I’ve been writing a series on my blog about how different people process their thoughts differently. So far I’ve covered audio processors– who process through talking and listening– and what I call artistic/experiential processers– who process via diagrams, pictures, multiple perspectives, and through experiences.
The last form of processing I’m covering in this series is visual processers. These are people who process their thoughts best through reading and writing. Traditional western schools are geared mainly toward visual learners, but they can sometimes have difficulty with on-the-job, in-the-moment learning.
I find it’s often helpful to give visual learners assignments: write something down and think it out. Then they can come to their next coaching session with a document ready for dissection. Writing is their version of thinking out loud– then we have a conversation to sharpen it. People who process this way also often learn by reading. I give them something to read or look at that starts their creative juices flowing and they can respond to the ideas, adapting them for their own purposes and contexts.
As you coach people, consider how they learn best and tailor your coaching to fit their learning styles.