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Episode 13: And People are SO Different

learning styles podcast Mar 22, 2022

Did you ever notice that people can be really different from each other? Okay, I know that’s a leading question, and the answer is obvious. Even though we know that people are different, we still can tend toward working with our people using a one-size-fits all approach. That approach we use typically is strongly influenced by what WE would do in the same situation, because it’s what we know! Right?!

When everybody is different >> and has different needs, values, styles >> you might have to customize your style of leading them especially when it comes to how they are motivated to learn and grow. That’s at the heart of this leader’s question. 

"Everyone on my team has different personalities and needs. I want to help them grow and thrive in their role, how do I customize my approach based on how they are wired?"

What motivates them to learn?

Look at assessments the team has done before. Have your team talk about a past learning experience that was fulfilling. What was the trigger that motivated them to pursue learning?

  • Some just like learning and will take advantage of any opportunity that interests them
  • Others are faced with a situation that demands their practical learning right now
  • It might be that they want to better themselves so they can do their job better

What are the ways they like to do their learning?

Oh this is really where we fall into the trap of one-size-fits-all, right? We were raised on classroom learning, so we assume a teacher at the front with students in the seats is the way to learn. And it happens every Sunday in our churches, too. There are so many more ways to learn.

So, have a conversation. Ask your team to describe their top 3 experiences for learning … How did they learn it? What worked about it for them? What didn’t?

Take notes on the conversation for each person so you can be on the lookout for the kinds of opportunities that fit for them.

What do they like to do with what they learned?

You might have a hesitation – that if you let the person’s interests, passions or personality drive the learning it won’t be related to what the organization needs. What if someone really wants to go to a conference about church growth but as a leader you are more interested in community development. So, your job as a leader is to guide the focus of learning so that it’s on mission and not just interest areas. Hit play on the podcast to get some ideas to help with that!

If they are unclear, just ask them to share examples of how they’ve done it before. The conversation will be so insightful and sets the stage for them to customize your approach based on how they are wired WHILE guiding the process for the good of your organization.

So, it’s simple and if you would like a guide to the conversation, download the Learning Styles Assessment to get you started. Then, ask questions to your people and they will give you the answers you need to this question. 

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