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How Do I Match My Communication to Different Styles of Learning?

Amanda Ann Gregory, LCPC, EMDR Certified

 You can improve your communication by matching someone’s learning style. The three main learning styles are visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Some people have a primary learning style, while others have a combination of styles. In order to improve your communication with someone, try matching their style of learning.

First, identify which style or combination of styles best fits the person with whom you want to communicate.


Here are some aspects that might indicate a visual learner:

They communicate using these phrases:

  • “I can see that.”
  •  “It looks like…”
  • “Picture this…”

They learn best with these methods:

  • Viewing instruction videos or watching demonstrations.
  • Reviewing graphs, charts, diagrams, or lists.
  • Observing facial gestures and movements.
  • Organizes concepts into different categories.


Here are some aspects that might indicate an auditory learner:

They communicate using these phrases:

  • “I hear you.”
  •  “It sounds like…”
  • “Listen to this…”

They learn best with these methods:

  • Listening to lectures, verbal instructions, podcasts, or audio books.
  • Asking lots of questions.
  • Talking out loud to themselves.
  • Processing their thoughts aloud.


Here are some aspects that might indicate a kinesthetic learner: 

They communicate using these phrases:

  • “Show me.”
  • “Watch me and tell me if this is right.”
  • Communicating with their hands, facial gestures, and movement.

They learn best with these methods:

  • Engaging in hands-on methods of learning.
  • Repeating physical movements.
  • Completing tasks in real-time while instructions are provided.
  • Incorporating touch.

Now that you’ve identified their learning style, here are some tips to help you to improve your communication with them.

Visual Learners 

  • Use visual language such as “see,” “watch,” “picture this,” and “look.”
  • Prioritize visual communication methods such as email, text, PowerPoint, graphics, pictures, outlines, and maps.
  • Write out concepts that you’d like them to remember.
  • Demonstrate by acting out concepts while they observe
  • Give them permission to write notes or to respond to you in written words or images.
    • Tip: Sometimes visual learners are hesitant to take notes as they fear it will appear rude or odd.
  • Encourage them to use visuals to respond to your communication. You can say, “Do you want to draw it out?” or “Would it be easier if you wrote me back?”
  • When providing verbal communication, give them a summary and/or highlight important key points at the end of the discussion.

Auditory Learners

  • Use auditory language such as “I’m hearing you say,” “What I hear is,” and “What does that sound like to you?”
  • Use sounds to clarify important concepts, such as saying “ding ding” to communicate that you just understood a concept.
  • Embrace long verbalizations and allow them to verbalize in response.
    • Tip: Auditory learners might need to talk out loud in order to process their thoughts. Be patient and allow them to talk it out.
  • Use beats, rhymes, or songs to connect and bond.
  • Send them personalized messages or an audio recording of important information. 
  • Verbally summarize or repeat important concepts toward the end of the discussion

Kinesthetic Learners

  •     Use kinesthetic language such as, “Here’s an example,”  “It feels like this,” and “Watch this.”
  •     Create situations in which you are communicating while moving, such as taking a walk together, playing a sport or game, or dancing.
    • Tip: Many kinesthetic learners have been told to “stay still,” so they may need your permission to engage in movement while communicating.
  • Use real-life examples, metaphors, or case studies
  • Perform/enact what you are trying to explain, such as engaging in role-playing or acting out scenarios.
  • Use your body to communicate (movements, hand gestures, facial features).
  • Closely observe their body language.
  • Encourage them to fidget, perhaps with the use of stress balls, fidget toys, or clay.

If you need help communicating with someone in your life, consider participating in individual, couples, or family therapy at Symmetry Counseling.

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