Gardner Intelligence Pap
Understanding your multiple intelligences can help you use your knowledge more actively, whether in an academic setting or not. If you know how you learn, you can identify areas that need positive changes and develop strategies to accomplish your goals more effectively. I took a course last year that included a chapter on Gardners theory of multiple intelligences. This was when I was first exposed to this theory. Gardner defined intelligence as the ability to solve problems as they relate to a particular situation (Carter, Bishop & Kravits, 2007). He believes that there are at least eight intelligences that all people have, regardless of how developed each one is. Every person has intelligences that are more developed than others but you can definitely improve your abilities in weak areas. The idea that each person learns in a different way through a unique combination of intelligences is a novel idea and one that I support thoroughly. I recently listened to a podcast about the IQ test and I truly believe that this traditional view of intelligence does not apply to humanity as a whole. When I was introduced to Gardners theory, I eagerly embraced it and started investigating what my personal intelligences are. I was excited to see that the textbook for the class I took last year contained a self-test to measure my development in each of the eight categories. I scored highest in linguistic, interpersonal, and bodily/kinesthetic. None of these came as a surprise but knowing what I am skilled in, as well as what my weaknesses are, is essential to personal development and success.
Having a strong linguistic intelligence has helped me very much in the workplace as well as in academic settings. I have seen how the misuse of language can lead to a persons opinions being dismissed, even if they are good ideas. Today, we are losing face to face communication to technological advances. More and more communication is taking place via email, text messages, IM conversations, online forums, etc. Without the ability to sense tone of voice, facial expression, or body language, we have to rely on language alone. A person??™s ability to use language effectively, including spelling and grammar, is more and more essential to their personal success. I try to present myself as professional as possible while at work and, to be taken seriously, make it a point to be very aware of my use of language, including word choice. Having a linguistic strength is also very advantageous because I am able to teach and explain things to others. People with this skill are also good at convincing people to do things and this is necessary in a professional setting. I know that one of the reasons I have been successful in a management role is because of my ability to teach my employees what they need to do and motivate them to do it.
Another intelligence I score high in is interpersonal intelligence. This is doubly helpful in my personal success when coupled with my linguistic strengths. Having the ability to understand and use language is not as efficient as when you also understand how to relate to other people. The ability to communicate verbally and nonverbally has been essential to my personal success in the workplace and in my everyday life. Choosing a major was easy for me because I love connecting with people. I am good at creating and maintaining relationships because I understand what people need and how to give it to them. My professional goal in life is to help people help themselves. I want to help more people than I can realistically work with in a lifetime so I need to be able to connect with people and get them on track to where they can take it from there. The saying about teaching a man to fish is my inspiration. If I want to reach out to a large number of people and feel confident that once I leave their lives they can continue to use the skills I have taught them to enrich their lives, I need to make strong connections with them and communicate with them in a way that they will understand. Having a high IQ or scoring well on a standardized intelligence test means nothing about my ability to make a difference in someone??™s life. Gardner??™s theory of multiple intelligences encourages me to use the strengths I have naturally as well as helps me to identify the areas that I need to work on. I have a close friend who is considered a genius based on how he scores on various intelligence tests. He could be expected to achieve great things in his life but he is a sociopath. He has no regard for others feelings or viewpoints and has a very hard time understanding why some things he does hurts the people around him. He will always be incredibly intelligent in certain areas but has no interpersonal intelligence whatsoever, nor does he see the need for it. I am almost the exact opposite of this. I am able to put myself in someone elses shoes and use this interpersonal strength to create and maintain relationships with people. Regardless of our different IQ scores, I feel like I will make more of a difference in the world than he will.
I also scored high in the bodily/kinesthetic category. This is defined as having a close connection between body and my mind and being aware of all of your senses (Carter et al., 2007). This has been developed further by practicing yoga and incorporating meditation time into my day to day routine. The ability to control my movements and having good coordination are essential to my success as a soccer player. I am constantly working to improve my bodily functions and without a close connection between my mind and my body, I would surely be much less advanced than I am. While my success in this sport is contributed to my excellent coordination and body movement control, these abilities come easier to me because of my bodily/kinesthetic intelligence. My professional goals include working with people and teaching them ways to help themselves, but my personal goal is to close the gap between my body and my mind and channel this into the sport of soccer.
Understanding your intelligences allows you to use them to your advantage as well as improve areas of weakness. Personal success means different things to different people but it comes easier when you understand what you are good at and how to channel those strengths into achieving your goals. I scored equally high in linguistic, interpersonal, and bodily/kinesthetic intelligences but also have strengths in other areas. These areas are not as fully developed but can be now that I know what they are and how they can play a role in my personal success.
Carter, C., Bishop, J., & Kravits, S. (2007). Keys to college studying: Becoming an active thinker (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Kowalski, R., & Westen, D. (2005). Psychology (4th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wileyer