Learning styles describe your preferred approach to the Learning Cycle. They illustrate which part of the learning process you favor and which you avoid or underutilize. The purpose of Learning styles is to increase your self-awareness.

Your Learning style can be assessed by the new Kolb Learning Styles Inventory 4.0 (KLSI 4.0) (Kolb & Kolb, 2011).

We recommend that you take the KLSI 4.0 to identify your preferred Learning Style and your Learning Flexibility, that is, your ability to use back-up styles based upon the context. The KLSI 4.0 is available through the Hay Group (www.haygroup.com) and from Institute for Experiential Learning (info@experientiallearninginstitute.org).

Learning styles also provide a framework for understanding others whose approaches are different from yours. They are effective in helping to guide team learning.

The nine Learning Styles correspond to steps in the process of the Learning Cycle. The styles are:


Initiates action to influence others and seek new opportunities. In Initiating Style learners network, think on their feet and take risks to commit to a new course of action.


Finds meaning from deep involvement in experience and relationships. In Experiencing Style one is aware of emotions, sensations and intuition and enjoys being in relationships.


Creates meaning by observing and reflecting on experiences. In Imagining Style one is receptive to many ideas and people, engages in possibility thinking and appreciates diversity.


Takes goal-directed action that balances accomplishment with relationships.

In Acting Style one implements a plan and acts to get things done on time.


Weighs the pros and cons of acting versus reflecting, and experiencing versus thinking. In Balancing Style one identifies blind spots and fills in the gaps by flexibly assuming any style.


Connects experience and ideas through sustained reflection. In Reflecting Style one observes, takes multiple perspectives and waits to act until certain of the outcome.


Converges to choose one course of action to solve problems and achieve practical results. In Deciding Style one sets goals and evaluates progress.


Has capacity for disciplined involvement in abstract reasoning, mathematics, and logic. In Thinking Style one uses quantitative analysis d focuses on a single objective.


Integrates and systematizes ideas through reflection. In Analyzing Style one makes plans, attends to details and uses theories and models to test assumptions,