by Claire Odogbo, Author of "Learning to Learn"
I recently had a conversation with a senior colleague at work. She told me that she didn’t consider herself to be intelligent. I was shocked because I KNEW she was intelligent - I mean, that is how she got to rise in such a highly competitive environment like the firm in which I work.
In any case, I realized that she, like most people, rate their level of intelligence based on comparison with other people’s levels of expressed intelligence in popular areas such as academics, how quick you think on your feet or in verbal jabs, or whether you are always the one who comes up with the ideas that in quote ‘save the day’. Some of us are very ordinary in all the areas I mentioned. We have never done better than average in school, people may have finished laughing before we get the joke, and we never have any grand ideas, so in conclusion, we are not very clever. We believe so and perhaps others think so about us. But I will tell you something that might just make you metamorphose from the proverbial caterpillar into the beautiful winged butterfly.
According to a researcher and writer, Howard Gardner, there are 9 types of intelligences namely:
1. Naturalist Intelligence (“Nature Smart”)
People who are ‘nature smart’ have the human ability to discriminate among living things (plants, animals) as well as sensitivity to other features of the natural world (clouds, rock configurations). Taken in today’s consumer society, this is usually mobilized in the discrimination among cars, brands of clothing, shoes, accessories and the like.
2. Musical Intelligence (“Musical Smart”)
Musically smart people typically have the capacity to discern pitch, rhythm, timbre, and tone. This intelligence enables people to recognize, create, reproduce, and reflect on music, as demonstrated by composers, conductors, musicians, vocalist, and sensitive listeners.
3. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence ("Number/Reasoning Smart")
Number/reasoning smart people are usually the number crunchers. Those who tell you they love mathematics, theories and hypothesis. They typically perceive relationships and connections, use abstract, symbolic thought; sequential reasoning skills; and inductive and deductive thinking patterns.
4. Existential Intelligence
People who are ‘existential smart’ have the sensitivity and capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, why do we die, and how did we get here.
5. Interpersonal Intelligence (“People Smart”)
Interpersonal intelligent people typically interact effectively with others. It involves effective verbal and nonverbal communication, the ability to note distinctions among others, sensitivity to the moods and temperaments of others, and the ability to entertain multiple perspectives.
6. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (“Body Smart”)
Body smart people usually have the capacity to manipulate objects and use a variety of physical skills. This intelligence also involves a sense of timing and the perfection of skills through mind–body union. Athletes, dancers, surgeons, and craftspeople exhibit well-developed bodily kinesthetic intelligence.
7. Linguistic Intelligence ("Word Smart")
Word smart have the ability to think in words and to use language to express and appreciate complex meanings. Linguistic intelligence is the most widely shared human competence and is evident in poets, novelists, journalists, and effective public speakers. Young adults with this kind of intelligence enjoy writing, reading, telling stories or doing crossword puzzles.
8. Intra-personal Intelligence (“Self Smart”)
Self smart people typically understand themselves and their thoughts and feelings, and use such knowledge in planning and directing their life. Intra-personal intelligence involves not only an appreciation of the self, but also of the human condition. It is evident in psychologist, spiritual leaders, and philosophers. Self smart people may appear shy, but they are very aware of their own feelings and are self-motivated.
9. Spatial Intelligence (“Picture Smart”)
Picture smarts usually think in three dimensions. Core capacities include mental imagery, spatial reasoning, image manipulation, graphic and artistic skills, and an active imagination. Picture smart people usually see pictures in everything.
So which one(s) are you? You may not be word smart, logical smart, or people smart. But nobody sees how well you dance in your room, or how good you are on the tennis court, or how you can make creative music, or yet still, have an ear for the intricacies of good music which no one else hears. You are quite clever indeed; just find your niche and maximize your potentials.
About Claire Odogbo.
Claire is a freelance consultant in learning and creativity. She organizes seminars, workshops, classes and webinars on creativity and maximizing your potentials.
She is the author of the book ‘Learning to learn’. Available on her website www.lifetrackinternational.com, and on amazon.com.