VAK Learning Styles Model

Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a collection of methods which identify how the mind process information.  Within NLP, there are 3 communication modalities, these are known as the VAK model.  The simple version of the VAK Learning Styles Model describes three representational systems.  These systems reveal how we prefer to learn and communicate.  Once you understand how people prefer to communicate and learn, you can easily build rapport and find ways to connect in a more effective way. The 3 styles are:


People who communicate and learn through vision take in information easily when it is presented in diagrams, pictures charts or characterisation.  You can spot a someone who prefers to communicate with visual representation as you will hear them say phrases such as “I can see your point”  I get the picture”  “Looking beyond next year”.  They are literally seeing what they have in their minds.


Auditory learners and communicators prefer listening and hearing information.  They will thrive in lecture-type discussions.  You will recognise these preferences when you hear people say phrases such as “I hear what you say”  “I am hearing that you…..”   They like listening to dialogue inner or outer.  Auditory responses might be repeating back what they have heard.


Learners who prefer the kinesthetic modality communicate through feelings and touch.  They will say things like, “I feel that you are…”  “I feel touched”.  They like to learn through hands-on demonstrations.  Practical practising methods are one of their preferences.

Knowing VAK preferences can help in a number of ways.  Coaches use it to determine how a client prefers to communicate.  The ability to speak in a common language not only creates rapport but helps the client to easily understand new concepts.   Developing learning interventions for individuals matched to their preference will be effective.  If developing learning materials for a group of people, then all preferences should be covered.  So learning will include pictures, diagrams, vision, listening materials and demonstrations for example.

Understanding VAK helps you to know how you and others understand and interpret the world around you.  You recognise how you easily connect with some people and struggle with others.  Knowing this difference means you can switch ways of communicating and create better connections.

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