What kind of Learner are you? Take the Quiz

Recently, I read an email from a blogger on a topic I wanted to learn more about; which led me to Google a book he wrote, which led me to buy the book, which led me to write an email to the guy telling him why I bought his book...

And all before I even started learning anything!

It got me thinking about the amount of time and effort I put into learning, often before I actually start putting things into practice.

So I asked some of my network:

How do you learn?

And what came back was surprising in that most of my colleagues learned quite differently to me and I've shared some of their insights below.

It was also possible to theme their approaches into three distinct categories: Cognitive, Collaborative and Constructive, backed by an article from Adam Lupu, VP of Learning at Andela.

Cognitives tend to seek out the expertise of those who have tackled similar situations and problems so they can learn from their experience. Collaboratives love to bounce ideas around with others to learn together. Constructives are hands-on and tend to jump straight in and start experimenting in order to learn.

"What kind of learner are you?"

Scroll to the bottom of this article to take the quiz now!

Taking small and diverse steps on a path towards a major goal

"I’ve been very interested in social impact measurement and have been toying with the idea of doing a Masters in social impact. However I only want to invest in that level of study if it will benefit my work and my future work. So I’m taking small steps - undertaking a project with a leading Australian charity using a Wellbeing Index and their expertise. I’ve also made contact with a professor that specialises in social return on investment who has hooked me up with a lot of reading and case studies, and I’ve joined a network of practitioners already implementing the work. I feel doing these things will help get me the practical experience as well as knowledge. Then if the flow of work leads to more study, I’ll take it!"
- Tanya, Business Analyst in the charity sector

Putting things into practice can allow us to learn more quickly and effectively

"I'm learning Greek and learn best by actually trying to speak it rather than reading and writing."
- Jacqui, Yoga Instructor

We’re a product of the learnings of others

"I learn most of all by observing people, working with clients and learning about how they operate. I have learnt a lot about property from a client who I Iook after who has a lot of commercial property so I’ve learnt about leasing and the requirements from him."
- Sue, Client Support Manager in financial services

There’s no right answer, only what suits our particular situation

"You shouldn’t need someone else to tell you. Even then the solution a person provides in a book is only their interpretation and it might not fit your particular needs or circumstances. The sooner a person realises there is no panacea answer and it is ok to be rough around the edges the better they become at implementing."
- Andrew, Lawyer in the finance sector

Putting things into practice can put you out of your comfort zone

"Learn then do, but know that 'doing' is still the fastest way to learn anything because when you (actually) step into that space you may feel differently or gain a new perspective."
- Melinda, Freelance graphic designer

Learning is highly personalised; figuring out what fits and discarding the rest

"I really have come to hate (hearing) “Here’s what successful people do in the morning” …really? They take time to reflect, eat healthy, exercise, meet up with an accountability partner or coach? Predictable. I prefer to read something about someone who is run ragged but has a passion and then what they have done with it, failures and learnings. Maybe it is how I am wired but I appreciate and learn from failure, mine and others. I do think coaches are the way to go though and I would pay for one to get to know me and my work and life and offer advice." 
- Chris, sales and marketing in the construction sector.

Want to know what your learning style is?

Take the Quiz (it takes 2 minutes) to find out whether you are a Cognitive, Collaborative or Constructive Learner.