How Are You Intelligent?

  • Posted by: Chaloner

I am pleased to introduce Chaloner’s very own Ted Chaloner to the Interview Room. With over 35 years in PR and Communications recruiting, he will be a welcome addition to this blog as it continues to grow. – Amy

Yes, not “how intelligent are you?” Howard Gardner defined nine different types of intelligence. Some are much more relevant to communications professionals. Self-knowledge is key to interviewing well, so it’s a good exercise to understand how you are intelligent. The SATs only measured the first two.

1. Math Smart
The ability to calculate, use abstract thought, induce and deduce, is well developed in scientists and detectives. People who have logical-mathematical intelligence like strategy games, puzzles and experiments.

2. Word Smart
Thinking in words and using language to express meanings defines linguistic intelligence. This is a no-brainer for communications pros as well as novelists and public speakers. This is the most widely shared human skill.

3. People Smart
Interpersonal skills are another necessity for PR people as is the ability to interact and understand others with verbal and nonverbal communications. Teachers, actors and politicians need this.

4. Self Smart
This is the ability to understand one’s own thoughts and feelings. People with strong intra-personal intelligence tend to be shy. So, few PR folks are likely to rank high in this area.

5. Picture Smart
Spatial intelligence is the ability to think in three dimensions.  Graphic artists, architects, sculptors and pilots need this. You know, those people who can tell you how many objects will fit in a certain box.

6. Body Smart
Kinesthetic intelligence is the ability to use a variety of physical skills. The Michael Jordans, Lionel Messis and Sidney Crosbys of the sports world are said to be able to see the whole playing surface. That’s a kind of intelligence.

7. Nature Smart
Naturalist intelligence is about the human ability to distinguish the differences between living things (plants, animals) and to appreciate other parts of the natural world. It was probably more important when we were hunters, gatherers and farmers, but marketers are figuring out that it can be used to influence us when we discriminate in consumer choices among cars or makeup or clothes.

8. Musical Smart
Just as you would imagine, some people have an intelligence that allows them to discern rhythm, pitch, tone and timbre much better than others.  Apparently, this is closely linked to Math Smart.

And finally:

9. Big Picture Smart
Ability to understand the deep questions about human existence – the meaning of life, why do we die, how did we get here, what’s out there in the universe. Did you enjoy discussing Sartre, Dostoyevsky, Nietzsche and Kierkegaard in college? If yes, you’d rank high in this type – existential intelligence.

So, which are your strongest types of intelligence?  How have they influenced your career and your life? It’s good to know.

-Ted Chaloner