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“Knowing others is intelligence;

Knowing yourself is true wisdom.”

Lao Tzu (Old Master) Chinese Taoist Philosopher, c. 600 BCE

Chapter Overview

Recent theoretical advancements related to the intellectual dimensions that drive human potential have resulted in the acknowledgment of those beyond the traditional intelligence quotient (IQ). These dimensions are known as multiple intelligences. This chapter presents a history of multiple intelligence and then moves to an exploration of the interpersonal dimension, now known as emotional intelligence. Emotional intelligence enables the integration of feelings and emotions into our communication, thus setting the stage for authentic relationships. Evidence to support the value of emotional intelligences is provided, along with exercises to enhance its development in the context of engaged professionalism.

Key Terms

  • Multiple intelligences

  • Emotional intelligence (EI)

  • Intelligence quotient (IQ)

The Many Realms of Genius: The Concept of Multiple Intelligences

The music of Beethoven, the art of Picasso, the scientific theories of Einstein—each contribution demonstrates genius in a specific realm of intelligence, and in these examples, each person's contribution changed the world. The unique and profound expression of their individual talents speaks to the existence of specific areas of intelligence. In other words, within each of our brains lies the potential to demonstrate outstanding achievements in a multitude of different ways.

Perhaps you have experienced the joy of excelling in certain areas because of an innate proclivity; you might be a natural athlete, a gifted musician or artist, or you might have the special ability to connect with most of the people you meet. Indeed, many of the attributes that we call “talents” and “strengths” (as discussed in Chapter 3) are simply manifestations of well-developed areas that we now call “multiple intelligences.”1

As you will learn in the following sections, the concept of multiple intelligence has enhanced our appreciation of the diverse realms of human excellence, one of which is the ability to interact in an authentic and compassionate manner with others.

IQ Alone Does Not Intelligence Make

Until the early 1980s, when Howard Gardner proposed his multiple intelligence theory,1 and continuing today to a significant extent, standardized intelligence measures such as the Stanford-Binet IQ test have been used to measure human intelligence as a onedimensional skill set that typically includes logical reasoning, critical thinking, and problem solving.2,3

If you have ever questioned the value of using a single standardized intelligence test for the purpose of measuring your academic potential (or perhaps even faced educational consequences because of that score), you might appreciate the need to explore other important aspects of intellectual function. Certainly this was a concern for the families of children whose IQ test scores resulted in their assignment to special education programs or ...

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