Team development

How you like to learn according to the Insights Colour Energies

The proverb ‘every day is a school day’ rings true. Learning is a never-ending process we all experience throughout our lives. After all, how do we grow if we don’t learn?

Different learning styles are a widely understood concept. Most people are able to categorise themselves as learners using terms like visual, kinaesthetic or auditory.

Imagine this: you’re on a training course. Are you quietly listening attentively to the speaker, taking in all the information? Perhaps you sit at the back, scribbling down notes? Maybe you lean over to discuss the topics with your fellow course mates? Or are you wanting to get down to business and actually DO the concepts being taught?

‘Learning style’ refers to the belief that different individuals learn in different ways. The undertone of this view, is that people will learn better if learning is presented to them in their own style.

This concept has been commonplace within education for years, yet research shows there is no correlation between people’s perceived learning styles, and their learning outcomes. While people can develop personal, subjective preferences for the way in which they digest learning material, studies have discounted that people learn better through a personal learning style. In short, it’s a myth.

However, where learning styles have no correlation to improving learning outcomes, people’s individual differences and preferences do matter, but not in this widely believed manner.

How do learning and preferences come into play?

Insights learning architect Dr Tanya Boyd discusses the myth of ‘perceived learning styles’. While the concept of learning styles influencing learning outcomes has been discounted, Dr Boyd notes that these preferences are worth taking into account, not due to their influence on learning, but because they contribute to an individual’s motivation.

Motivation to learn has ‘always been important’ she states, but it is of particular importance now, as people have increased demands competing for their time and attention; and are given more empowerment in their learning pathways.


How you learn is up to you…

When individuals have the autonomy to choose how they want to learn, it directly impacts their motivation to do so. Knowing what motivates you on your learning journey is a valuable part of the process; this is where personality and preferences comes into play.

However, Dr Tanya Boyd adds that learning content or experiences must be well designed, based on sound learning principles that relate to the subject. As long as that is the case, personal choices on how people approach the way they learn can make a world of difference, ensuring that they are motivated to start and complete a course of learning.


It’s time to skip the cake and eat the carrots…

Self-awareness can provide insight into your learning preferences, as well as enable you to learn more effectively. When individuals gain self-awareness around their strengths, possible weaknesses and factors such as approaches to decision-making, they can better understand what motivates them, ultimately influencing their learning choices.

This is where the Insights colour energies come into play.

Paul Kirschner, a Dutch Professor Emeritus of Educational Psychology argues that people do not have a learning style, they have a preferred approach. To that end, what we prefer is not always best for us. Many people prefer cake to carrots, but no dietician would recommend that.

At Insights, we encourage individuals to embrace their unique mix of ‘colour energies’, and practise using colours they’re less comfortable with. Despite having preferences, sometimes you have to skip the cake and eat the carrots. When you acknowledge your preferences and tap into all four colour energies, you elevate your learning experience.

When a learning experience is well-designed, you can still learn even if it is presented in a modality that isn’t your favourite. If you’re learning to ride a bike, but your preferred style is observation, you are just going to have to get out there and ride that bike at some point. In short, it’s important not to discount a learning experience just because it’s not offered in your perceived ‘style’. 

So, what are each colour’s learning preferences? And how do you embrace your unique colour mix when on your learning journey?


Learning Preferences of the Insights Colour Energies

Cool Blue: Analyse

  • Likes to listen, analyse and understand the underlying details
  • Finds it important that learning material is well-founded
  • Likes to think about the details in their own time before reaching a conclusion
  • Likes to know the learning agenda in advance
  • Will formulate detailed questions

Earth Green: Reflect

  • Wants information to be balanced and fair
  • Likes to take time to reflect on the value of what they have learned
  • Prefers learning which connects with them on a personal level
  • Wants to understand the benefits of the learning
  • Likes guided learning from a trusted source

Sunshine Yellow: Engage

  • Likes to learn collaboratively
  • Likes contributing to an energetic learning environment
  • Likes to work actively with open dialogue
  • Likes informal, lively learning experiences
  • Likes the learning to have a positive impact

Fiery Red: Purposeful

  • Likes the learning to meet an immediate need
  • Likes learning delivery to be fast paced and to the point
  • Wants learning to be practical, applicable and purposeful
  • Likes learning to be task focused and action oriented
  • Wants learning to follow a logical plan from a respected source


However, each colour energy also has possible weaknesses to consider regarding learning preferences. If you learn in the way your lead colour energy preference indicates, then you may find…

Cool Blue: you draw conclusions that are too theoretical and not practical

Earth Green: you delay conclusions, which slows down the learning

Sunshine Yellow: in the excitement of a new learning experience, you neglect the application

Fiery Red: you dive in with quick assumptions that may not work in the end


In the new world of work, the learning opportunities are endless. What suits you? This is what your Insights colour preferences say about your need for structure and human interaction in learning contexts…

Cool Blue: you prefer asynchronous learning where you get to learn on your own schedule, when and where you want to

Earth Green: you prefer when the facilitator sets the pace which allows time for reflection, and supports the individual learner

Sunshine Yellow: you prefer synchronous learning, learning together with others in a group

Fiery Red: you prefer it when you’re allowed to determine the pace, the topics and the order of learning


The design of learning content and/or experiences are an important component in individual’s learning journeys. This is the type of learning your colour energy preference suggests would motivate you the most…

Cool Blue: self-led e-modules with instructor-led tutorials

Earth Green: mentor and coaching sessions with traditional classroom learning

Sunshine Yellow: group workshops and peer-led exercises, discussion groups

Fiery Red: bitesize video tutorials, on-demand learning


What is Insights Discovery?

Intrigued about what your unique colour mix is? Understanding your own preferences through self-awareness can enhance your learning experiences. Interested? Get in touch today!