What’s your ‘intelligence’ type? How can it help your career?

What is your intelligence type? Not sure? Not surprising, school has a lot to answer for, tending to pigeon hole us into either linguistic or mathematical  intelligence, for example, were you told you were ‘good with words’ or ‘good with numbers’?

Actually there are up to  8 different types of intelligence according to academic Howard Gardner outlined in his Theory of Multiple Intelligences. Increasing your self-awareness through understanding your intelligence type can be another piece in the jigsaw of knowing how to make your career rewarding or how to choose the career that is a match for you. It can also boost your confidence by revealing what your gift or element could be.

Gardner’s theory is not without critics though, some feel there is a lack of empirical data to support his claims, which could also be synonymous with personality types. Bear that in mind, but if they have resonance for you then they are going to be useful in identifying work that can draw on your intelligence type.

What are the intelligence types?

  • Musical-rhythmic: You have sensitivity to sounds, rhythms, tones, and music. People with a high musical intelligence normally have good pitch or possibly perfect pitch, and are able to sing, play musical instruments, and compose music.
    • typical careers: musician, DJ, music therapist, sound engineer
  • Visual-spatial: You have good spatial judgment and the ability to visualize with the mind’s eye.
    • typical careers: pilot, architect, interior designer, engineer
  • Verbal-linguistic: You have high verbal-linguistic intelligence and an easiness with words and languages. You are typically good at reading, writing, telling stories and memorizing words along with dates.
    • typical careers: writer, speaker, translator, politician, journalist, lawyer
  • Logical-mathematical: You are strong in logic, abstractions, reasoning, numbers and critical thinking. Logical reasoning is also closely linked to fluid intelligence and to general intelligence.
    • typical careers: mathematician, analyst, programmer, scientist, detective
  • Bodily-kinaesthetic: You are in control of your bodily motions and the capacity to handle objects skillfully. This also includes a sense of timing, a clear sense of the goal of a physical action, along with the ability to train responses. People who have high bodily-kinaesthetic intelligence should be generally good at physical activities such as sports, dance, acting, and making things.
    • typical careers: athlete, doctor, actor, fireman
  • Interpersonal: You are sensitivite to others’ moods, feelings, temperaments, motivations, and their ability to cooperate in order to work as part of a group. Those with high interpersonal intelligence communicate effectively and show empathy for others, and may be either leaders or followers. You often enjoy discussion and debate.
    • typical careers: sales, leader, teacher, entrepreneur
  • Intrapersonal: This area has to do with introspective and self-reflective capacities. You have a deep understanding of the self; what your strengths or weaknesses are, what makes you unique, being able to predict your own reactions or emotions.
    • typical careers: coach, psychologist, philosopher
  • Naturalistic: You are able to nurture and relate information to your natural surroundings. Examples include classifying natural forms such as animal and plant species and rocks and mountain types. This ability was clearly of value in our evolutionary past as hunters, gatherers, and farmers and this ecological receptiveness is deeply rooted in a “sensitive, ethical, and holistic understanding” of the world and its complexities – including the role of humanity within the greater eco-sphere.
    • typical careers: vet, environmentalist, chef, horticulturalist

Try it out

My top 3 intelligences are intrapersonal, interspersonal and linguistic which are perfect for being a coach and author! If you want to find out what your ‘type’ is take the test. Remember there are no right or wrong answers,just as there is no ‘best’ type.Value your top 3 intelligences and consider how you use them at work currently. If you find you’re not using them in your current job then you need to think about how you can include them more in your daily life. If that’s not possible then maybe it’s time to think about a change.

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Photo by Alvaro Reyes on Unsplash

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