Multiple Intelligence Theory and Recruitment

Is Multiple Intelligence Just a Theory? Well, it turns out that some people are better suited to some jobs than others. Who knew?! For example, how’d you feel if someone told you that you had to sell 49 mortgages in one week? I once tried to be a Youth Worker, but after eight months of trying I realised I was just not the rah-rah type (extrovert) required. And, no amount of squirming pretence would help. Allen once tried a Sales Consultant job. He left after a day!

What Is Multiple Intelligence Theory?

Howard Gardner, Professor of Education at Harvard, first popularised the idea that IQ was too limited a measurement of intelligence and instead promoted his Multiple Intelligence Theory. It sets forth a pleasing list of categories, a few of which anyone might possess, and provides scientific solace for those who were haughtily labelled “slow”, “dull”, “distracted”, “better suited to a manual job”, “quiet” or “not really suited for academia”. Each is more of an aptitude or attraction, the encouragement and development of which in early learning and later in the workplace may result in an intelligent person who is highly skilled, as well as comfortable and even happy, in their work.

So What Type of Multiple Intelligence Do You Possess?

This is Gardner’s full list, along with a brief definition of each. He said that traditional education typically homes in on the first two, linguistic and logical-mathematical intelligence (hence the well-known, but badly named, “three Rs: reading, writing and arithmetic”).

In the real world, we prize those who can express themselves well (particularly in person) and those who can think logically. However, this ignores the vast range of human capability. Consider someone who is able to express themselves on canvas but is not necessarily comfortable with publicity. Or think of a talented singer who is not quite so adept at remembering to plan to pay his bills?

Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)

If you can communicate well, influence others, get people to notice you, enrapture an audience orally or in writing, you have made an impact and will be lauded for your intelligence, even if that is not how it is commonly labelled. Orators have long been celebrities of a kind the modern-day variations include entrepreneurs, inspirational speakers and even linguistically-gifted religious leaders. Even successful authors though pigeon-holed as lacking in social skills have fans queuing up to purchase their latest tome.

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence (Number/Reasoning Smart)

Those who are good with numbers, particularly with a scientific bent, are typically represented in the media as glasses-wearing, bookish types who crunch numbers for fun. They are worshipped for skills of which others can only dream of and provide merriment in movies for those whose understanding ends at the minutae of actors’ lives. Yet without such, we’d not have neither science nor inventions. And, it turns out Spocks have emotions too!

Yet, there are others who, while they may be praised, are not quite so prized or talked about in terms of “intelligence”.

Spatial Intelligence (Picture Smart)

Do you know someone who can look at a map and rotate it in their head? Conversely, do you know someone who always takes the wrong route after coming out of a building? Is there someone in your life who possess the uncanny ability tell the time without having looked at a clock for hours? Knowing where you are in the world in space and time, and being able to use this special power, is called spatial intelligence.

Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (Body Smart)

Are you aware of any famous sportspeople? Are they called “intelligent” or are they instead fawned over by amateurs, fans and media alike for their “skill”? Have you ever watched a lumberjack or a farmer? It is a beautiful thing to behold their respect for wildness or life and their unity with the earth. This is another type of intelligence, and it is not something just anyone can either possess or manufacture, much less harness.

Musical Intelligence (Music Smart)

Think of someone you know not necessarily a celebrity musician who can play more than one instrument, turn their hand to new ones with relative ease, and who may also write their own music. This is musical intelligence. This person will almost certainly have been told that they needed to “get a real job” at some point. You may also find that their life is a little chaotic, a much-maligned trait that seems to manifest itself in the artistic, or creative, more than most.

Interpersonal Intelligence (People Smart)

Do you know someone who seems to have a gift fo hospitality? And, who makes you feel right at home, whether on the golf course or at a large gathering where you feel like you are the only one there? And, who not only knows the social queues and mores, but even sets the tone for an evening? Are they able to influence and persuade and not always necessarily with pure motives? This is called interpersonal intelligence and it must be wielded with great wisdom.

Intrapersonal intelligence (Self Smart)

You’ll also know a really intense person, perhaps someone who seems to live in their head? Or, do you know someone who is so self-aware, it might even become debilitating (shyness)? What about that unusual child you know, who seems to possess such self-awareness, they seem like old souls? Intrapersonal intelligence is the skill of knowing yourself. In our look at me, self-promotional, extroverted-oriented world, it can feel that it is a skill that very few possess.

Naturalist Intelligence (Nature Smart)

Do you know someone who is more at home in the great outdoors than inside? Do they relax by booking a walking or adventure holiday? Are they inspired by explorers or animals? Does your social circle joke about how they could survive an apocalypse? This type of person probably possesses naturalist intelligence. They simply have a fascination and aptitude for all things outdoors and will feel caged and oppressed in a job that requires them to be sitting for long periods of time, inside.

We’re challenging the limiting myths and prejudices around inteligence this month on our Sensei Facebook page. Check it out and share some of our home-made memes!

And, Your Team? Are Your Harnessing Their Multiple Intelligence to Its Best Effect?

While education has some way to go in catching up with Gardener and his successors, who have developed their own variations on his mutiple intelligence theory, we can adapt our workplaces now to hire and develop the right people.

  • Have you ever wondered why your sales people aren’t performing as well as others?
  • Have you ever watched a trainer struggle to feel comfortable infront of a room of new trainees?
  • Is your accounts person just a little disorganised?

It’s possible that each of these people is in the wrong role. You cannot always put it down to the “wrong personality”, “inexperience” or “laziness”. It could be that your hiring and training practices are out of date.

Are You Recruiting and Developing People with the Right Multiple Intelligence for the Role?

  • Rewrite job role descriptions that match required and desired skills and knowledge to multiple intelligences
  • Rejig job application procedures to discover what type of intelligence applicants possess before you meet them
  • Modify the interview process to remove time-wasting questions that are easily answered by reading the application form or CV and instead devise ways to explore that person’s intelligence in relation to the role
  • Recruit the right people with particular aptitudes and skills for specific roles
  • Provide training that takes advantages of each person’s intelligence

Contact us to help you adapt your recruitment, selection and training processes to ensure that you get the right person for the role and that you develop and take full advantage of the specific multiple intelligence they possess.

One is Not Born, But Rather Becomes, Gifted!

The whole ‘nature versus nurture’ debate is increasingly fought out in the field of education. In an interesting article called Nature, nurture and exam results, Mike Baker looks at the current state of play. Which is, that a child’s family background largely dictates their potential for academic success.

According to Professor Chris Woodhead – former controversial Chief Inspector of Schools in England – genetic inheritance plays the decisive factor. He has a swathe of anecdotal evidence on his side.

Yet others, coming at matters form a more policy-making agenda, want to play up the part of social class as a determinant.

However kids start off, “subsequent educational success is more likely to go to those with affluent, middle-class parents” says the article. Those nefarious suburbanites are at it again!

I have only a few points to make.

Intelligence is Not the Same as Academic Skill

The article, and most of those in the education sector, seem to equate the two. One would think that they had never heard of Multiple Intelligence Theory, probably the best theory in the world (in a Carlsbergian sense). Traditional academic skill in words and numbers is one way of expressing intelligence. There are others – bodily movement, personal interactions, attunement with nature, capacity for self-reflection, spatial awareness, and musical appreciation.

So the question is not whether you are intelligent, but in what way you express it. The education system in the UK has still not faced up to this liberating truth.

In my opinion, monkeys can be taught to pass exams. It’s not the big deal we were told it was.

Motivation is More Important than Raw Ability When it Comes to Life Success

The world seems increasingly full of academically smart people (i.e. university graduates) who aren’t making much of their lives. They don’t know what they want, they aren’t interested in self-improvement, they work for money and nothing more. The averagely bright person with enthusiasm will always ace the smart person who can’t be bothered trying or who fades out at the first setback.

And the twist is, this very ability to motivate yourself is in itself a form of intelligence! (Emotional intelligence writers call motivation “the master aptitude” for a good reason.) So perhaps that supposedly ‘average but optimistic’ kid isn’t so average after all.

The great thing is that you can learn this optimism. You can grow your own self-motivation skills. You can teach yourself to be resilient when the chips seem down.

You can become gifted.

Image credit: Werwin15.

Safeguarding Children Online

Parents, guardians, teachers, youth workers, healthcare professionals and others who have responsibilities for safeguarding children online are often flummoxed when it comes to the web.

Do you feel lost, left behind and clueless? Are you frightened that kids seems to know more than you do?

We are designing a series of workshops for adults who are responsible for safeguarding children online or empowering them with knowledge (teachers, parents, guardians and youth workers). Initially there are two workshops: Kids and the Web and Teens and the Web. We can also provide age-appropriate workshops for children and young people.

Click to read more about Safeguarding Children Online

QUB Management School

We’re delighted to be designing and delivering CPD level modules for QUB’s School of Management’s Short Courses Programmes once again this term. The CPD modules form part of the City and Guilds Professional Recognition Awards.

“Queens University Belfast is an approved Centre to offer the City & Guilds ‘ Professional Recognition Awards (PRA) in Northern Ireland. PRAs have been developed for those at the highest professional levels within their chosen careers and looking for an accredited qualification.

The awards enable candidates to gain recognition for the practical application of professional skills, knowledge and understanding in employment within any sector or role. There are no practical limitations on the areas of employment to which they may be related. They can also offer an employment-based route to higher-level qualifications.”

See our Sensei Calendar page for further information and booking links.

Image credit: fatinraihanna.

Difference Between There, Their and They’re

This week, I came across the Facebook page of someone offering marketing solutions. On that page, I found more than one example of basic grammar errors, something we all learned how to spot and correct at primary school, and then later, learning languages.

If you’re one of those people whose school, or parents, did not teach you the basis, then you will find the quick guide useful.

There

This word can be used in relation to a place, matter or interjection.

  • The university is over there.
  • There is where I disagree with your argument.
  • There it is!

Their

This word is used to show ownership, or when speaking about an indefinite third party).

  • Their cars have been sitting in the carpark all night.
  • Anyone in their right mind would never say such a thing!

They’re

This word is used only when you want to contract (shorten) this phrase:they are.

  • They’re so pleased with the results of the test.
  • They’re coming over for lunch at 12:30.

In summary

  • There are many people who would say this is important, and is a simple matter of learning.
  • Their opinion may offend those of you who find grammar confusing.
  • They’re right on one point, though. It is important.

Poor grammar makes your website look thrown together at best. At worst, it gives the impression of a lack of basic educational skills. And, if potential customers cannot trust you to use correct grammar, how will they trust you to deliver a good product, especially when you deliver any of the following:

  • Marketing Services (including emailing potential customers)
  • Copywriting Services
  • Sales Training (including written scripts)

Yes, I know the odd typo slips through. But, when someone gets these types of errors wrong repeatedly, it speaks of a deeper, and less easily fixed, problem than carelessness. What vibe does your website evoke?

Image credit:tracyhunter.

Difference Between There, Their and They ‘re

This week, I came across the Facebook page of someone offering marketing solutions. On that page, I found more than one example of basic grammar errors, something we all learned how to spot and correct at primary school, and then later, learning languages.

If you’re one of those people whose school, or parents, did not teach you the basis, then you will find the quick guide useful.

There

This word can be used in relation to a place, matter or interjection.

  • The university is over there.
  • There is where I disagree with your argument.
  • There it is!

Their

This word is used to show ownership, or when speaking about an indefinite third party).

  • Their cars have been sitting in the carpark all night.
  • Anyone in their right mind would never say such a thing!

They’re

This word is used only when you want to contract (shorten) this phrase: they are.

  • They’re so pleased with the results of the test.
  • They’re coming over for lunch at 12:30.

In summary

  • There are many people who would say this is important, and is a simple matter of learning.
  • Their opinion may offend those of you who find grammar confusing.
  • They’re right on one point, though. It is important.

Poor grammar makes your website look thrown together at best. At worst, it gives the impression of a lack of basic educational skills. And, if potential customers cannot trust you to use correct grammar, how will they trust you to deliver a good product, especially when you deliver any of the following:

  • Marketing Services (including emailing potential customers)
  • Copywriting Services
  • Sales Training (including written scripts)

Yes, I know the odd typo slips through. But, when someone gets these types of errors wrong repeatedly, it speaks of a deeper, and less easily fixed, problem than carelessness. What vibe does your website evoke?

Image credit: tracyhunter.

Knowledge is the Key: How to Learn and Study (Workshop)

Are you frustrated that no-one ever showed you how to learn? This workshop will teach you the skills of study.

  • How do you ‘speed read ‘?
  • Are there writing conventions and guidelines?
  • How do you influence, argue and analyse when reasoning?
  • What is the value of learning styles, mind maps and memory techniques?

This workshop is for lifelong learners and students of all sorts.

We are running a workshop on Saturday, 01 May at 09:30-16:30 at QUB.

Speaker: Allen Baird.

To book a place, phone the School of Education (Open Learning) on 028 9097 3539/3323 or email openlearning.education@qub.ac.uk.

Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training

Today, as part of the preparation for a new training contract, I attended ASIST training at Woodlands Juvenile Justice Centre in Bangor. What is ASIST? It is:

A course which teaches people to recognise suicidal thoughts and gives them the confidence and the skills to intervene

We started the morning looking at our attitudes to suicide, something that is often taboo in our society and something that no-one wants to address, for fear of saying the wrong thing, fear of tipping someone over the edge, or fear of offending someone by asking Continue reading “Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training”