What kind of smart are you?

The first philosophy statement I have listed on my website is to “Know yourself.” The more you know about your optimal learning style, the faster you absorb and retain information, which leads to faster results. There is no one right way to learn and there’s not one kind of “smart.” One size does not fit all!

Dr. Howard Gardner, a psychologist and professor of neuroscience from Harvard University, developed the theory of Multiple Intelligences (MI) in 1983 (pbs.org). Gardner’s Theory on Multiple Intelligences describes the eight intelligences as:

  • Verbal/Linguistic “Word Smart”
  • Logical/Mathematical “Number/Reasoning Smart”
  • Visual/Spatial “Picture Smart”
  • Bodily-Kinesthetic “Body Smart”
  • Musical “Music Smart” T
  • Interpersonal “People Smart”
  • Intrapersonal “Self Smart”
  • Naturalist (Recent addition to the Intelligences) “Nature Smart”

In addition to learning style, your generation, culture, gender, personal experience, desire to learn, level of anxiety, ethnicity (to name just a few variables) influence your unique communication style. For example, my mother, a single parent of two was widowed at 32 with a three year old son (my older brother) and a baby on the way (me). After losing her father at the age of seven on Christmas day and later her own husband, she decided to become a psychotherapist and child advocate. She is a courageous, generous, and brilliant woman (who doesn’t check her email). She is also a “Baby boomer” who is a bit resistent to change and is slowly adapting to new technology. Although her recent purchase of an iPhone astounded friends and family, she possesses some of the strongest interpersonal communication skills I’ve ever seen. The woman knows how to network, maintains friendships from kindergarden, and has been in private practice for nearly 30 years. So before I have you believe that my mom is “stuck in her ways,” an old dog that “poo poos” new tricks, to my delight she demonstrated the communication principle that human beings are not static; we are always evolving and ever changing, just the other day when she said, “I like texting better than email.”