As individuals we all have various preferred ways of doing things. We may prefer to stay up late or get up early in the morning. We may prefer to text rather than call. We may prefer to play a game rather than just watch.
It is important to understand what our preference may be for a given situation. By understanding our particular preferences, we can use these preferences to understand our strengths and limitations. This in turn will allow us to place ourselves in a better position to succeed.
There are several resources that can help you assess your individual preferences. Among these are the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences, Herrmann Brain Dominant Instrument, and Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory.
Personality indicators, such as the MBTI, can provide insight into how you like to behave and interact with others. It will be able to give an individual insight to how you may react in a certain situation. It can help determine if you like to jump into an activity or first watch to see how it is done.
The way we communicate with one another and interpret the communication depends on the way our brains processes and/or thinks about the information. The way our brains processes information depends on our brain dominance or preferred thinking style. Some individuals may think more creatively, while others think more analytically. Also, some may think more linear, while other holistic.
After you have an understanding of your preferences, you want to utilize strategies to help enhance that preferred style or mode. The resources below provide tools to help assess and gauge your personal preferences.
Myer Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI)
The Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator is a self-inventory questionnaire designed to identify a person’s personality type, strengths, and preferences. The questionnaire was developed by Isabel Myers and her mother Katherine Briggs based on the teachings of Carl Jung and his theory of personality types. The MBTI assessment designed to measure psychological preferences in how people perceive the world and make decisions.
The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator categorizes results based upon four dimensions:
Howard Gardner proposed his Theory of Multiple Intelligences. His theory suggests that all people have different kinds of “intelligences.” Gardner’s different “intelligences” represent talents, personality traits and abilities. Traditional formal education emphasizes the verbal-linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligences over the other areas of intellect. Gardner believed that there are several areas in which people can excel.
These areas of Multiple Intelligences include:
Brain dominance refers to a preference for using one hemisphere of the brain over the other hemisphere. The left hemisphere of the brain is rational, analytical, and verbal, while the right hemisphere is holistic and intuitive, and visual.
Considering these two opposites as distinct learning styles can be helpful. Using both left-brain and right-brain activities will effectively reach both kinds of learners.
Right-brained people prefer:
Left-brained people prefer:
The Herrmann Brain Dominant Instrument is a based on the idea that one side of the brain is dominant over the other. The two halves of the brain are then divided into a front and back half, making four sections in the brain. Individuals are dominant in one of these four areas, which is evident by their personality type.
A: Left cerebral hemisphere – analytical
B: Left limbic system – sequential
C: Right limbic system – interpersonal
D: Right cerebral hemisphere – imaginative
Learning style is an individuals preferred way of learning. Different people learn in different ways. Each of us has a natural preference for the way in which we prefer to receive, process, and impart information. Some people tend to pick up information better when it is presented verbally, while others learn better when it is presented visually through pictures.
Kolb’s learning theory sets out four distinct learning styles, which are based on a four-stage learning cycle. Learning styles can be viewed on a continuum across two dimensions, based on how people perceive information (concrete vs. abstract) and process information (active vs. reflective). Kolb believes that as we learn something we go through a learning cycle. Kolb believes that there are four different learning styles, and that different people prefer different approaches for learning information.
Converger – concepts and active experimentation
Diverger – practical experience and reflection
Assimilator – abstract modeling and theoretical reasoning
Accommodator – practical experience and active testing