4 Intelligences - How You Can Make Better Decisions.

As many of you know, I have been teaching at the University of Pittsburgh for the past 25 years or so, and I have been preparing for a summer class I teach on "Human Relations." Technically the class was designed to prepare our students for the important role that human relations play in the workplace, but I have broadened the concept to look at human relations in all aspects of our lives. 

The book I use for this class is "The 8th Habit," by Steven Covey, the celebrated author of the mega-book, "7 Habits of Highly Effective People."  In the "8th Habit," Dr. Covey looks closely at empowerment and the concept of "voice," along with the other 7 habits. All good things related to human relations. 

In looking over this book, and reviewing key concepts presented by Covey, I was rminded of his perspective on intelligence.  He postulates that we do not have one intelligence, but rather we have 4 major intelligences, and they are all critical to life success.  Now this makes sense when you see the 4 elements, but is often difficult to digest, given our love affair with academic intelligence.

He suggests that the 4 intelligences develop chronically and they are: 

IQ - which is academic intelligence and is framed by the ability to understand and use data. 

PQ - which is "physical intelligence" and is informed by things external to us. Think, hot stove. 

EQ - which is "emotional intelligence" and is informed by feelings, either yours or those around you. 

SQ - which is "spiritual intelligence" and is framed by how you will be remembered, or your legacy. 

Now each of these 4 domains are important, but most psychologists suggest that it is emotional intelligence, EQ, that matters most in life, and human relations success. This is not strange when you think of some of the people you know who might be academically smart, but can't establish meaningful or long term relationships. 

The key in all of this, like most of life, is to blend the 4 intelligences when you need to make a decision in life, be it big, or small.  That is, state the challenge before you, and then run it though the 4 intelligences.  What is the smartest thing to do; what is the physically best thing for you; how will you and others feel about your choice; then last, how do you want to be remembered. 

If you frame your decisions around these options, you will make the best choices in your life!