The Social (Interpersonal) Learning Style

f you have a strong social style, you communicate well with people, both verbally and non-verbally. People listen to you or come to you for advice, and you are sensitive to their motivations, feelings or moods. You listen well and understand other’s views. You may enjoy mentoring or counseling others.

You typically prefer learning in groups or classes, or you like to spend much one-on-one time with a teacher or an instructor. You heighten your learning by bouncing your thoughts off other people and listening to how they respond. You prefer to work through issues, ideas and problems with a group. You thoroughly enjoy working with a “clicking” or synergistic group of people.

You prefer to stay around after class and talk with others. You prefer social activities, rather than doing your own thing. You typically like games that involve other people, such as card games and board games. The same applies to team sports such as football or soccer, basketball, baseball, volleyball, baseball and hockey.

Common pursuits and phrases

Some examples of pursuits that people with a strong social style may follow include counseling, teaching, training and coaching, sales, politics, human resources, and others.

As with people with the logical style, you are more likely to use phrases that reflect your dominant style out of physical, aural and visual styles. Here are some other phrases you may also use:

  • Let’s work together on this.
  • We can work it out.
  • Tell me what you are thinking.
  • Help me understand this.
  • Let’s pull some people together to discuss.
  • Let’s explore our options.

Learning and Techniques

If you are a social learner, aim to work with others as much as possible. Try to study with a class. If this is not available then consider forming your own study group with others at a similar level. They don’t have to be from the same school or class. If you like, introduce them to some of the techniques from this book. It may be easier for you to try some of the Memletic Techniques in a social setting, and work with the feedback from others.

Role-playing is a technique that works well with others, whether its one on one or with a group of people. For example, in aviation training, role-play the aerodrome area. Have people walking around in “circuits” making the right radio calls with the tower co-ordinating everyone. Another example might be to role-play with one person being the instructor and the other being the student.

Work on some of your associations and visualizations with other people. Make sure they understand the principles of what you are doing though, otherwise you may get some interesting responses! Others often have different perspectives and creative styles, and so the group may come up with more varied and imaginative associations compared to the ones you might create yourself.

Rather than reciting assertions to yourself, try sharing your key assertions with others. By doing so, you are almost signing a social contract that your assertion is what you do. This strengthens your assertions.

Share your reviews, review checklists and “perfect performance” scripts with those in your group as well. By listening to how others solve their issues, you may get further ideas on how to solve your own issues. Try sharing the work of creating a “perfect performance” script. Each person writes the script for the areas they want to work on the most, and then the group brings all the scripts together.

Mind maps and systems diagrams are great to work on in class. Have one person be the appointed drawer, while the rest of the class works through material and suggests ideas. The group may have varied views on how to represent some ideas, however this is a positive part of learning in groups. If you can’t agree on something, just take a copy of what the group has worked on and add your own thoughts. Often there is no right answer for everyone, so agree to disagree!

Working in groups to practice behaviors or procedures help you understand how to deal with variations. Seeing the mistakes or errors that others make can help you avoid them later. As well, the errors you make are helpful to others! Whether it’s via role-playing, a simulator or other technique doesn’t matter too much. Be imaginative. Two chairs in the middle of a classroom to simulate an aircraft cockpit can be just as good as computer simulation and the real activity.

Lastly, if you are working in groups it may help to have everyone do the learning styles questionnaire. This may help everyone understand why each person has different viewpoints. It can also help with assigning activities to people. Individuals may volunteer for activities based on either the styles they currently have, or the styles they want to learn. Remember the classroom is a risk-free environment. It’s often safer to experiment, try out new techniques and make mistakes in the classroom than in the real activity.

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