable if people come close to them as it interrupts their view. To such people you explain things taking the help of any visual aid such as graphs, pictures, videos etc or you can simply draw it and show them. Also use more visual words such as see, view, looks, appear etc., (For example: are you able to visualize it?).
People with auditory preference are very good at repeating someone’s conversation exactly as it is. They tend to sit sideways where their ears will be tilted towards the source of sound, especially you can notice this when they watch TV. They also give so much importance to the speaker’s voice modulation, tone, pitch etc. They can learn things easily by hearing it. They also get easily distracted by noises. While communicating with them use more expressions which involves auditory elements such as hear, sounds good/ interesting, listen etc.
People who are kinesthetic are the people who likes to hug themselves as well as others. They express love and affection through physical touch. They like to sit with their legs and hands crossed. They learn things by experiencing, experimenting and thought directly working on it. Neither seeing nor hearing will satisfy their quest but by experiencing how things work will help them to understand things clearly. Indian education system/ curriculum except for few experiential teaching methods is not so favorable to children who are kinesthetic as the teaching method is mostly lecturing or through visuals. They also find difficulty to take so many verbal instructions and thus gets confused. Sales person can sell things to kinesthetic people by giving them an experience through their product rather than showing the color, pattern or by explaining about the efficiency of their product. They use words like feel,grip, grasp, hands on, etc. in their conversation
(Exercise: Ask different people to describe their favourite trip and observe it for yourself how each one of them will share. People who are visual will say more about the visuals, “It was a beautiful place with amazing scenery, it was all green around etc.”, people who are kinesthetic will share more about their experiences “I had a wonderful time with my friends and family, the dishes served were so yummy etc.,” The auditory will say about the sounds of birds, squirrels and the wind etc). Also remember that we all have preferences, but we are combinations.
let us make an honest effort to accept differences and be flexible to communicate in the way that helps the other person to understand you better.