Making More from Sheep Australian Wool Innovation Limited Meat & Livestock Australia
MODULE 4: Capable and Confident Producers
Tool 4.5
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This questionnaire may help you pinpoint your learning preferences so that you are in a better position to select learning experiences that suit your personal style.

  • There are no right or wrong answers
  • Read each box and if you agree with the statement more than you disagree, put a tick in that box
  • At the end of each page, add up the number of ticks in each column

Download the Learning Style Worksheet (123 KB)

To pinpoint your preferred learning style, add the number of ‘ticks’ in each column and place the number at the bottom of the column in each of the two previous tables. Add the respective column scores together and record your scores in the following table.

Learning styles — general descriptions

Each learning style adds to the ability to solve problems in a different way as described below.

Activists — act

Activists involve themselves fully and without bias in new experiences. They enjoy the here and now and are happy to be dominated by immediate experiences. They are open-minded, not sceptical, and this tends to make them enthusiastic about anything new. Their philosophy is “I’ll try anything once”. They dash in where angels fear to tread. They tend to throw caution to the wind. Their days are filled with activity. They revel in short-term crisis firefighting. They tackle problems by brainstorming. As soon as the excitement from one activity has died down they are busy looking for the next. They tend to thrive on the challenge of new experiences but are bored with implementation and longer-term consolidation. They are gregarious people, constantly involving themselves with others, but in doing so, they hog the limelight. They are the life and soul of the party, and seek to centre all activities around themselves.

Reflectors — reflect

Reflectors like to stand back to ponder experiences and observe them from many different perspectives. They collect data, both first-hand and from others, and prefer to chew it over thoroughly before coming to any conclusion. The thorough collection and analysis of data about experiences and events is what counts so they tend to postpone reaching definitive conclusions for as long as possible. Their philosophy is to be cautious; to leave no stone unturned. “Look before you leap”, “sleep on it”. They are thoughtful people, who like to consider all possible angles and implications before making a move. They prefer to take a back seat in meetings and discussions. They enjoy observing other people in action. They tend to adopt a low profile and have a slightly distant, tolerant unruffled air about them. When they act it is part of a big picture which includes the past as well as the present and others’ observations as well as their own.

Theorists — generalise

Theorists adapt and integrate observations into complex but logically sound theories. They think problems through in a vertical, step-by-step, logical way. They assimilate disparate factors into coherent theories. They tend to be perfectionists and won’t rest easy until things are tidy and fit into their rational scheme. They like to analyse and synthesise. Their philosophy prizes rationality and logic. “If it’s logical it’s good”. Questions they frequently ask are: “Does it make sense?”; “How does this fit with that?”; and “What are the basic assumptions?” They tend to be detached, analytical and dedicated to rational objectivity rather than anything subjective or ambiguous. Their approach to problems is consistently logical. This is their “mental set” and they rigidly reject anything that doesn’t fit with it. They prefer to maximise certainty and feel uncomfortable with subjective judgements, lateral thinking and anything flippant.

Pragmatists — plan

Pragmatists are keen on trying out ideas, theories and techniques to see if they work in practice. They positively search out new ideas and take the first opportunity to experiment with applications. They are the sort of people who return from management courses brimming with new ideas that they want to try out in practice. They like to get on with things and act quickly and confidently on ideas that attract them. They don’t like beating around the bush and tend to be impatient with ruminating and open-ended discussions. They are essentially practical, down-to-earth people who like making practical decisions and solving problems. They respond to problems and opportunities “as a challenge”. Their philosophies are “There is always a better way”, and “If it works, it’s good”.

Key questions to improve your business

What different learning styles do you have in your business?

How can you best use people’s learning styles?

Adapted from: On Track Coaching Manual for Farm Families Working with People (2005)