I pulled out my car keys and started out the door. My husband stopped me and smiled. He handed me a map because he knows me well.
I usually have a good sense of where I’m going and how to get there and I don’t care that I have to drive around a lot to find the right access. I call it, “–taking the scenic route.”
But he would prefer to read written directions with mileage, road numbers, and all the turns listed. And he would have called ahead to make reservations . . . Wow!
Thanks goodness we’re all different because the world needs accountants, engineers, and computer programers. I’ll tell you right now, these jobs are completely out of my league.
What about you? How would you describe yourself? Do you prefer order and predictability? Do you prefer working independently or maintaining harmony in group settings? Do you use your intuition or prefer to research and follow directions?
Individuals seem to have learning patterns that help them make life choices. Even though we all share common strengths and abilities, our own preferential patterns emerge and embed us in our comfort zone.
Have you had to work with someone in a job who wasn’t the right fit for the position? That person soon becomes miserable or makes everyone else around miserable. What about those relationships full of friction because one partner expected the other to understand and see the world in the same way he/she sees it. And what about the parent that says, “I don’t know what’s wrong with that kid. I swear she was switched at birth.”
Anthony F. Gregorc, Ph. D. is internationally known for his model of how the mind works with learning styles. I find his research phenomenal because it explains much about our frustration level. Think about when someone expected something from you that felt dreadful but then you looked around and saw others who found delight in that same request. Alarm bells, think brain-comfort-zone because of different learning styles.
Gregorc breaks the organization of the mind’s style down into perceptual quality and ordering ability.
Perceptual: Are you most comfortable in perceiving the world through concrete methods (think five senses and the obvious, not looking for hidden meanings)? Or are you more comfortable in perceiving the world through abstract means (think intuition, imagination, and subtle implications)?
Ordering: Given information, does your mind organize with a step-by-step approach? Do you always have a plan? If this is how you almost always proceed, then you may find comfort in being sequential. Does your mind look for pieces of the picture, do you often skip parts of a procedure and amaze your family and friends with desired results? Sometimes, and maybe to your detriment, do you start in the middle or at the end? Then, my friend, you are probably rather random.
The ingeniousness of Gregorc’s assessment is that you aren’t specifically pegged as one or the other. This process shows you your tendencies in all the areas based on a force-choice word selection process.
Remember the last post when I talked about vocabulary and fluidity of intelligence? Well, your learning style preference isn’t a fixed part of your mind either. This has nothing to do with intelligence, and one learning style isn’t necessarily preferred over another. As they say, “It’s all good”.
I’ve taken the full-blown authentic Gregorc Assessment for Style Delineator three times now. I’ve found my style preference changed dramatically from when I was a classroom teacher and then became an administrator. My learning styles stayed pretty much the same when I left the administration position and became an adjunct professor at a college and an educational consultant for a publishing company.
If you want to play around with a free sample version of Dr. Gregorc’s learning style assessment model, here’s your chance. Your learning style.
Once again my work situation is completely different. Now I spend most of my days writing or creating. I tried this quick free assessment and found my learning style has reverted somewhat closer to where I was as a classroom teacher.
Sometimes the job defines us–whoever first said that was right on.
Why is this important to me as a writer? If you want your characters to be true you can’t have them in situations where they would never go. And think of the mischief your characters can create when one partner’s learning style is completely different from the style of the other partner.
The four main categories of learning preferences that Dr. Gregorc offers us gives us a new dimension for character development and might even help us smooth out some of our relationships. So take a risk and discover something interesting about your own mind. I’d love to hear any anecdotes you have that are related. Please comment below–and if you like this then sign up at the column on the right to follow for future fun.