Working out your learning style

British psychologists Peter Honey and Alan Mumford have developed a test that is widely used in organizations of all kinds. The test mainly focuses on the third of the three elements that go to make up an individual's learning style, how information is dealt with. It identifies four learning styles: activist, reflector, pragmatist, and theorist.

Without knowing any more, which word do you think best describes you as a learner?

Honey and Mumford's descriptions offer an accessible way of determining the way you prefer to put information you have absorbed into action. While they do not describe all the key elements of a learning style, they give a realistic and accessible view of your learning personality.

If you are an activist, you are the kind of person who is quick to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in. You enjoy the immediacy of experiences and are enthusiastic about anything new. You tend to act first and think later. You love being active and no sooner are you given a problem than you have begun to brainstorm solutions to it. You are probably gregarious by nature.

Your motto is: "I'll try anything once."

If you are a reflector, you tend to stand back from experiences, In meetings you probably take a back seat. You like to absorb a range of data before coming to any decision. You prefer to see the way things are going before offering an opinion of your own. You are probably cautious by nature.

Your motto is: "I'll need to think about that one."

If you are a theorist, you tend to think things through in a logical sequence until you can make it fit into a pattern. You like models, systems, and rules. You enjoy being detached and analytical. You can be a useful rigorous thinker and someone who will not budge from an opinion just because it does not fit your worldview.

Your motto is: "But how does it fit in with..."

If you are a pragmatist, you are always keen to try out ideas. You are always experimenting. You want to get on with things and not sit about talking. Once you have heard something interesting, you want to test it out straight away.

Your motto is: "There must be a better way."

Were you right in your first impressions of your learning style? Did you conclude, as many people do, that there were elements of two or three types in the way you operate? You can A carry out a more detailed analysis of your preferred learning style by filling in a self-assessment questionnaire from Peter Honey Learning, see pages 258 and 259.

How To Accomplish More In A Fraction Of The Time

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The pace and intensity of our lives, both at work and at home, leave several of us feeling like a person riding a frantically galloping horse. Our day-to-day incessant busyness too much to do and not enough time; the pressure to produce and check off items on our to-do list by each day’s end seems to decide the direction and quality of our existence for us.

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