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More Than IQ and EQ – Do We Have Multiple Intelligences?

The research on the positive impacts of having high emotional intelligence (EQ) is undeniable, which is why it has become such a desired skill by recruiters and development executives. Along with the effort toward developing EQ, many have begun to investigate the notion that the brain may have intelligences which go further than just our IQ and EQ. Is the human brain comprised of multiple intelligences?

According to Kendra Cherry, author of “Gardner’s Theory of Multiple Intelligences”, “Intelligence is often defined as our intellectual potential; something we are born with, something that can be measured and a capacity that is difficult to change. In recent years, however, other views of intelligence have emerged.” Howard Gardner, a Harvard psychologist has been investigating the theory of multiple intelligences.  “This theory suggests that traditional psychometric views of intelligence are too limited. Gardner first outlined his theory in his 1983 book Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences, where he suggested that all people have different kinds of ‘intelligences.”

In China, children have been taught to value education. They continuously practice increasing their IQs and for a long time now have realized the value of their technical abilities. However, according to the New York Times article “Q. and A.: Julia Middleton and Ronald Arculli on Cultural Intelligence in a Global Era”, more recently “chinese increasingly seem to want E.Q., or emotional intelligence, with some educators concerned their students’ lack of emotional insight and ability will hinder them in life. But what about the growing idea of C.Q., or cultural intelligence?”

Julia Middleton, the founder of the London-based charity Common Purpose, wrote a book, “Cultural Intelligence,” subtitled “The Competitive Edge for Leaders Crossing Borders,” which was published in May. Middleton defines cultural intelligence as the ability to cross divides and thrive in multiple cultures. She says “I think C.Q. will define the winners: the winning leaders; the winning cultures; the winning cities and the winning countries. What will cause them to thrive and ultimately succeed will be their ability not simply to cope with, but fully to benefit from, the heterogeneous nature of organizations and society. Ultimately, I think C.Q. is about openness; a refusal to lock yourself in your own culture, behind a door you refuse to open; a belief that other cultures will enrich yours rather than dilute it; a willingness to use all encounters — whether helpful or grim — to build your C.Q.”

In many ways, the founding principles of Middleton’s C.Q. mirror those of TRACOM’s SOCIAL STYLE. SOCIAL STYLE gives you a deeper understanding of your own behaviors, as well as helps you to understand the behaviors of others and how they prefer to be treated and communicated with. The SOCIAL STYLE Model teaches you to recognize and value others’ communication styles, understand others’ likely reactions to stress or adversity, what inspires trust in different people, and how people prefer to use their time. TRACOM has also created international norms which help users to understand cultural differences and how they can impact perceptions of Style and Versatility. Norms, or normative comparisons as they are technically called, provide a mechanism for people to compare themselves with one another. For example, telling somebody that they have an Amiable Style is helpful, but it is much more effective if you can tell them that they are more Ask Assertive than 75% of the population and more Emote Responsive than 50% of the population.  This information is provided on our multi-rater profiles, and gives individuals powerful information about exactly how their behavior is perceived in relation to others, even others who share their same Style.

In another article featured on Forbes “Intelligence Is Overrated: What You Really Need To Succeed” author Keld Jensen highlights two other types of intelligences. In addition to IQ and EQ he also lists MQ or moral intelligence and BQ – body intelligence.

Jensen says “A high IQ is often a prerequisite for rising to the top ranks of business today. It is necessary, but it is not adequate to predict executive competence and corporate success. By itself, a high IQ does not guarantee that you will stand out and rise above everyone else.”

“Research carried out by the Carnegie Institute of Technology shows that 85 percent of your financial success is due to skills in ‘human engineering’, your personality and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. Shockingly, only 15 percent is due to technical knowledge. Additionally, Nobel Prize winning Israeli-American psychologist, Daniel Kahneman, found that people would rather do business with a person they like and trust rather than someone they don’t, even if the likeable person is offering a lower quality product or service at a higher price.”

According to Jensen, MQ is extremely related to EQ because it deals with integrity, responsibility, sympathy and forgiveness. Jensen provides a tip for improving MQ.

Top Tip for Improvement: Make fewer excuses and take responsibility for your actions. Avoid little white lies. Show sympathy and communicate respect to others. Practice acceptance and show tolerance of other people’s shortcomings. Forgiveness is not just about how we relate to others; it’s also how you relate to and feel about yourself.

BQ reflects how well you know your body’s needs and how well you take care of it. “Your body is constantly telling you things; are you listening to the signals or ignoring them? Are you eating energy-giving or energy-draining foods on a daily basis? Are you getting enough rest? Do you exercise and take care of your body? It may seem like these matters are unrelated to business performance, but your body intelligence absolutely affects your work because it largely determines your feelings, thoughts, self-confidence, state of mind, and energy level.”

Top Tip For Improvement: At least once a day, listen to the messages your body is sending you about your health. Actively monitor these signals instead of going on autopilot. Good nutrition, regular exercise, and adequate rest are all key aspects of having a high BQ. Monitoring your weight, practicing moderation with alcohol, and making sure you have down time can dramatically benefit the functioning of your brain and the way you perform at work.

According to TRACOM’s Dr. Casey Mulqueen “It’s becoming clearer that success at work, and in life, has a lot more to do with intelligence in multiple areas beyond just IQ. How well we understand our own and others’ emotions and behavior, our value systems, and other cultures; these are just some of the intelligences that will help people to thrive in the modern world.”

What are your thoughts on the concept of multiple intelligences? Please comment below as we would love to see what knowledge or opinions others have on the matter?


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