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Teams: Visual learners vs. verbal learners

Visual learners vs. verbal learners

Visual learners often need concepts to be sketched out in order to fully absorb them, while verbal learners tend to process best through reading or conversation. People with different learning styles can get stuck if the discussion veers too much toward one extreme or the other: Team members who can’t follow the flow of ideas won’t be able to fully participate or contribute.

Try these solutions:

  • Capture conversations in real time using multiple modes. Make sure at least one person is sketching ideas as they get expressed. Have another person write down the thinking on a whiteboard or in notes in a shared document.
  • If you’re working with someone who needs to make a concept real and tangible before understanding and committing to it, get in the habit of prototyping low-resolution versions instead of making time-consuming high-res versions.
  • As a team exercise, read a book on visualizing ideas like Dan Roam’s The Back of the Napkin. This will help verbal thinkers boost their ability to express ideas visually.
  • If there are materials to read, send them out before a meeting to give verbal folks time to read and digest.
Meiko SeymourComment