Almost 50% of workplace skills will change within five years, putting learning and development high on the growth and furture of work agenda. But how people learn depends on multiple variables. From cognitive receptiveness to information, emotive state of mind, personal preference, motivation and also an aptitude for engaging with new information or learning materials.
Today’s employees want something more from work – they want an opportunity to evolve and grow – and this is where understanding an individuals learning style can really help employees. Focussing on their individual goals, looking ahead to new roles – and in the long-term for organisations driving talent retention.
We often assess learning styles by using learning cycle model’s like David Kolb’s learning cycle or to better understand individual proficiency for learning. Understanding one’s learning styles is more complicated than an immediate decision on whether someone is an aesthetic learner or a visual learner. Especially, when you consider that a learner may go through the learning cycle, often reverting between multiple learning styles before settling on a specific learning preference. But the insight gained can assist in shaping learning and development plans for employees for the future. Below we take a look at one of the four key learning styles – the pragmatist learning style.
What is the Pragmatist Learning Style?
The Honey and Mumford Learning Style Questionnaire has four types of learning style: Activists, Reflectors, Theorists, and Pragmatics. Like all learning styles in the LSQ, the Pragmatist Learning Style is unique in many ways.
The pragmatist learning style is very forward-thinking in the sense that they actively encourage new trends, trying things out and from a philosophical standpoint, the pragmatist is often at the forefront of new ideas and concepts. This helps lead to new ways of thinking, ideas and processes within an organisation, but also generally from a social-economical standpoint.
How do Pragmatist Learners Learn?
The pragmatist learner learns best when in collaborative problem-solving situations. This may for example be internal discussions or conversations surrounding a business problem where the pragmatist learner can see multiple perspectives and take away useful insights to consider.
In most business cases, the pragmatist learner learns best from workshops, team huddles and conferences. They find documentation such as case studies and literature on the subject matter useful post-meeting to deliberate a concept or perspective. They use this time to fuel their learning by contemplating the concept and how this can be applied in the business environment.
Pragmatist learners make good problem-solvers
Additionally, the pragmatist's learning style benefits from solving problems. Naturally, being keen to take on board new ideas, perspectives etc. the pragmatist learning style often enjoys tackling business problems as this provides them with the perfect opportunity to employ new learnings in real-world working environments. This innate desire to test out things makes them a great advert for testing and learning.
Challenges for Pragmatist Learners
Pragmatists tend to be practical and realistic, over theoretically led. Hence, when shaping learning and development plans it is important to remember that a pragmatist learners learning can stagnate if the learning is all theory and there is no model or process they can test or learn from. They are not the learners to conceptualise without some grounding in previous learning/model/idea etc. But by identifying a clear benefit from the learning opportunity pragmastic learners can decipher what information is valuable and apply this to personalise and business opportuntiies.
Interestingly, guidance is a key area. For example, a pragmatist learner may benefit from practice or guidance from instructions/experienced personnel who can show them the way. For many Gen Z learners mentors are reportingly having a positiv impact. According to research, '93% of mentees believe their mentoring relationship was useful’ (MentorcliQ). Identifying learning styles can help L&D teams drill down into what works for the individual and could help in establishing strong relationships with other learners.
Testing Your Team’s Learning Styles
In business, it can be beneficial to test your talents' proficiency for learning and the styles from which they most benefit. It’s important to have a diverse pool of varied learning styles within each team and throughout each business function. This way, different types of learning, action and development can take place, catering for an improved learning and working environment. In doing so, individual team members can help improve each other and foster more collaboration on projects and tasks. Additionally, each learning style poses various forms of cognitive thinking that can benefit the business. From abstract reasoning to critical thinking, the more variety in the learning styles within the organisation, the more opportunity for various thinking types to emerge and benefit the solving of business probledxms both short and long term.
The Honey and Mumford Learning Questionnaire
TalentLens has vast experience in administering the Honey and Mumford Learning Questionnaire to businesses and local governments throughout the UK.
We have worked with Global 100 companies and small businesses to improve their screening of candidates and team member learning styles. Learn more about implementing this learning styles questionnaire by contacting our team.