Using Type to Optimize your Training As facilitators, most of us have been there: the activities you plan fall flat, attendees are struggling to keep their eyes open, or the dreaded comments or questions arise of “I don’t understand this” or “What is the point?”. If your training isn’t landing the way you want, it could be because it does not align with the learning styles that are represented; as a result, the training does not meet your audience’s needs and disengagement may be the result. Respective personality type influences how an individual learns, and accommodating learning style differences will make the sessions you lead more effective and insightful for those in the room. However, similar to the challenges of communication, anticipating the needs of so many others in a room can present a challenge! In my attempts to help you out – thank you, SF preferences – below is a brief description of aspects of individuals’ learning styles that are shaped by their type preferences. By incorporating several different approaches into your programs, you stand a greater chance of engaging more people with various styles. Of course, this will require you to mix things up a bit, and use activities that you yourself may not find natural – but then again, and in accordance to the message we perpetuate, that is what ‘flexing’ is all about! When designing your programs, keep the following in mind: Extraverts Prefer -active and interactive sessions -asking and answering questions -learning in group settings Introverts Prefer -working on tasks in a quiet environment -reading, listening and observing -individual or small group projects Sensors Prefer -hands on learning -relevant, concrete facts -real world applications Intuitives Prefer -relationships between facts and ideas -theories and models -exploration and brainstorming Thinkers Prefer -analyzing and evaluating -a logical reason for learning -considering pros and cons Feelers Prefer -a personal reason for learning -relating learning to personal needs and experiences -case studies and stories Judgers Prefer -structured learning environments -clear learning goals -agendas, timelines, objectives Perceivers Prefer -flexible learning environments -options and alternatives to explore as their learning progresses -gathering information When our sessions don’t work out, it is easy for us to feel dissatisfied – or worse, incompetent – as a result. However, these situations provide a valuable lesson that all type practitioners should carry with them, especially considering the message we teach of learning to flex to meet the needs of others. By remembering learning styles, and catering to as many of them as you can, you give people what they need in order to really glean value from your training. Now, get to it!