My Aha! Moment in Auditory Learning

I’m listening to David Allen’s GTD on CD, and it is giving me a new resolve to get my long-overdue audio book done for Managing with Aloha. I’m looking for some feedback here; if I move it up in my priorities—and on my Must-Finance List—would you be interested in it? I’d also want to make it a value-added project, not just a reading of MWA as is; If you’ve read MWA, what would you want me to add in?

I have never thought of myself as an auditory/verbal learner, knowing how highly visual, tactile, and kinesthetic I am. However the truth is that while we all have our preferences and an innate strength in a certain learning style, we learn in all these different ways, simply because it’s a biological thing:

— Our ears and voice enable us to be auditory and verbal

— Our eyes enable us to be visual

— Our sense of touch enables us be tactile

—Our emotions enable us to be kinesthetic

— And our brains and our spirit help us add an instinctual, gut-level wisdom and intelligence to all four

Even when like me, you do not think of yourself as an auditory learner unless you force it—and maybe especially because you don’t (think of yourself accurately)—listening and speaking gives you different undeniable triggers. Same thing with the other learning styles.

So Rosa, what’s your point?

If you’re on my main page, BE SURE you click the next link to open the extended post! I promise you this is good stuff!

I’ve now read GTD about nine times only since this past June (yes, I honestly have) and listening to it on CD now, Ms. Queen of the visual moment, my ears are giving me back my 20-20 vision: I’m hearing stuff I did not read ” and I can assure you I have read every single word.

Don’t make the mistake I make way too often, and do yourself the disservice of categorizing yourself. You are way better at different learning styles than you probably give yourself credit for.

There was something David Allen said on the CD I listened to today, that jumped out at me. It’s very simple, but we just don’t do it enough, because we are always “too busy.” He said “Test things.” Test, test, and then test again, to come up with the life systems (productivity system in the context of GTD) that will work for you; i.e. until you come up with that “consistent protocol” for getting things done, a protocol that matches up with the intensity and complexity of your life.

None of us go through life without using all the learning styles available to us. Use them, and test those too.

Here’s a good site I found while web surfing today on Evaluating Learning Styles. It’s done by the University of Arkansas – Fort Smith. I love this line on their About Page: “Genuine Education. Genuine Opportunity.”

What I like about this page on their site, is that it gives you just enough information and not too much: You have to THINK in evaluating yourself, and you have to recognize yourself. For instance, I’ve turned their sections on “Learning Benefits” into a new Cool List (GTD Jargon alert) of affirmation language for myself. It’s all about me, and it looks like this:

Sidebar: For those GTDers and MWA3Pers who are interested, this is one of my new Cool Reference Lists, cut and paste—using speed keys, of course!—into a digital Reference File with a second category of @New Learning: a new Context category I’ve set up until it becomes new habit.

Now that I’ve had this aha! moment, which yes, I’ve had before and did not capture into IN ” I do not want to underestimate myself again. The links provide me with retention of my past learning (note the Mastery one below): This post link will be added to it once I can capture the Permalink.

Cool List: Learning Benefits Within My Reach

When I learn visually and verbally, I will

  • Be a good reader, who loves to read
  • Actively participate in writing assignments; test well
  • Get learning cues from outside stimuli; enjoy research
  • Be a holistic learner who shows an interest in the world around me
  • Take excellent notes and keep very organized study guides

When I learn in a tactile and kinesthetic learning style, I will

  • Thrive in the laboratory environment
  • Be an independent worker who prefers to practice skills, getting “muscle-memory” – Mastery!
  • Interact well with others in group activities and outside the classroom
  • Manipulate resources and materials to supplement learning

When I learn in the auditory/ verbal learning style, I will

  • Thrive in the lecture environment
  • Be achievement-oriented and  competitive
  • Be memory-oriented; Details are important
  • Be analytical and conceptual; a deep thinker
  • Be an independent worker who can stay on task; striving for perfection

Source. Ho‘ohana Connection.

I want all these Learning Benefits, and the list dangles the prize before my very visually oriented brain. It makes me more hungry for them.

I ignored the “Learning Obstacles” sections they offer at UA-Fort Smith, because I have simply made a decision not to let those obstacles be my obstacles — I don’t even want them in my subconscious. I’m going to test, and test, and test some more.

So if you would, take a moment and give me some of your thoughts on what a MWA Audio program could be, would you? How could I design it, so that you could learn more about MWA quicker, and in the most productive way for you? And don’t forget fun; fun is important. Life’s short. Not fun, not gonna do it, not gonna listen to it.


  1. says

    I mostly use audio programs in my car to fill up all that dead time while commuting and running errands and doing yardwork and the like.
    I have a number of audioseminars and they just go on and on and on for hour or more, but I rarely have that long to listen. Mostly I drive in the 5-10 min range, though the average commute is about 26 min. So take that into account.
    I would prefer to have a series of short, to-the-point moments. Two-and-a-half to five minutes of laser focused material would be much more useful to me. A complete thought that I can think about is more useful then something incomplete.
    I realize that my attention is not wholly focused on the audioseminars while driving, so I am not getting all of it in any case. But I know that and have another playlist on my iPod that is just for my top rated audioseminars. I rate each piece of audio as it plays. So I listen to the good ones more often and get more out of them over time. But often they are too long to listen too completely in the car and then there is a long wait before I have a chance to finish listening and I forget what they were talking about.
    I would also recommend that you might want to provide your audio material in Bookmarkable AAC in addition to MP3, so podpeople can just pickup where they left off whenever they get back to it. That is less of an issue if they are only 5 minutes long but much more important if they are 20+ minutes long.
    (Full disclosure, I write articles for