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Psychologist Howard Gardner first proposed the theory of multiple intelligences in 1983. The original seven intelligences are: (1) linguistic intelligence, (2) logical-mathematical intelligence, (3) musical intelligence, (4) bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, (5) spatial intelligence, (6) interpersonal intelligence, and (7) intrapersonal intelligence. Further research by Gardner has included three additional intelligences: (8) naturalist intelligence, (9) existential intelligence and (10) moral intelligence. However, the lack of empirical evidence and research for existential and moral intelligence limits the list to eight (Smith, 2008). I completed the online assessment that quantified my preferred intelligences and inventoried my skills (Literacy, 2010). According to the assessment, my top three intelligences were: (1) musical, (2/3) bodily-kinesthetic, and (2/3) logic/math (2 and 3 were tied for second place).
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Psychologist Howard Gardner first proposed the theory of multiple intelligences in 1983. He viewed intelligence as "the capacity to solve problems or to fashion products that are valued in one or more cultural setting (Smith, 2008)." He initially started with seven intelligences and then formally expanded it to eight. In order for a candidate to sustain the title "intelligence," one "had to satisfy a range ofâ€¦ criteria and must include, as a prerequisite, the ability to resolve 'genuine problems or difficulties' within certain cultural settings (Smith, 2008)."
The original seven intelligences are: (1) linguistic intelligence, (2) logical-mathematical intelligence, (3) musical intelligence, (4) bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, (5) spatial intelligence, (6) interpersonal intelligence, and (7) intrapersonal intelligence. Further research by Gardner has included three additional intelligences: (8) naturalist intelligence, (9) existential intelligence and (10) moral intelligence. However, the lack of empirical evidence and research for existential and moral intelligence limits the list to eight (Smith, 2008).
It is fascinating to see how individuals excel in their respective intelligences. For example, Michael Jordan has a remarkable bodily-kinesthetic intelligence, while Yo-Yo Ma embodies the musical intelligence. From a semantic standpoint, the word "intelligence" can be replaced with the word "talent." As a result, Michael Jordan has an amazing bodily-kinesthetic talent and Yo-Yo Ma has an extraordinary musical talent. It immediately becomes evident why some individuals have innate intelligences and talents - a natural capacity for achievement and ability - and excel in certain fields.
The television show, "America's Got Talent," is an inclusive example of how individuals demonstrate their respective intelligences. The show features a "colorful array of hopeful stars,
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including singers, dancers, comedians, contortionists, impressionists, jugglers, magicians and ventriloquists (NBC, 2010)." A question that can be asked is: Are these individuals born with their respective intelligences or did they have to cultivate at perfecting it? I answer that each of us are born with a distinctive personality and raised in a culture that either encourages or discourages the growth of specific intelligences. Was Michael Jordan born with the bodily-kinesthetic intelligence that allowed him to reign on the basketball court? I would emphatically answer yes, but I would also add that he excelled in his intelligence because he practiced and trained everyday at his intelligence. This gives hope to individuals who enjoy playing the game of basketball but are not quite intelligent at the hand-eye coordination requisite to make a free throw.
What were your top three "intelligence" styles?
I completed the online assessment that quantified my preferred intelligences and inventoried my skills (Literacy, 2010). According to the assessment, my top three intelligences were: (1) musical, (2/3) bodily-kinesthetic, and (2/3) logic/math (2 and 3 were tied for second place). The remaining five intelligences in succeeding order were: (4) interpersonal, (5) intrapersonal, (6) language, (7) spatial and (8) nature. In addition, my average score was greater than three for all intelligences with the exception of spatial and nature. Of note, music scored a perfect 5.0. I concur with the results.
My top intelligence style is music, which is similar to Dr. Gardner's, "I was a studious child who gained much pleasure from playing the piano; music has remained very important throughout my life (Harvard, 2010)." This statement is congruent to my life and communication style as well. I, too, was a studious child who gained much pleasure from playing the piano. At a
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very young age, I was trained in the Suzuki method for the violin and then expanded my talents to the piano. Music has remained very important in my life and is reflected in my style of communicating. Throughout my life, I have composed and recorded hundreds of songs for the piano, violin, and orchestra. In my communication style, I look for rhythms and patterns in my interactions just as I do in music.
At first glance, I tried to equate if my top three intelligences were associated with my career choice. Luckily they are because doctors and surgeons score the highest in logical-mathematical and bodily-kinesthetic (Petracco, 2010).
How do these styles impact your communication style and effectiveness?
According to the online assessment, music played in the background while studying helps to learn new material (Literacy, 2010). Through trial and error, I have found that the opposite is true for my communication style and effectiveness. Instead of focusing on new material, I tend to focus on the musical rhythm and patterns. However, the logic/math style of looking for patterns in words and discovering relationship between them helps me remember new material. As a result, I have been able to communicate more effectively and with an improved vocabulary that is advantageous in my profession.
How can you use your intelligence styles to be a better communicator in a business setting?
The online assessment affirms that the way for me to work with logic/math intelligence is to "look at advertisements critically" and analyze what they are "using to get you to buy their product (Literacy, 2010)." Therefore, in a business setting, I must critically cogitate from the consumer's view and then communicate accordingly.
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The online assessment of the logic/math intelligence accurately describes my thought processes when it states that I "like to understand how things work," and that I "enjoy puzzles and manipulative games (Literacy, 2010)." I enjoy learning and understanding how the human body works physiologically and psychologically. In addition, I enjoy prescribing medications that manipulate a patient's normal/abnormal physiology in order to achieve a particular result. Therefore, in a business setting centered on medicine, I use logic/math intelligence to explain to patients how their body works and what will happen from manipulating it with a particular therapy.
Given your communication strengths, how would you adapt to communicate with someone with a different intelligence style to ensure effective communication has taken place?
To ensure that effective communication has taken place, I must first understand the eight intelligence styles. This will allow me to adapt my communication that corresponds with a different intelligence style. For example, if I have a patient who excels in the language intelligence, then I can discuss an illness by explaining its disease process (Literacy, 2010). This will facilitate a better comprehension of the illness by the patient.
Comprehending the eight intelligences will enable me to tailor my intelligence style to effectively communicate with patients. It will also reveal the patient's learning style and how they comprehend best (Literacy, 2010). Approaching a patient from their intelligence style will greatly enhance the communication and comprehension. Verbal communication is different from the written communication. "Comprehension of the written word is more than a simple understanding of the story line or answering questions that start with who, what, or when. While
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that's a part of the comprehending process, comprehension also includes finding personal meaning in what has been read and in discovering how the story or information applies to the reader. It means finding a truth for the self and recognizing that those truths, from individual to individual, can be very different (Literacy, 2010)." That is a reason why it is important to first comprehend the eight intelligence styles.
Every person has a unique background and view of the world. In communication, my goal is to understand their world from their unique perspective. That purpose can be achieved by understanding the similarities and variations of the multiple intelligences.