Show Don't Tell: How to Apply Visual Learning at Your Business

Business.com / Work Life / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

How we observe, data, and display information is very different today from how it was five years ago. Discover how to visualize learning.

How we observe, data, and display information is very different today from how it was five years ago. 

The way we learn new skills and teach others has shifted from the offline manner in which they used to be accomplished.  

Visual learning sites like Hubspot and VisiHow enable individuals to quickly grasp new concepts without having to arduously learn the skill over weeks or months.

This quicker, more innovative way of learning can help us shape not only our current habits but also our future ones. By decreasing the need to scour the internet for a fitting answer or tutorial, online platforms that provide visual aids can save us time.

Related Article: Getting Graphic: How to Use Infographics to Turn Boring into Brilliant

With business, in particular, there are many applications that visual guides have on our day-to-day experiences.

Here are three ways you can apply what you learn from visual guides into your business:

1. Take Action Based on Previous Success

Visual guides teach people how to perform actions or execute tasks by showing them the task that needs to be done.  By mirroring someone, or watching someone perform a task before doing it yourself, you have an advantage in learning the skill compared with someone who is using verbal stimuli exclusively.  

The best way to learn a new skill is to learn from someone who has performed it successfully in the past. The same notion can be applied to business. Rather than waste time and effort with a lengthy process of trial and error, taking action based on previous success enables you to secure a higher chance of a good outcome without expending unnecessary effort. The notion of “don’t reinvent the wheel” applies heavily in this sense. What visual learning sites teach us is the power in repetition from earlier success. 

If your team’s marketing strategy has worked in the past, there is a good chance it can work in the future. Work off of previous success and used what worked in the past to create success in the future. In addition to learning from our success, learning from our failures also provides valuable insight when making plans and learning new things.

In fact, many self-made millionaires attribute learning from failures as a prime reason for their current success.

2. Share Data

Rather than spending time teaching and re-teaching courses, sharing information, and telling stories – make the stories easily accessible online. Tutorials and teaching sessions for your company should be easily available via download through a portal which you provide to them. 

This is especially helpful for onboarding and training new employees. Rather than having HR extra spend time training and onboarding employees, stored video training sessions can get new hires up to speed while your HR managers spend their efforts elsewhere.

Exposing your coworkers to a storage of collected data will save them the time and hassle of having to recollect or otherwise re-engage the set of information themselves. As intuitive as this may seem, in many cases this is absent from a business’s organizational plan. Having a designated location where helpful information can be shared and received will help expedite the growth and communal learning of your team. 

Another way to learn new things quickly is to stop multitasking. Focusing on one thing at a time will allow you to understand the concept more deeply, and absorb it quicker than if you are distracted by external stimuli.

3. Use Visual Aids

We can learn from visual learning tools that verbal communication isn’t always most effective. Teaching somebody a skill over a the phone is much more difficult than teaching them in person, and often our non-verbal cues and communications have a greater impact than what we say.   For employees learning new skills, facts, and deepening their knowledge, visual learning should play a key role. 

Powerpoints and hands-on materials will provide an additional layer of stimulation for employees to grasp onto as they try to learn these new tasks. It is widely known that visual learning can expedite the gathering of new data and information.

Related Article: Telling Your Brand Story: How to Engage the Masses

How the brain receives and processes new information is largely influenced by visual input. Our memories, for example, form based more on visual stimuli than verbal, and thus our ability to recollect information is tied more closely on how that information was presented to us visually. 

There are literally more neural networks that connect our visual input with our memory centers than do our auditory and verbal inputs combined.  Thus, we should never be afraid to utilize visual aids when creating, displaying, and sharing new content.

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