Tips for Understanding Multiple Intelligences

Adapted from the work of Howard Gardner


People in possession of this intelligence are good at communicating with others, and often excel at sales, marketing, politics, teaching, training, facilitating and mediating. They enjoy being in the company of other people, either in connection with work or socially. Team sports are preferred to individual ones such as swimming and running. These individuals would commonly have several, very close friends, and are sympathetic to helping others. They exhibit no hesitation in taking the lead, but also prefer to discuss problems with others in preference to going it alone.


Quiet, reflective, introspective traits emerge form this intelligence, where an individual is happy in his own company. People with this intelligence are independent thinkers, who possess a realistic notion of their own strengths and weaknesses. Self-development and self-fulfilment arise from the awareness generated by such people about who they are and where they are going. Their goals and visions are usually clear and attained through self-directed actions. These people usually consider "doing their own thing".

Bodily Kinesthetic

This intelligence accords the ability to engage competently in sports, dancing, work and any area where physical mobility is necessary. Such people also enjoy trekking, swimming, gymnastics, the rough and tumble of play and generally the physical sensation of using their body. They are also adept at "do it yourself: activities, and exhibit a need to physically touch or handle something where such manipulation leads to greater understanding of the subject under scrutiny. Other activities enjoyed through this intelligence are handicrafts, sculpture and using hand gestures to express themselves. Such people are literally "hands on" types who would not bother much about systematically going through an instruction manual prior to tackling a new learning experience.


People with this intelligence are able to perceive the world in three (or more?) dimensions. The intricate inter-relationships and of networks and systems, the disposition of items in space, are recognised readily by individuals having a good visual-spatial intelligence. Such people can read maps and charts, plans and drawings, jigsaws and mazes. They have a good sense of direction

Their note taking and note-making usually includes colour and imagery. They prefer reading material that is heavily illustrated, are inveterate doodlers, and have great perceptual and visualisation skills in drawing, where accuracy is often essential. People equipped with this intelligence easily undertake DIY activities, or work that involves stripping down and reassembling components. In school, this intelligence leads to a preference of geometry over algebra.


A person in possession of linguistic intelligence enjoys wordplay, is easily able to express himself, reads voraciously, possesses an excellent vocabulary, is a competent debater, a teacher or instructor who can convey complex information with ease, can "think aloud", and is able to readily absorb information when listening to other people at lectures or seminars, or on audio cassettes, and the radio. Such people can easily make good progress through the words being imprinted on their mind, as a guide to subsequently moving ahead.


People equipped with logical-mathematical intelligence are typically competent with "number crunching", and good at details and analysis. Mathematics and science figured as favourite subjects in school, they are systematic in their behaviour and are able to locate specific examples to substantiate a general point of view. They enjoy wrestling with brainteasers and tend to follow a step-by-step approach to problem solving. Their strength lies in discerning patterns and relationships between objects and numbers.

Musical Intelligence

A musical intelligence enables people to exhibit a good sense of rhythm. They are generally able to sing on key, play a musical instrument, and even identify the sounds of diverse musical instruments. Their "musical memory" tends to be good and often, they are able to recall a tune after hearing it just a few times. Life for the musically intelligent is meaningless without music, which evokes emotions and images to comprise a meaningful tapestry that is their identity. Such people often hum a tune, or tap their feet to the beat of a melody or some commercial jingle.


The latest entry into the classification of intelligence includes everyone to some extent or another. People in possession of a naturalist intelligence like or keep pets, they are au fait with the elements of nature - trees, flowers, plants - and are able to understand and maintain interest in the principal global environmental issues that have dominated the consciousness of humanity recently. They possess a good knowledge of the functions of the body, and usually live healthy lives in accordance with this knowledge. Interest in the origins of the universe, the evolution of life, social issues leading to the development of humanity and the preservation of life on our planet, figure prominantly in our consciousness through this intelligence

If you or someone you know need help, it is recommended to get in touch and seek advice from a mental health professional. At Charleston Consulting, we offer a variety of services that can help your psychological needs. If you would like to learn more, please check out the Thrive Learning Program course which can help to improve your quality of life.

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