Learning Styles in Coaching

learning stylesHow a client learns information, whether by seeing, hearing, or doing, influences the approach for a coach when communicating and asking questions.  A coach starts by identifying which learning style a client is using, then asks questions with words that work for the client.  For example, when a client is learning visually, then the coach asks them what they ‘see’ or to ‘paint a picture’ of what they want to accomplish.  For an auditory question, the coach asks the client for ‘key words’ to describe it.  A client that learns by doing processes based on what they feel, so a coach will ask how it ‘feels’ to achieve the results.

In addition to supporting the communication process in coaching, recognizing learning styles is also a tool to create awareness.  Specifically, when exploring options, after asking questions in the client’s preferred learning style, the coach then moves to questions using words for the other learning styles and expands the thinking of the client.

As a bonus, when a coach asks the client to describe their ideal outcome in terms of what they see, hear, and feel then the description is fuller.  This means it is real and achievable to the client and they are motivated to follow through.

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