Thursday, May 20, 2010

Next, please.

We just got back from a full-day in-service on learning styles. It is a way for us to know our strong points, but also recognize the different ways other people may learn, so that we can adapt to their strong points when we need to communicate. Very interesting!
As we shared the findings and ways it applied to our mission, Sister Barbara had the most insightful perspective on our work. She said, "Sometimes when I am working in the book center, I feel that I am a spiritual pharmacist, because when people come to the counter, many times they start by saying, 'What do you have for...' and then describe their need, or someone else's situation..."
It's true! People trust us to make specific recommendations for them, but the way you ask advice of a pharmacist, not a doctor. They don't want a diagnosis; they want an over-the-counter remedy that can help in some way.
For me, the biggest insight was that while I am a person who can learn hands-on or by the book, I am so task-driven that I do not allow myself enough time to really learn a topic with due depth. I tend to go just for the information I need to accomplish the task at hand, promising myself to "get back to this" when the job is done. (Promises, promises.) At least it is an insight that can start me off in the way of making some change for the better!
How do you learn best: by yourself, or hashing it out with others? Just for the sheer joy of learning, or mostly when motivated by a specific purpose? Do you like structure, or prefer to create your own? Or, are you like me, mostly all of the above?

1 comment:

Elizabeth Mahlou said...

I am definitely a strong "random" learner. I create not only my own structure but structure for everyone around me as well!

Interesting. What system of learning styles did they use with you? A proprietary one, or one that is "out there" in the public domain? Sounds like you combined the various modalities/sensory preferences and some set of cognitive styles but not the Jungian personality variables.