Whenever we think of intelligence we normally tend to confuse it with one’s ability to solve puzzles, mathematical problems, and ability to analyze science problems. To make matters worse we have IQ scores that measure one’s ability to solve a wide variety of test problems. I would like to call this intelligence as “paper intelligence”. This type of intelligence is hardly of any use in real life. One good attempt to classify intelligence was by psychologist Howard Gardner’s in his Theory of multiple intelligences in which he states that there are 9 types of intelligence.
In my view intelligence far from being a problem on paper requires much more involvement. It requires the ability to understand situations, have an insight into multiple contexts, capability to understand nuances, resolve different ideas between people. Intelligence should be accompanied by sound common sense, gumption and dollops of street smarts. In this context I would like to propose the following types of intelligence in people
Personal Intelligence: This is the most basic requirement for a person. This intelligence enables a person to understand what he needs in every point in his life and how to go about achieving it. For e.g. a teenager would understand the importance of learning a professional would realize the need for qualifications or an intelligent sport person would understand the importance of consistent practice. People with this type of intelligence would understand the need to remain healthy and would follow an exercise regimen religiously. Having personal intelligence we would know that we would need to save for our future. We would prudently invest in stocks, funds or CDs to increase our net worth in life.
Professional Intelligence: Have you ever wondered why those with talent sometimes never reach the top of the ladder while others who appear less talented are able to cruise to the top of the management ladder. In my opinion this is because the latter have something I would like to call professional intelligence. For this the person must not only deliver but he/she must make sure that all concerned are aware of his/her contribution. This type of intelligence requires a combination of talent, hard work, ability to influence people and some amount of appropriate self advertisement. Some people are endowed with this type of intelligence. They know what wheels to turn in order to get farther in life.
Interpersonal Intelligence: This is extremely powerful type of intelligence and very few people have it. This intelligence requires that the person be able to weigh each and every individual he/she comes across and be able to turn lever that will make the other person feel important and valued. People endowed with interpersonal intelligence will exert a lot of power. People around them generally love to work for these types of people.
Ethical Intelligence: This intelligence deals with the ability to weigh different possibilities in a conflict and to make appropriate choice, Ethical intelligence involves the ability to weigh a hierarchy of values and choose what is most appropriate under the given circumstances
Social Intelligence: This is to some extent similar to interpersonal intelligence though it is on a much larger scale. Social intelligence indicates a complete understanding of how society at large operates. It requires knowledge of what is important to the people at large. Social intelligence is being able to identify a larger purpose in a situation influence people. These people are leaders and can start a movement if required be.
Conclusion: Intelligence thus has many facets to it. In most cases it requires certain perspicacity, the ability weigh situations, understand the contextual complexity and take decisive actions. Intelligence in real-life has little to do solving paper problems. Intelligence involves being able to adjust oneself according to different contexts and choose the most appropriate course of action.