Most any employer can give countless examples of employees who are highly productive in the workplace but who would likely perform poorly on an IQ test. The average entrepreneur himself might be an example of how IQ scores are ineffective indicators of workplace performance and success. It is no wonder, then, that most workplaces pay little attention to “intelligence” as a factor in staff hiring. Virtually no employer asks for a person’s IQ score to determine if the person is qualified for a job. Perhaps that would be different, though, if what was considered intelligence in oneself and others was redefined to recognize that there are many different kinds of intelligence.
In 1983, Multiple Intelligence Theory was first proposed by Professor Howard Gardner in his ground breaking book, Frames of Mind. His work broadened the understanding of human intelligence. According to Gardner, the Hobbs Professor of Cognition and Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, people possess different kinds of minds and therefore learn, remember, perform, and understand in different ways. He referred to these as the “intelligences” we possess in order to know the world. According to Gardner’s original list, there were seven intelligences including: language, logical-mathematical analysis, spatial representation, musical thinking, use of the body to solve problems or to make things, an understanding of other individuals, and an understanding of ourselves. Since then, an additional intelligence – naturalist – was added to the list. Gardner indicated that the strength of each intelligence and the ways in which intelligences are invoked and combined to carry out different tasks, solve diverse problems, and progress in various domains differs from person to person.
Given this, it stands to reason that cultivating a more intelligent workforce could increase an organization’s productivity, service, profitability and staff satisfaction. After all, if a person’s intelligences have such a profound impact in how the person remembers, performs and understands tasks, it stands to reason that people with certain intelligences would be more suited for occupations that require those intelligences. While almost every career uses a blend of several intelligences, some intelligences are more important than others depending on the job. The idea then would be to hire people whose key intelligences best fit the job. So what are the eight intelligences and what occupations best align with each? Continue reading