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The Now, The New & The Next in Careers

Multiple Intelligences and Careers: Coaching Clients to Bring Out Their Brilliance

30 Dec 2015 10:23 AM | Anonymous

By Nancy Branton

Do you know what your strongest intelligences are? How aware are your clients of their intelligences? Howard Gardner expanded the traditional definition of intelligence to include eight different types of cognitive abilities. According to Gardner’s theory, people possess varying amounts of these eight intelligences. These intelligences link to people’s natural abilities and careers that link to them.

Gardner’s eight intelligences are listed below, along with examples of natural abilities and careers associated with them.

1. Spatial

  • Natural Abilities: drawing, imaginative, create 3D models
  • Sampling of Careers: pilot, architect, interior designer, engineer

2. Linguistic

  • Natural Abilities: listening, speaking, verbal persuasion
  • Sampling of Careers: writer, speaker, translator, politician, librarian

3. Logical/ Mathematical

  • Natural Abilities: mathematical calculations, solving problems
  • Sampling of Careers: mathematician, computer analyst, scientist

4. Bodily-Kinesthetic

  • Natural Abilities: hand-eye coordination, build things, dance
  • Sampling of Careers: professional athlete, doctor, actor, firefighter

5. Musical

  • Natural Abilities: singing or playing an instrument, composing music
  • Sampling of Careers: professional musician, disc-jockey, music therapist

6. Interpersonal

  • Natural Abilities: empathetic, relationship builder, leadership
  • Sampling of Careers: sales, leader, teacher, entrepreneur

7. Intrapersonal

  • Natural Abilities: aware of inner workings of people, reflective, intuition
  • Sampling of Careers: psychologist, coach, philosopher

8. Naturalistic

  • Natural Abilities: identify bird calls, gardening, preserving the environment
  • Sampling of Careers: gardener, park naturalist, botanist, geologist

Taking a self-assessment may be helpful to your clients in becoming clear about their top intelligences. Here is a link to a free multiple intelligence assessment. It assesses one’s top three intelligences and lists ways to use them.

After your client has taken a multiple intelligence assessment, coach them to become more aware of their top multiple intelligences and the related abilities and careers.

  1. What was it like for you to complete this assessment?
  2. What surprised you most about your results?
  3. What are your strongest intelligences?
  4. How did these intelligences play out in your younger years?
  5. How much are you using your strongest intelligences in your current job?
  6. How do these intelligences link to your current hobbies?
  7. Which of the eight intelligences are most important to your success in your current job? And, which of them match your top ones?
  8. What careers or jobs align most closely with your top intelligences?
  9. What specialties in your career field would best fit your intelligences?
  10. How can you further develop your top intelligences?
  11. What hobbies could you choose to further develop one or more your top intelligences?

In summary, it’s important for career coaches to be aware of multiple intelligences as part of the career assessment process. The coach may assist the client to be intentional about which abilities to further develop and also to identify jobs and careers in which these abilities may be utilized.

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Hi, I’m Marie Zimenoff,

CEO of CTL...

I’m a passionate advocate for career industry professionals and a decades-long practicing career coach myself.

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