With 8 Multiple Intelligences,
Are you Under-utilizing your Brain?

Most of our working environments and schools don't recognize 8 multiple intelligences (or more). So, if you have been struggling at work or in school, this is great news: You have more than one way to apply your skills. 

There is a great emphasis on only 2 of the 8 types of intelligence: logic and words. If you are not gifted in either of the two, and your career demands the most of those two intelligences, you may not be reaching your true potential. If the work you do is not aligned with your potential, you're more likely going to be less satisfied and less productive.

In addition, if you're a manager or a business owner you may have an army of "clones". That strategy worked well in the Industrial Era, but is not likely to be effective in the post-Industrial Era. Customers are demanding more from their products, which requires innovative ideas to flourish. Which means it requires a different way of thinking and solving problems.

So, let's take a look at the 8 multiple intelligences:

  1. Linguistic intelligence - Your capacity to use language, written or orally.
  2. Logical-mathematical intelligence - Your ability to use numbers and reasoning.
  3. Visual-Spatial intelligence - How well you see pictures and patterns.
  4. Bodily-Kinesthetic intelligence - Your ability to use your body to solve problems.
  5. Musical intelligence - Your potential to recognize musical patterns and compose music.
  6. Interpersonal intelligence - Deals with your ability to with with other people.
  7. Intrapersonal intelligence - Your capacity to understand yourself, knowing your strengths and weaknesses.
  8. Naturalist intelligence - Your ability to categorize patterns in nature.

These were developed by Dr. Howard Gardner in 1983, a Harvard graduate. He felt that only measuring intelligence on IQ tests were extremely limited, which only addresses linquistic and logical intelligence.The tests didn't account for painters, psychologists, entrepreneurs, composers, interior/exterior designers, naturalists etc. 

So, instead of the IQ test, take the Birmingham Grid Test. This will assess which of the 8 multiple intelligences you or your team are likely to be gifted in.

After you take the test, assess what you are good at, then start brainstorming activities to either develop, build on, or start using your intelligences. The key is to know where you are gifted and find what you enjoy doing. Opposed to constantly use skills you're average at. Simple idea, but in my experience it's hardly practiced. 

If someone had a bodily, kinesthetic and interpersonal intelligence (like my brother). He wouldn't likely do well at a desk job, instead he has his own window cleaning business where he's constantly using his body to perform relatively dangerous work. In addition he's applying his solid interpersonal skills when selling his services. 

Another example: Let's say you're learning about making a website. You may first read about it (linguistic), then develop the program (logical), create graphics for the website (visual-spatial), then create a database model based on the real world (naturalist), then create sound tracks (musical), then determine the impact of the website financially (interpersonal) and once it's done you can show others on the overhead projector how to use the website (kinesthetic/interpersonal). 

For the one job, you are able to use all 8 multiple intelligences to create a more complete user experience using different intelligences. So, be creative and find out how you can apply your intelligence in your career. Chances are you are smarter than you think. 

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