Accelerated Learning: How Business Training Can Benefit.

Learning styles research tells us different people learn in different ways (OK – we didn’t need research to tell us that).

There have been many learning models to support this. Some models outline three learning styles – other models outline four, eight or more learning styles and associated learning cycles. In a later blog I’ll create a comparison of a few popular learning styles like Kolb and DISC.

No matter which model you use or how many individual learning preferences you focus on, the one thing every trainer should consider is that almost everyone learns best when many learning styles are engaged. This is called Accelerated Learning.

Accelerated Learning

The name given to learning that engages multiple learning styles in a training environment is ‘Accelerated Learning’. The benefit of Accelerated Learning is that it’s a multi-pronged approach to training (especially business training), that should results in improved retention (learning), in less time. This is a plus to help your organization see a greater Return on Investment (ROI).

The best training design therefore combines both traditional fact-based linear training and active learning – alternating frequently / never keeping one going for a long time.

Active Learning does not mean throwing in a few games or plans to get participants to stretch or dance every hour during a traditional fact-based linear training program. It may however include a combination of experiences including:

  • Auditory stimulation
  • Physical movement
  • Sequential learning
  • Analytical exercises
  • Intuitive thinking
  • Hands-on experiences

Why Does Accelerated Learning Work?

Switching between multiple learning styles works because it lets each individual benefit from their preferred learning style, and then also use the other learning styles to reinforce knowledge transfer. Makes sense right? And there is an added benefit that switching between multiple learning styles help keep participants engaged and awake (seriously).

The irony is that traditional fact-based lectures are still predominantly the norm. The problem is that traditional learning (fact-based linear learning), keeps participants physically inactive and most often (within 5 to 20 minutes), participants unconsciously become disengaged. This is true for the child and the adult learner.

It’s not that traditional fact-based lectures are bad. In fact, short burst are great support to have within an Accelerated Learning program.


Even people with similar learning styles are not the same. We are all different, so even if you and I share the same primary learning style, our preferred learning process will be different. To demonstrate, consider three very natural variables:

  • How quickly each of us learn
  • How dominant our preferred learning style is (i.e.: strong or weak)
  • What our secondary learning style is (and is it being used during training)

So, even though two people with the same preferred primary learning style will learn at a different pace, using multiple learning styles that involve our emotions, body movement, our senses and the full breadth and depth of our personalities will enhance our learning.

To succeed in introducing Active Learning, openly communicate with employees what they will experience and ask them to ‘listen’ and ‘be active’ without judging. Before you know it, they will be fully engaged – to the best of their abilities and learning styles. Mindfulness is key.


What might be your primary Kolb learning style?


The Accommodating learning style is ‘hands-on’, and relies on intuition rather than logic. They commonly act on ‘gut’ instinct rather than logical analysis and prefer to work in teams.


The Diverging learning styles prefers to watch rather than do, tending to gather information and use imagination to solve problems, tend to be imaginative and emotional, and prefer to work in groups.


The Assimilating learning preference is for a concise, logical approach. These people like to work alone, require good clear explanation, and prefer readings, lectures and having time to think things through.


People with a Converging style like to experiment with new ideas, to simulate, and to work with practical applications. Prefer technical tasks and to work alone.

Happy communicating… Happy training.

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About Bruce Mayhew
Bruce Mayhew is a Leadership Coach, Keynote Speaker and Corporate Trainer who builds strong client and co-worker relationships that give clients a competitive advantage. Our training and development programs include: ■Generational Differences ■Effective Business Email Writing ■Email Etiquette ■Phone Etiquette ■Behaviour Event Interviewing (BEI) ■Mindfulness ■Using Linkedin to Build Client Relationships ■Objective Setting Made Easy

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