Are You Managing Visual Learners?

existential squashBusinesses — large and small — tend to default to the written word to manage and get ideas across to teams. Words are easier to produce. They are the commerce of emails.  And most office-software packages have a nice big fat word-processing tool.

We forget that not everyone absorbs the written word best.

Work is a grown-up classroom. Learning did not stop with your final exam . . . but managers aren’t trained to recognize differing learning styles the way classroom teachers are. Not everyone learns best by reading. And while about 65 percent of the U.S. population are considered visual learners (reading and imagery work best), what sinks in from visuals — pictures, video, even drawing an idea — is exponentially greater than what we retain through reading.

Enter social media, which is as much about imagery as about words. Not only does this play to our collective strong suit — showing rather than telling — but it helps reinforce that visual pull.

So now more than ever, show me as you tell me. Give me a map, not just directions. Sketch on the white board. Turn your story into short videos. Use a webinar with graphics not words. And for heaven’s sake, build a Powerpoint with images.