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Updated 01.31.1999


People don't all think, learn, or interact in the same ways.  There are 7 personal styles existing within every person.   The relative strength of these styles determines how one prefers to communicate his/her opinions in public.  A successful meeting facilitator should apply different meeting techniques to toggle these different styles.  The following are these seven personal styles and some tips corresponding to each style.

Visual-Spatial: Prefer visual aids, diagrams, charts, and illustrations.  Tips: Charting is the best way to stimulate participation from people of this style.

Musical:  Prefer appropriate music before the meeting, during breaks, after the meeting, and as a review technique.  Tips: Use music before the meeting and during breaks.  Music can also be used along with visual aids as a review or meeting summary.
Interpersonal: Emphasize the process of exchanging opinions amongst people before reaching individual decisions.  Tips: Introduce people to each other at the beginning of the meeting.  Allow people to discuss amongst themselves in small groups during the meeting.
Intrapersonal: Prefer reflecting and condensing ideas independently and silently.  Tips: Allow quiet time for thinking and writing down ideas independently.
Bodily-Physical: Need physical movement to focus on the issue and keep energy high.  Tips: Allow a few moments of physical movement when the meeting lasts more than a few hours.  Encourage people to sit in different places, next to different people.   Use some light exercises to keep the group active.
Linguistic: Weighs linguistic activities heavily in information collection and opinion exchange, and decision making.  Tips: Use analogies and metaphors to crystallize the ideas. Lead focused group discussions.
Mathematical-Logical: Prefer seeing things being prioritized, put in sequence, and analyzed step by step.  Tips: Prioritize choices and concerns by survey or voting.  Compare and contrast issues.  Use flowcharts.
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