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How We Learn


How do you learn? This information is vital if you're someone who is ambitious, you're wanting growth and chasing goals. Because the faster you learn, the faster you can implement new information to overcome the hurdles on your way to achieving your dreams.

The less familiar we are with information, the harder it is to learn. By bringing all of your senses into your learning environment, will enable you to process it and make sense of it in a way that you can then implement it faster. Without being able to implement the information, it may remain unused, and not retained long term. We talk about strategies to help you discover how you learn best, which of your senses are heightened, to achieve faster results.

You'll Learn

  • How we process the world around us

  • How YOU process the world around you

  • How you can use that to your advantage and play to your strengths


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Episode Transcript


EP #36

“Do I need a life coach?” You’re listening to Episode 36, with Rhiannon Bush

Welcome to the Do I need a life coach? Podcast. We’re here to discuss the ins- and outs- of the life coaching industry and give you tools to use, to see for yourself. I’m your host, Rhiannon Bush. Mother, management consultant and a passionate, certified life coach.

Early on in my coach training, I was told “you’ll never be the same. Once you learn this stuff, you can never unlearn it” and I believe this is true. I was recently working with an organisation debriefing their team with behavioural profiling and I checked in with a few of the individual participants days, sometimes weeks, later and I asked how they were feeling and whether the debrief had had any impact on them. Every single one of them said “I can't stop profiling people and I keep thinking about what profile they are and how I can communicate with them better”.

This, as a coach, and on behalf of my client, was 100% the goal. And by the way, none of these participants said this to me in a negative way. All of them were absolutely fascinated by the seeds that had been planted, and, while they wouldn't use this term because they aren’t coaches (but as a coach I know what I've done), their reticular activating system (or RAS) was now educated and focusing on other people’s behaviours. They could recognize and were able to guess, on the balance of probability, which behavioural profile that person was.

Not only that, but the debrief (and this happened in just one whole hour, believe it or not) the debrief had actually trained them in those behaviours enough for them to recognise them, and for them to be able to implement the tool without having to constantly refer to it or rote learning the way we do in school.

There was this new level of excitement, and almost detachment from others’ behaviour having any meaning on them. Which is absolutely something I like to provide my clients with. Because when you can take a step back, and view somebody else’s behaviour without making it mean anything about you, then you have control. Then you have more power within yourself – whether that’s in the way of increased awareness, curiosity or with the specific intent to manipulate (which I hope it isn’t unless it’s for the specific and consensual benefit of the other person). Then you have the ability to communicate with that person in a way that's going to be much more effective, and in a way that really works for both you and for them as well.

Does anyone remember look-say-cover-write-check?

I remember it so vividly from school, both primary school and high school, to learn new words and increase our vocabulary, to learn how to spell, and later to learn acronyms to remember longer lists to regurgitate in the way of exams or tests or papers that we had to do where we couldn't refer to reference material, or whatnot.

It's still an incredibly effective tool to remember something that is not easy to remember. And the reason it's such an effective tool, is because it targets most of our senses. It targets our visual in the look – observing the word itself. ‘Say’ is not only a kinesthetic action because we are using our voice – doing something, but then it’s reinforced because we hear it with our ears (obviously), then we cover it which tests are short term memory, then we write it which is also kinesthetic and visual, and then we check it which gives us the dopamine kick of being correct, if we're correct.

There's a lot of schooling I don't agree with, in the way that we are taught to learn. I think our subconscious minds are unbelievably fast, and when I first got into my coach training and was told that, I really sat with that and I thought “is that true?” mainly because I felt very behind in high school. I felt like I really struggled to keep up and like I wasn't one of the smart kids or the cool kids, and to be honest, I felt quite dumb. And the impact that that had on my confidence wasn't great, however because of my stubbornness and my ego I put my head down and I went to work. My total drive in high school was to keep up because luckily in my high school and amongst my friends that I'm still friends with now from that school, it was cool to try and it was cool to be smart and to be better and to do well, no matter what that was with – arts, sports, academia. Which meant that if you didn't try, you were behind, you were judged, and maybe it was me that judged now I think about that a little bit more closely, but it wasn't cool not to try.

So our subconscious minds are very, very fast when we are taught a certain way. And usually when we're taught using all of our senses – visually, aurally, orally, kinesthetically and there's another one which is called audio digital which is information and is the language of the corporate world, our subconscious minds can process information, related to what we already know and learn it to implement it that much faster.

Think about a time where you had to sit and study something you didn't really love, or you had to go into really great detail for presenting, or sitting a test. How hard was it?

I know a lot of people in their 20s and 30s that decide to do MBA's or higher education in the way of a PhD, other Masters etc. And the procrastination goes on, and how much they hate it when they’re doing it on top of their full-time job is quite astounding. I've never heard anyone say they loved doing their additional study. I have two bachelor degrees and I remember nearing the end of my second, I knew I needed some time out from very formal study, because I was just done. But my point is if learning was conducted in a more engaging way, where you get to do individual work and you test it and you play with the ideas and you do it as a group, and the knowledge is passed to you in a way that targets all of your senses, you will be able to implement it that much faster. Have you ever experienced that?

Do you remember learning something in a study type context, where you were able to just grab it and implement it with very little energy investment, and very little struggle because either your trainer was amazing and communicated with you in a way that you really clearly understood it, and very quickly understood it,or because it was given to you via a medium that you enjoyed and resonated with you much better?

This is why a lot of people I love audiobooks. I'm similar, I love audiobooks. I can listen to an audiobook, and if I really like it I'll buy the physical book as well, and in a physical book I'll mark it out and almost use it as reference material. Fictitious books I love to read, but let's be honest fictitious books are kind of like watching Netflix, they are about escapism and creativity in your mind, it's an enjoyable experience. I wish I'd never watched the Harry Potter movies. I loved the books so much, and I have very specific ideas of how the characters looked, and the way they sounded and how Hogwarts looked in my mind, and then when I watched the movies, the world I had mentally created was overwritten by the movie. I've never watched the movie The Da Vinci Code because I loved the book so much when I read it, I didn’t want to ruin it.

Have you had this experience? Where the movie is never quite as good as the book? Have you ever wondered why that is?

When I'm trying to learn something, I love an audiobook because it's an enjoyable medium for me to learn through and it requires a lot less energy for me than reading, especially when the information is quite heavy in detail. A girlfriend of mine recommended Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman and I ordered it online and I opened the first page and took one look at the size of the text and the very narrow margins, and I haven't touched it since. I'll get the audiobook and listen to the audiobook first, but that book is packed.

Interestingly, when I earmark a book that I have been listening to, I will mentally go back to what I was seeing when I first heard that information. And this is linked with our spatial memory. So there is a lot of neuroscience behind using our senses and multiple parts of our brain when learning and relating information. We are capable of processing so much information and if we can do it in a way that works for us, we can process information faster, more efficiently and more permanently.

Damien did his qualification in training and assessing. I absolutely love to run workshops. It’s one of my favourite things to do, I love being up the front of a room and working with a group of people at once, to move forward, and to learn and grow and develop their knowledge and skills. But I don’t have my training and assessing. If I felt it was going to help me gain employment or meet criteria organisations have for RTO standards, I’d consider it. But honestly, the curriculum looked so dry and the teaching method was not something that interested me at all. So I haven’t done it. Learning can be fun and more interesting when it’s taught in a way that resonates with you, opposed to reading a textbook, absorbing as much information as you can and then sitting an exam.

So how do you best learn? Our neurology is absolutely set up for visual learning. And this is because of the number of neurons that are linked to our optic nerve and the cones in our eyes. Our site is imperative for our survival, it's why we have peripheral vision and long sightedness and short-sightedness, because we rely on our eyes to survive. and our visual sensitivity is super quick.

But if you are somebody who is particularly inclined to listen to music, You've been raised around music or in other ways trained to use your ears and hone your listening skills, or you maybe overly sensitive to noise, and specific sounds, you may be very aural.

if you have a strong background in analytics, data, programming, or you've been in a corporate environment for a long time, or you're a professor, then chances are a strong modality for you is audio digital. Information.

Damien is a trained chef. His gustatorial sensors are extremely refined. He can taste something and tell me exactly what's in it, and then replicated in the kitchen. It's an incredible skill. But when you see chefs and some millionaires, they have extremely refined taste buds. They used taste to process the world around them.

Olfactory is your sense of smell. So people who are perfumists or alchemists, they process the world around them through their sense of smell.

Kinesthetic is the sixth sense I'll talk about. Kinesthetic is learning by doing, and I think matches visual in it’s most powerful, and most impactful. Kinesthetic is doing and feeling and touching and sensing. And the reason it's so impactful, is the difference between a Doctor Who's learned from a textbook and just received their qualification versus five years’ experience where they have actually been working with, and diagnosing patients. Children learn by doing. If you watch a child learn to draw, colour in, climb, walk, they do it by trying and failing. They get a feel for it they adjust that feel if they need to, and then they eventually get it. I don't believe there is any type of learning that is more powerful than doing.

It's like having a certificate to say you’re a chef versus actually having been in a kitchen and being a chef. Or a surgeon, or a life coach. In coach training, we learn visually, aurally, audio-digitally and kinaesthetically. We learned theory, and then we put the theory into practise, first and foremost with ourselves, secondly with each other and then thirdly with clients. But to just do your coach training and hang a certificate on the wall, does not make you a coach. It makes you a rookie, and it certainly gives you information to help you become a coach, but when you actually coach clients that pay for services, that's when it gets real.

Recognising how you learn, if you are somebody who seeks growth and development, will change your life. Because when you know how you learn, and how you are more inclined to process information, then you can utilise that information to process information faster, in a more enjoyable way, in a way that is easy and seamless and effective for you.

We all use all our senses to process our environment. All six modalities are things we use to process the world around us. But you will have a natural inclination for some over the others, I’m roughly 50% K and 50% AD. It's not an exact science, so take it with a grain of salt, and just give it a go and be super honest when answering the questions. I’ll put a quick, little survey you can do in the show notes. It’s a two-pager, just print it out or write the answers on a note pad to tally it at the end and see which sensors you are more inclined to use and enjoy.

When you have this knowledge, you can work with it to improve your life by utilising that knowledge and putting it into practice. And when you can educate yourself faster, and your growth speeds up, you can get whatever results you're looking to get, faster as well, because you have the knowledge to use and correct your course of action if requierd, to get the result.

Have fun! I’ll see you next week.

Hey! Before you go, I always find reviews really helpful when looking for new information or insights…

I you’ve found this podcast valuable, please take a minute to write a quick review about what you’ve found most beneficial for you, so other people can benefit from your insights, and listen in too. I would LOVE that!

Also, if there are any topics you’d like me to cover specifically about life coaching or the life coaching industry, visit to contact me. Thanks for joining and I’ll see you in the next episode of Do I Need A Life Coach?!

Please note, this transcription may not be exact.

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