Different Kind of Smart™–applied in the workplace, is
helping managers, corporate trainers, and those charged
with human resource development make the workplace a more
productive, more creative, and and more human place–all of
which results in greater profitability for the company.
• How often have you wished
you knew how to help each member of your workplace team
maximize their potential on the job and increase their
• How often have you been
frustrated because you feel that you’re just not
communicating with your employees?
• How often have you felt that
you’re smarter than people give you credit for?
• How often have you been
surprised by a creative idea or an approach to a problem
from someone you didn’t think had it in them?
• How often have you conducted
training sessions that ended up being dull, boring, and a
waste of time because little learning actually occurred?I
In 1985 the noted Harvard
psychologist and educator Howard Gardner, conducted
research investigating how we come to know what we know
about our world, what we have traditionally called
intelligence. How do we learn, process, and understand
information? What is the process by which we acquire
knowledge? In a nutshell, “What makes us smart? What makes
us intelligent?” In this research, Gardner discovered that
each of us possesses at least eight distinct areas of
intelligence, eight ways we acquire knowledge, process
information, learn and understand. I refer to this as
MiQ™ to set it apart from the traditional IQ. I think
you discover the MiQ™ is a very different
understanding of intelligence indeed!
[For a description of these 8
Kinds of Smart please visit www.DavidLazear.com/MiQ_overview.html]
Most of us grew up believing that
intelligence is fixed and static at birth. We believe were
born with a certain amount of intelligence and are stuck
with it. Furthermore, through a series of tests, involving
mostly paper and pencil tasks, one’s intelligence quotient
(IQ) can be assessed. After performing the tasks on a
given test, one is assigned a number which, supposedly, is
a valid indicator of his or her intellectual capabilities
from that point on.
The MiQ™ view of
intelligence calls into question the basic assumptions
about our intelligence represented by the “IQ paradigm.”.
The multiple intelligence understanding of our human
capacities views intelligence as a biological,
neurological, psychological, sensory, and cognitive
phenomenon. It’s much much more than what goes on between
our ears! Our intelligence occurs throughout our entire
brain, mind, body system and even beyond ourselves in our
sociocultural environment as well.
Furthermore, the "MiQ™
paradigm" asserts that any of the tests, which purport to
measure one’s intelligence, by design are flawed, because
they measure a very small range of our human intellectual
capacities, namely our logical thinking abilities (per
Western definitions of logic), various linguistic and math
skills (which can be demonstrated in a paper and pencil
manner), and fairly elementary spatial abilities such as
choosing similar objects or shapes from a range of
Why have we chosen to define this
narrow range of capabilities as “intelligence” but not our
ability to express deep thoughts, emotions, and ideas
through music, dance, art, drama, and interpersonal
relationships? Why do we not call one’s inner knowledge
about the self or the natural world around us
intelligence? The theory of multiple intelligences asks us
to look at ourselves and our employees in a very different
way, not asking “How smart am I? ” or “How smart are
they?” MiQ™ leads us to ask “How am I smart?” or
“How are they (our employees) smart?”–a very different
What Does MiQ™ Bring to the
Corporate, Business World?
A new vision of human resource
development. The goal of
an MiQ™ approach to HRD is to maximize the full potential
of the workforce by not only encouraging each employee to
excel in his or her stronger intelligence areas, but also
by providing ways to help people develop areas that are
not strong, thus creating a more well-rounded team.
What can this mean for you?
• Understanding how to put
together more effective teams.
Group dynamics research has
documented that heterogeneously grouped teams get more
done. When you understand the different kinds of smarts of
your people and when you use this information for
team-building, you dramatically increase the productivity
of your workforce.
• Finding and developing
hidden leadership qualities and potentials. When you
learn to look at people through the lens of the eight
kinds of smarts you, discover numerous skills, abilities,
gifts, and talents which have likely never been tapped on
the job. Learning to access these capacities on a regular
and ongoing basis profoundly impacts your employee
retention and motivation.
• Learning how to activate
each of the intelligences in yourself and your employees.
People need to have a wide range of techniques,
strategies, and methods to call on when faced with
problems or new challenges which arise in the execution of
their jobs. Teaching employees how to use all of their
intelligences gives you a more creative, personally
invested, and responsible workforce.
A multifaceted approach to
strategic planning and problem solving. Using MiQ™ in
corporate strategic planning guarantees that you access
the full creativity and gifts of all involved in the
planning process. Often planning does not get beyond a
simple rehashing and reshaping of past ideas and
solutions–ideas and solutions which have been less than
effective. What can this
mean for you?
• Understanding the dynamics of
creativity and how to tap them in corporate planning
sessions. Research has
discovered that creativity is a learned process. Knowing
how to nurture and develop the creative prowess in your
workforce gets better answers to problems, a wider range
of ways to meet challenges, and a much clearer vision of
your goals–and you get the “buy in” of everyone involved.
• Promoting the best thinking
of all involved in the planning process. When you
understand the wide range of critical and creative
thinking skills available in the different intelligence
areas, you suddenly have many more ways to think about any
problem you’re trying to solve. You need to train your
workforce to be better thinkers.
• Knowing how to move a
group’s thinking to higher-order realms. Effective
planning must fully engage the full being of all involved
in the planning process. You’ve got to know how to move
people to a place where ideas are synthesized, integrated,
and transformed into action.
A multimodal approach to
corporate training. Effective training must balance
knowledge acquisition with hands-on application of the
knowledge. Often a training session fails to reach all
learners or participants primarily due to the mono-modal
style of the presentation.
What can this mean for you?
• Knowing how to plan
“multi-modals” presentations which access the full
learning potentials of the participants.
Presenting information in just one
way will not reach everyone. When you use a wide range of
teaching and learning strategies, methods, and techniques,
everyone gets it!
• Helping participants
transfer the learning from the training session to their
daily work assignments. In most cases transfer of the
learning does not happen automatically. It takes variety
of techniques to help participants apply the information
from the training session on the job.
• Dealing effectively with the
adult learner. Research has documented that the adult
learner has distinct needs which must be addressed in a
formal training situation. You must make sure you are
addressing the hierarchy of basic human needs, and know
how to handle the difficult participant, answer questions,
and understand the dynamics of a group.
A screening process for
maximizing employee productivity. MiQ™ gives you an
opportunity to understand the various “intelligence
profiles” of your workforce. An intelligence profile gives
a picture of the unique intellectual capacities of each
person, including areas that are more developed and areas
that less developed. What can this mean for you?
• Understanding the full
potential of each person on your team. Once you
understand a person’s intelligence profile you have very
powerful information for helping each perform at his or
her highest potential. You must use different strategies
for dealing managing different profiles. You can’t relate
to everyone the same!
• Analyzing the intelligence
profiles needed for leadership and managers. In the
past the criteria for leaders/managers were based on
specific areas of expertise, technical knowledge about a
given industry or business, or on the ability to
communicate, motivate, and mobilize people. The capacities
of the eight intelligences listed earlier give a picture
of the new intelligence-based leader.
• Interviewing with multiple
intelligences in mind. Organizations which have and
maintain the competitive edge recognize the need for
workers who possess a wide range of intelligences. The
interview process is the key to finding these people and
keeping them for the long term. MiQ™-based surveys, when
interviewing prospective employees, can save you big time
All in all, as the eight
intelligences becomes part of the corporate culture,
everyone is expected to tap the full range of their human
capacities on the job. There is a profound appreciation
for and valuing of human diversity and the multitude of
approaches different individuals might employ to
accomplish the same task.
[Subscribe to the MiQ™ Update
newsletter at www.DavidLazear.com/e_newsletter.html.]
Keywords: human resources,
training & development, strategic planning, employee
productivity and motivation