What’s the first thing that comes to mind when people talk about intelligence?
Many will say the IQ score or grades a person earned in school determine their intelligence. However, intelligence is more complex than a grade or a number. There are eight types of intelligence prominent in the workplace. These gifts and abilities determine what profession and culture you will thrive in. Which type of intelligence do you have?
Those with kinesthetic-bodily intelligence learn by moving. They learn and absorb information best by using their body. They like using fidget spinners and stress balls to focus on the task at hand. This person is a hands-on learner. They will grasp concepts and lessons easier by jumping in and doing the work. This includes sports and learning surgical skills with a cadaver. People with kinesthetic-bodily intelligence excel in athletics and are skilled craftspeople. They enjoy working with their hands to solve problems.
People with high interpersonal intelligence are stellar team players. They tend to score high for emotional intelligence too. They are very in-tune with the emotions and temperaments of the people around them. Those with interpersonal intelligence thrive best when working with people instead of more task-oriented environments.
In addition, they are very in-tune with themselves. They understand how they personally work best.
Emotional intelligence is like interpersonal intelligence. They both share characteristics but emotional intelligence ties into emotional maturity too. Those with high emotional intelligence benefit from constructive criticism. It helps them become better at their craft. It also helps them grow personally. They choose their words carefully, especially when they are in emotionally charged situations. Emotionally intelligent people assess the situation, then speak. Regulating negative thoughts helps them maintain a control of the situation. There are aspects that are outside of their control. But, they take responsibility for their thoughts.
Shakespeare excelled here. Linguistic-verbal learners read, write, and learn additional languages effectively. They are quick to pick up on words and dates. The linguistic learner is not a vigorous note taker. This person will listen and ask questions to absorb information instead. Linguistically skilled people are great storytellers and learn by asking questions. Do you process information best by hearing it in the form of a story? Then your gift may be linguistic-verbal intelligence.
Do you like numbers, critical thinking, and reasoning? You may have excellent mathematical-logical intelligence. Mathematically astute people need time and minimal distractions to work through complex problems. They are very organized and systematic with their processes. They thrive with outlines and plenty of time to complete projects well.
Nature is beautiful and complex. Those with high naturalist aptitude understand, enjoy, and appreciate how nature works together. They look at the big picture and the end goal in the workplace. When co-workers fixate on the details naturalists can steer them back to the final goal. A person with high naturalist intelligence enjoys observing and recording outcomes. They love to see how different parts work together to create the whole piece.
Spatial or visual intelligence:
Those with high spatial intelligence are also referred to as visual learners. They can see how physical things fit together well in their head. They like to organize their notes with colors and complex organization. Their notes have doodles and drawings to help them understand concepts. Those with high visual or spatial intelligence make skilled chemists and engineers. If you need a solution to a large physical issue call the person with exemplary spatial reasoning.
Some will say that this type of agility is a result of practice. But, it’s deeper than that. The musically inclined are sensitive to sound and music. Musically gifted people excel at playing instruments and understand pitch. They aren’t all musicians though, they just work best with music. They work best when immersed in their music. To encourage your musically gifted employees, plan and schedule with them ahead of time so you aren’t interrupting their workflow. Apps like Skype and Slack can be used if you need to discuss urgent issues but don’t want to disrupt the musical person’s day.
Your intelligence type and skills are not set in stone. They can change and develop as you mature.
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