You are easy to work with and difficult to work with

Imagine yourself along with 3 close friends standing atop the Zhangjiajie glass bridge bungee, China, to do the world’s highest bungeejump at 260m.

Will all of you approach it the same way?

Doubt it.

Person A – A risk taker who likes getting things done

Person B – A planner who like making theroies

Person C – An observer who likes alternatives

Person D – A decision maker who likes problem solving

Is any approach better than the rest? Is there any approach that guarantees a successful or unsuccessful attempt?
No. It just exhibits a learning style. A natural tendency to approach things a certain way that I’m most comfortable in. According to David Kolb’s learning style inventory there are 4 learning styles. Each with their inherent strengths and traps.

As a soft landing, let’s replace the bungee bridge with your work environment. Same people. Different tasks. Will their approach change?


When Phil Knight, creator of Nike, described himself as “I’m easy to talk to and easy to not talk to” it rang a looming bell as a reminder of this dichotomy.  

The sea swung in like an iron gate as I realised this was true for me in every aspect of life. In believing with me, living with me, cooking for me and working with me.

Then the bell got louder as I thought this is true of everybody. It’s part of being human. How we create impact along the spectrum despite being ourselves is the test.

To help our team we did company wide workshops to ‘Discover your learning style’. We used David Kolb’s Learning Style Inventory.


  1. What is a learning style? 
    My learning style is my tendency of how I start my process of learning something. It’s a natural inclination or built over a long period of time with conscious effort. It’s not right or wrong. It’s not better or worse than other styles.
  1. Is it the same as competence? 
    A learning style is not competency. It’s just the room in the house I’m most comfortable in. Therefore, I spend most of my time there. It’s not a measure of how good or bad I am while in it. Just because I am more comfortable in one room doesn’t mean I can’t make the most of what other rooms in the house have to offer.
  1. Why is it important to know? 
    To understand myself and others better. To be empathetic towardseach other. To devise meaningful interactions with different learning styles(people in different rooms).
  1. If effective learning is going through the 4stages of a learning cycle, why is a learning style unique?
    Because each of us enter the learning cycle at a different point and spend different amounts of time in each of the 4 stages
  1. Cana learning style change?
    No. My natural propensity to approach things a certain way will not change.With conscious effort you can pick up skills from people in other styles and become become more flexible

What did we find?

Twimbit team strengths:

  • Taking risks and getting things done
  • Brainstorming
  • Understanding people and leadership
  • Planning and problem solving

Twimbit team traps:

  • Trivial improvements
  • Paralysed by alternatives
  • Solving the wrong problems
  • Hasty decision making and indecisiveness 

What happens after discovery?

Surely you have seen and heard these scenarios at work

What happens when a risk taker who likes getting things done is the boss of a planner who likes making theroies?

What happens in the opposite case?

What happens when a decision maker who likes problem solving is the boss of an observer who likes alternatives?

What happens in the opposite case?


Cases like mine pop up. I don’t like working with data, I get lost with things like excel sheets, graphs and heavy ppt’s. While risk taking and doing things are my strengths how can I become more rounded in my work? 

Post the discovery its about being equipped to handle the above scenarios and ensuring well roundedness at work.  

3 steps to make learning styles less rigid and more impactful 

  • Open and authentic cultural conversations to remove perceptions about each other by understanding their learning style
  • Get consciously involved in projects that require opposite skills. If I am gunning for a future-fit career, I have to build complimentary skills.
  • Buddy up with someone with opposite skills and learning style. Accomodators should buddy up with Assimilators to balance risk taking and forming theories. Convergers with Divergers to balance problem solving and alternatives.