Tired of telling Jeff for the eighteenth time how to format that report? So is he. It may be time to modify the way you give that feedback.
After a while you can start to wonder whether you need a department-wide hearing screen the way employees just don’t seem to get what you’re saying.
It could be the way they’re processing – or not processing – your feedback. There are different types of learners. The way you explain something to one person just may not sink in with another.
Here are several of the different learning styles. Once you get a handle of which types you have on your staff, you’ll know how to tailor your feedback accordingly.
Let’s take one specific problem and break down how your feedback would change based on the type of learner you’re dealing with.
The problem: A staffer keeps making spreadsheet errors.
- Linguistic. This is the form most feedback takes: Simply tell the person what to do to correct the problem going forward.
- Spatial. You have a visual learner on your hands. You will definitely want the offending spreadsheet in front of you when discussing the problem – if not the program open onscreen.
- Logical. You’ll need to appeal to the sense of order with this person. If it doesn’t make sense, it’s not going to stick.
- Interpersonal. The social butterflies in the group do better when working together. Maybe have someone with rock-solid spreadsheet skills sit with your troubled staffer a few times for 20 minutes. A system where co-workers check each others’ work may also prove fruitful with these types of people.
- Intrapersonal. When you’re dealing with a loner learner like this, you might be best off giving him or her an hour to try and work the problem out on his own. Of course, you’re happy to answer any questions, but these types tend to fare better when left to their own devices. Any feedback may be too much.