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Which of the 9 types of intelligence do you possess?

Intelligence can make a huge difference in how you’re perceived in the business world, but did you know there are actually nine different types of intelligence?



career talent gap

Intelligence is more than book smarts

When you hear the word “intelligence,” what is the first thing that comes to mind? Do you think of someone with a super high IQ? Someone who’s book smart? Street smart?

Intelligence can absolutely mean different things to different people; in fact, the word “intelligence” is a fairly broad term. By and large, we’ve come to interpret intelligence to mean “smart” and while that is true, people can be “intelligent” in many different areas. There is certainly no one subject, or area that defines and explains intelligence.

Different types of intelligence

Psychologist, Howard Gardner detailed nine different types of intelligence that humans have and how each one functions. This could help us understand while one friend may be highly gifted musically, another struggles to hear the difference in pitches.

Likewise, it shows that not everyone excels in all areas; we all have weaknesses and strengths. Gardner published a book, titled, “Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences,” in which he explains, “there exists a multitude of intelligences, quite independent of each other, [and] that each intelligence has its own strengths and constraints.”

Each type of intelligence can help us gain a better insight into many different aspects of our lives as it reinforces the notion that every individual thinks and learns in many different ways. Rather than focusing on demonstrating “the facts” what would happen if you took into consideration musical aptitude, logical reasoning, or spatial intelligence? Would you engage more members of your audience? Gardner contends, when these nine forms of intelligence are taken into consideration, everyone can flourish.

What are the nine types of intelligence?

According to Dr. Gardner, the first type of intelligence is spatial. Spatial intelligence includes how you visualize and judge the world around you. It’s your ability to see and interpret the world in 3D.

The second type of intelligence is naturalist. You may be strong in this area if you are highly attuned to living things; having the ability to read and understand nature and all living things. Farmers, biological scientists, and even hunters are examples of individuals with high naturalist intelligence.

The third type is musical intelligence. Musically intelligent individuals are able to discern sounds, differentiate pitch, understand tone, rhythm, and pitch. Often times these individuals can pick out harmonies from melodies, play a musical instrument, compose music, or sing very well.

Number four on the intelligence list is logical, or mathematical intelligence. This type of intelligence includes logic, reasoning, numbers, quantifying things, and critical thinking. This also has to do with having the capacity to understand the underlying principles of some kind of causal system.

The fifth type of intelligence is existential intelligence. Existential intelligence seems to be in opposition to spiritual intelligence according to some scholars. However, Gardner stated that this type of intelligence includes tackling the “big questions” like why we live, why we die, and what our purpose is on Earth.

Gardner’s sixth type of intelligence is interpersonal intelligence. This type of intelligence includes sensing people’s feelings and motives. Individuals who have high interpersonal intelligence are characterized by their sensitivity to others’ moods, feelings, temperaments and motivations, and their ability to cooperate in order to work as part of a group.

The seventh type of intelligence is bodily or kinesthetic. This type of intelligence involves coordinating your body with your mind. People who have high bodily-kinesthetic intelligence should be generally good at physical activities such as sports, dance, acting, and making things. This also includes a sense of timing, a clear sense of the goal of a physical action, along with the ability to train responses. Soldiers, police officers, athletes, dancers, and actors are all examples of individuals with high kinesthetic intelligence.

Number eight on the intelligence list is linguistic. These individuals will be able to find the right words to express themselves. They are also typically good at reading, writing, telling stories and memorizing words along with dates.

The final type of intelligence is intrapersonal intelligence. This area has to do with introspective and self-reflective capacities. This refers to having a deep understanding of the self; what one’s strengths or weaknesses are, what makes one unique, being able to predict one’s own reactions or emotions including what you want or need.


What can you learn from all of this?

The takeaway here is that no matter which area(s) you excel in, learning about the other areas can help you develop your weaker area(s).

It also helps you gain insight into what makes other people tick. In the workplace, having strong interpersonal skills can help you relate to your coworkers quickly, but having strong logical intelligence may help you solve problems more efficiently.

No one area is more important than another, but each area plays an important role in our lives. Which area(s) do you think you are most gifted in and which area(s) do you think you could improve upon?


Jennifer Walpole is a Senior Staff Writer at The American Genius and holds a Master's degree in English from the University of Oklahoma. She is a science fiction fanatic and enjoys writing way more than she should. She dreams of being a screenwriter and seeing her work on the big screen in Hollywood one day.

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Business News

Keep your company’s operations lean by following these proven strategies

(BUSINESS) Keeping your operations lean means more than saving money, it means accomplishing more in less time.



keeping operations lean

The past two years have been challenging, not just economically, but also politically and socially as well. While it would be nice to think that things are looking up, in reality, the problems never end. Taking a minimalist approach to your business, AKA keeping it lean, can help you weather the future to be more successful.

Here are some tips to help you trim the fat without putting profits above people.

Automate processes

Artificial intelligence frees up human resources. AI can manage many routine elements of your business, giving your team time to focus on important tasks that can’t be delegated to machines. This challenges your top performers to function at higher levels, which can only benefit your business.

Consider remote working

Whether you rent or own your property, it’s expensive to keep an office open. As we learned in the pandemic, many jobs can be done just as effectively from home as the workplace. Going remote can save you money, even if you help your team outfit their home office for safety and efficiency.

In today’s world, many are opting to completely shutter office doors, but you may be able to save money by using less space or renting out some of your office space.

Review your systems to find the fat

As your business grows (or downsizes), your systems need to change to fit how you work. Are there places where you can save money? If you’re ordering more, you may be able to ask vendors for discounts. Look for ways to bring down costs.

Talk to your team about where their workflow suffers and find solutions. An annual review through your budget with an eye on saving money can help you find those wasted dollars.

Find the balance

Operating lean doesn’t mean just saving money. It can also mean that you look at your time when deciding to pay for services. The point is to be as efficient as possible with your resources and systems, while maintaining customer service and safety. When you operate in a lean way, it sets your business up for success.

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Business News

How to apply to be on a Board of Directors

(BUSINESS) What do you need to think about and explore if you want to apply for a Board of Directors? Here’s a quick rundown of what, why, and when.



board of directors

What does a Board of Directors do? Investopedia explains “A board of directors (B of D) is an elected group of individuals that represent shareholders. The board is a governing body that typically meets at regular intervals to set policies for corporate management and oversight. Every public company must have a board of directors. Some private and nonprofit organizations also have a board of directors.”

It is time to have a diverse representation of thoughts, values and insights from intelligently minded people that can give you the intel you need to move forward – as they don’t have quite the same vested interests as you.

We have become the nation that works like a machine. Day in and day out we are consumed by our work (and have easy access to it with our smartphones). We do volunteer and participate in extra-curricular activities, but it’s possible that many of us have never understood or considered joining a Board of Directors. There’s a new wave of Gen Xers and Millennials that have plenty of years of life and work experience + insights that this might be the time to resurrect (or invigorate) interest.

Harvard Business Review shared a great article about identifying the FIVE key areas you would want to consider growing your knowledge if you want to join a board:

1. Financial – You need to be able to speak in numbers.
2. Strategic – You want to be able to speak to how to be strategic even if you know the numbers.
3. Relational – This is where communication is key – understanding what you want to share with others and what they are sharing with you. This is very different than being on the Operational side of things.
4. Role – You must be able to be clear and add value in your time allotted – and know where you especially add value from your skills, experiences and strengths.
5. Cultural – You must contribute the feeling that Executives can come forward to seek advice even if things aren’t going well and create that culture of collaboration.

As Charlotte Valeur, a Danish-born former investment banker who has chaired three international companies and now leads the UK’s Institute of Directors, says, “We need to help new participants from under-represented groups to develop the confidence of working on boards and to come to know that” – while boardroom capital does take effort to build – “this is not rocket science.

NOW! The time is now for all of us to get involved in helping to create a brighter future for organizations and businesses that we care about (including if they are our own business – you may want to create a Board of Directors).

The Harvard Business Review gave great explanations of the need to diversify those that have been on the Boards to continue to strive to better represent our population as a whole. Are you ready to take on this challenge? We need you.

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Business News

Average age of successful startup founders is 45, but stop stereotyping

(BUSINESS) Our culture glorifies (yet condemns?) startup founders as rich 20-somethings in hoodies, but some are a totally different type.



startup founders average age is 45

There’s a common misconception that startups are riddled with semi-nerdy, 20-something white dudes who do nothing but sip Nitro Brews and walk around the open office showing off the hoodie they wore yesterday. It turns out that it’s extremely rare that startup offices resemble The Social Network.

However, the academic backdrop for the real social network story (AKA Harvard), produced statistics that will serve to put the aforementioned misconception to rest. According to the Harvard Business Review, the average age of people who founded the highest-growth startups is 45. Say what?! A full-fledged adult?!

In fact, aside from the age category of 60 and over, ages 29 and younger were the smallest group of founders that are responsible for heading the highest-growth startups. I guess you can accomplish a lot when you’re not riding around the office on a scooter all day.

The study also found that older entrepreneurs are more likely to succeed. The probability of extreme startup success rises with age, at least until the late 50s. It was found that work experience plays an important role.

Many will argue, “Well, what about someone like Steve Jobs?” You could easily argue right back that it took Jobs until the age of 52 to create Apple’s most profitable product – the iPhone.

The study continues to answer questions like, why do Venture Capitalist investors bet on young founders? This goes back to the misconception at the start, and there’s a notion that youth is the key for successful entrepreneurship. Wrong.

There is also the idea that younger entrepreneurs are likely working with less financial options, so it may be common for them to take something from a VC at a lower price. As a result, they could be viewed as more of a bargain than older founders.

“The next step for researchers is to explore what exactly explains the advantage of middle-aged founders,” writes Pierre Azoulay, et al. “For example, is it due to greater access to financial resources, deeper social networks, or certain forms of experience? In the meantime, it appears that advancing age is a powerful feature, not a bug, for starting the most successful firms.”

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