As I mentioned in my blog post last week, I recently completed a year-long Coaching curriculum intended to increase the effectiveness of the organizing and consulting client work I do. One of the things that resonated most with me was an in-depth study of how we each individually learn and interpret our environments (learning modalities).
Denslow Brown, Master Certified Coach, breaks down learning modalities as follows:
Sense-based modalities (last week’s blog post covers these):
Other significant ways people process information and interact with their surroundings:
- Verbal (language)
Each of us probably use all of these modalities at different times. Each of these modalities can be strong or weak within each individual, and can present as hypo-sensitive or hyper-sensitive.
Verbal (language): Involves the language center of the brain and includes both the spoken and written word.
Weak to strong indicators: Someone may be weak in this modality if they have aphasia (loss of language) or if their brain struggles with language processing. Alternatively, someone very gifted in the verbal modality may be an excellent teacher, linguist, or motivational speaker.
Emotional: Impacts how we interpret our feelings and connections with people, places, and things.
Weak to strong indicators: A person weak in the emotional modality may have difficulty perceiving, expressing, understanding, or managing emotions. People who are strong in this modality could include therapists (tapping into and expressing client emotions) and actors who can feel and emulate emotional connections.
Cognitive: Incorporates the processes of understanding and mental knowing.
Weak to strong indicators: Someone weak in this modality may not have the ability to think through processes or apply logic to situations. This could be the result of a medical condition, lack of confidence or training. Someone strong in this modality has the ability to “think outside the box” developing new concepts (inventor) and solving complex problems (mathematician).
Intuitive: Knowing something without proof or rationale. “You know what you know but don’t know why.”
Weak to strong indicators: A person that is weak in this modality potentially is unaware or not tuned into things that are not based on fact or reliable knowledge. Alternatively, a person strong in this modality may present as the person that always knows the right way to go at the fork in the road. They don’t know why they know, they just know.
Once I learned about all the different modalities, I used that knowledge to change how I interacted with my family, friends, and clients. I learned that I’m very much a verbal processor. I like to talk. Knowing that, I remind myself constantly to not interrupt or monopolize conversations. Alternatively, if a client is highly cognitive, I know I need to give them some extra time to process what I’ve said before moving on to the next subject. All this modality learning has allowed me to be much more in tuned to myself and others.
If this small bit of information has you curious, you may be interested in getting a copy of Denslow Brown’s Modalities Guide
Note: If you, or someone you know, could benefit from Life/ADHD coaching, please contact me. My passion is working with people to help them become the vision of who they want to be!
National Association of Professional Organizers, Seattle Area Chapter President
Institute for Challenging Disorganization, Six Certificates of Education