‘Tell me how’ VS ‘Show me how’

We all learn so very differently and if we develop the skill to understand trigger words, then this provides us clues on how someone likes to learn.

As a trainer and assessor I’ve learned that trigger words can help to identify how people learn and their needs and wants.

For example: 

If someone asks you to tell them how to do something then, tell them, literally, clearly and concisely. Avoid using jargon and unnecessary long works. No need for long, meaningless words. Just make it simple and stay on track.

If someone asks you to show them, this does not mean ‘talk them through something’ it literally means demonstrate it for them. Literally show them. Demonstrate an example of what it is you want them to do. People who like to see how to do something, only retain information when it’s presented to them.

This is a major gap in our communication. Is it any wonder that few get the results they need.

Click the link below and access the PDF where I share with you certain trigger words and phrases that will help you to identify whether someone likes to be shown or likes to be told how to do something.

How do you like to learn?

Are you non-action oriented or action oriented?

Do you learn by:

  • yourself or both sides of the coin?
  • existing knowledge or trial and error learning?
  • step-by-step learning or project type learning

Do you learn from:

  • 5 senses or do you have a 6th sense?
  • facts or experimental learning?
  • logical development of new knowledge or by applying?
  • organised, linear and structured lectures or discovery learning

Do you learn by:

  • sharing or do you need time to think?
  • independent learning items or framework to existing knowledge
  • outside of class group exercises or do you prefer to collect information
  • superficial or deep learning?

Are you:

  • an impersonal or humane learner?
  • objective oriented or prefer to learn together?
  • more of an independent action learner or do you prefer small group exercises?
  • more of a ‘what’s important’ type of learner or do you learn from others?

How are aware are you of how others like to learn?

By going through the same questions above, contextualise and use these same questions to learn about how others like to learn.

It may be your employees, colleagues, family, children, friends… these questions apply to each and every one of us.

Access the PDF HERE. 

Print it out. Put in shared areas. Contextualise it. Make it work for you. For your business. 

I trust this has been useful and that it brings some value and insights and maybe leads to some action and change around this topic for you.

Link to PDF HERE. 


by Alexandra Egan
Domino Effect Consulting & Facilitating – www.alexandraegan.com.au  R.E.S.E.T Your Thinking
Alexandra makes it easy for you to strategically think about, better manage and resolve any challenging situation. If you’re looking for someone to help you plan and prioritise your tasks, CLICK HERE and schedule in a free 30 minute strategy session.