V-A-K and Coaching

By Pete Liska https://www.linkedin.com/in/peteliska/

First, what is/are V-A-K?  V = Visual, A = Auditory, K = Kinesthetic.  These refer to learning styles.  A visual learner is seeing or imagining a picture when choosing what to say or how to answer a question.  An auditory learner is recalling or creating the sound of what they will say.  A kinesthetic learner is remembering or exploring feelings.  We all use all three learning styles; we each have primary, secondary, and tertiary learning style.

During my coach training with the Center for Coaching Certification’s Certified Professional Coach program, we explored how recognizing and adjusting to V-A-K helps in coaching:

  • by adjusting to a client’s preferred learning style it is easier for the client to understand what is said or asked,
  • it is more comfortable for the client when the pace of speech is similar and this builds rapport,
  • and when a client fully describes what they want using all three styles the full description makes it real and they are more motivated to achieve it.

Experiment with this yourself.  When you are in a conversation adjust your pace to the other persons and use similar words.  When you are talking with someone about a goal of theirs, ask them what they will see, hear, and feel after achieving it.

Having the knowledge of V-A-K helps tremendously both when talking to individuals in general and when coaching people.  Knowing these styles will give you an advantage when supporting your clients.  It gives you a better understanding of how each of your clients think and how to ask questions they understand.  After training with the Center for Coaching Certification, remind yourself to revisit these techniques so that you continue using this powerful tool to help your client.

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