Harnessing Your Inner Genius: A Guide To Intelligence And Learning Styles


Discover what intelligences and learning styles you have

In a world where common sense isn’t always so common, the recognition of diverse types of intelligence has become vital. The human intellect is a dazzling mosaic of diverse intelligences, each with its own uniqueness.

Buckle up as we embark on an exhilarating journey through the intricate world of human intelligences. From the obvious and eloquent wordsmith to the number-crunching wizard, you’ll discover quite a variety in between. It’s an opportunity to identify your own intelligences (yes, you probably possess several!).

Linguistic Intelligence:

Let’s kick things off with the power of words. Linguistic intelligence is the realm of eloquence, where individuals possess a remarkable mastery of language. Whether it’s crafting compelling stories, delivering persuasive speeches, or weaving intricate narratives, these wordsmiths excel in all things linguistic. They’re the writers who paint vivid images with their prose, the journalists who uncover hidden truths, and the public speakers who leave audiences hanging on their every word.

Logical-Mathematical Intelligence:

Now, let’s shift gears into the world of logic and numbers. Logical-mathematical intelligence is the domain of analytical thinkers who love solving complex puzzles and unravelling intricate problems. These individuals are the scientific pioneers who venture into uncharted territories, the mathematicians who dance with equations, and the programmers who code the digital landscapes of tomorrow.

Visual-Spatial Intelligence:

Let’s turn our focus to the art of visualisation. Visual-spatial intelligence is all about those with an uncanny ability to perceive and manipulate the world around them in their mind’s eye. They’re the architects who dream up awe-inspiring structures, the artists who breathe life into canvases, the navigators who effortlessly chart their course through the physical realm, and the interior designers who can transform your living room.

Musical Intelligence:

People with musical intelligence have an unparalleled sensitivity to rhythm, melody, and sound. They’re the virtuoso musicians whose melodies can elicit a range of emotions, the composers who create harmonious masterpieces, and the conductors who orchestrate auditory magic. In cultures without a formal written language, musical intelligence is essential.

Bodily-Kinaesthetic Intelligence:

5 women dancers demonstrating bodily kinaesthetic intelligence

It’s time to get physical with bodily-kinaesthetic intelligence. These are the folks who use their bodies as instruments of expression and skill. They’re athletes pushing their physical limits, dancers choreographing stories with movement and actors embodying characters on the stage. They’re the outdoor enthusiasts conquering nature, or the mechanically gifted who can make or repair machines to hum with precision.

Interpersonal Intelligence:

These are the artists of understanding and connecting with fellow human beings. Those with Interpersonal intelligence possess the innate ability to read social cues, navigate group dynamics, and build bridges of understanding. They’re the leaders who inspire and unite, and the counsellors who offer guidance in times of need. Then there are the diplomats who forge peaceful relations, and the “people people” who make every interaction feel like a warm embrace.

Intrapersonal Intelligence:

People with intrapersonal intelligence are the philosophers of our time, the introspective souls who dive deep into self-discovery. They possess an extraordinary understanding of their emotions, motivations, and inner workings. They’re the wise elders who offer sage advice, the counsellors who guide others on their internal journeys, and the gurus who lead seekers toward enlightenment.

Emotional Intelligence (EQ):

Most of us are now familiar with Emotional Intelligence (EQ). This intelligence allows individuals to recognize and understand their own emotions and manage them effectively. EQ is the compass that guides us through the intricate terrain of human feelings, enabling us to build meaningful relationships, navigate social dynamics, and lead with empathy. In fact, my free Get Unstuck Self-Review will enable you to determine the strength of your EQ and show you ways to develop it further.

Naturalistic Intelligence:

Ever met someone who seems to have an uncanny connection with nature? That’s the realm of naturalistic intelligence. These individuals have an innate knack for understanding the natural world. They can spot patterns in ecosystems, identify species of plants and animals, and predict weather changes like nature’s very own meteorologists. Environmentalists, botanists, gardeners, and wildlife conservationists often possess this unique intelligence, making them the Earth’s vigilant guardians.

Social Intelligence (SQ):

People with this gift understand human behaviour on a profound level. They’re the ‘people people’. They can read social cues, decode group dynamics, and build bridges between people like expert architects. You’ll often find them excelling in leadership roles, counselling sessions, diplomatic negotiations, or simply being the glue that holds a tight-knit group together.

Practical Intelligence: aka Common sense

Man fixing a tap

Ah, common sense – that elusive quality we all recognize but can’t always define. Practical intelligence is like the Swiss Army knife of smarts. It’s the ability to make everyday decisions and a knack for solving real-world problems. People with practical intelligence adapt to different situations effortlessly. They’re the ones you want by your side during a crisis because they’ll figure out how to build a raft from twigs and leaves or fix a leaky tap with some scrap they found on the garage floor! This type of intelligence relates to practical problem-solving in everyday life and involves adapting to different situations and solving real-world problems. See, common sense isn’t lost!

Creative Intelligence:

Some theories propose a specific intelligence related to creativity, which involves the ability to be innovative, generate novel ideas, and approach problems in innovative ways. Creative intelligence takes us into the realm of boundless imagination and innovation. These individuals have a unique talent for thinking outside the box. They’re the creative geniuses who can conjure up groundbreaking ideas, transform mundane problems into exciting challenges, and make art that leaves you in awe. Whether they’re designing breathtaking architecture, composing mesmerizing music, or crafting captivating stories, creative intelligence sparks the flames of human innovation.

Spiritual Intelligence:

Going beyond the material world, spiritual intelligence delves into the depths of human consciousness and connection. Those with spiritual intelligence possess an insatiable curiosity for the deeper meaning of life and the universe. They seek profound insights, often finding a sense of interconnectedness with something greater than themselves. It’s like having a spiritual GPS that guides them through the twists and turns of existence. This intelligence allows them to explore the realms of mindfulness, meditation, and inner peace while embracing the mysteries of existence.

Intuitive Intelligence:

Ever had a gut feeling that turned out to be spot on? Welcome to intuitive intelligence. These individuals have a remarkable ability to make quick, insightful decisions based on their intuition and gut feelings. It’s like having a built-in radar that guides them through life’s twists and turns. They trust their instincts and often make the right choices, even when logic can’t explain it.

Cultural Intelligence:

In our increasingly interconnected world, cultural intelligence has become a superpower. These individuals possess a deep understanding of diverse cultures and an ability to adapt to various cultural norms and practices, seamlessly navigating the tapestry of global societies. They’re the bridge builders, the ambassadors of cultural exchange, and the diplomats who foster understanding and cooperation between different parts of the world.

Ethical Intelligence:

In a world filled with moral dilemmas, ethical intelligence is the compass that guides individuals toward making morally sound decisions. These individuals have a heightened sensitivity to ethical considerations. They can recognize ethical dilemmas, navigate complex moral terrain, and understand the far-reaching consequences of their actions on others. They’re the moral pillars of society, striving to do what’s right even when faced with challenging choices.

Digital Intelligence:

Kids using their digital intelligence

With the rise of technology and digital platforms, some theorists have proposed the idea of digital intelligence, which involves skills related to navigating and using digital tools and information effectively. (They’re usually about 3-years old!) They’re the ones who effortlessly navigate the digital landscape, mastering the art of using technology and digital tools to their advantage. Whether it’s coding like wizards, deciphering intricate algorithms, or harnessing the power of data, they’re the architects of the digital realm, shaping the future of technology and innovation.

Learning Styles:

But wait, there’s more to our quest for understanding the human mind!

As you’ve seen, learning and intelligence aren’t a one-size-fits-all endeavour, and just like a versatile wardrobe, you have a plethora of learning styles to choose from. Whether you’re a visual adept who transforms notes into mind maps, an auditory addict, who soaks up knowledge through podcasts and discussions, a reading/writing enthusiast who devours books and journals, or a kinaesthetic ninja who learns best through hands-on experiences, there’s a learning style tailored just for you.

Experiential learners thrive on direct experiences and hands-on experimentation, while observational learners sharpen their skills by keenly observing and imitating others. Collaborative learners thrive in group activities, discussions, and teamwork, while self-directed learners set personal goals and embark on independent learning journeys.

Problem-based learners love tackling real-world issues and working with case studies, while project-based learners immerse themselves in extended projects and assignments. Game-based learners turn education into an adventure, using educational games and simulations to sharpen their minds.

Online learners take advantage of the digital age with online courses, webinars, and virtual classrooms, while blended learners combine online and in-person methods for a balanced approach. Inquiry-based learners ask questions and conduct research, while those employing the Socratic method dive deep into open-ended questions and critical thinking.

Mentorship provides guidance from knowledgeable mentors or experts in a field, while peer teaching allows learners to share their knowledge and discuss topics with peers. Storytelling transforms information into captivating narratives, and visual arts enthusiasts draw, paint, and express themselves through visual art forms.

For those attuned to music and rhythm, learning involves melody, rhythm, and melodic patterns. Dance and movement enthusiasts learn through physical expression while mind-mapping fans create visual representations of ideas and concepts. Mindfulness and meditation practitioners find relaxation and insight through these practices.

Find out how to create a mind map with Tony Buzan, the original developer of Mind-maps. (5-minute video)

For adventurous souls, travel and exploration become powerful learning tools, connecting them with different cultures and places.

People in nature exploring their Naturalist intelligence

Nature-based learners immerse themselves in the natural world, forging a deep connection with the environment. Culinary connoisseurs refine their skills through cooking and food preparation, and tech-savvy individuals navigate the digital landscape with technology-based learning.

Role-playing and drama devotees step into the shoes of characters and scenarios, while debate and public speaking aficionados engage in structured debates and captivating public speaking engagements. Service learning transforms community service and volunteer work into valuable learning experiences.

These are just some of the many ways people can learn, and individuals often combine multiple methods to enhance their learning experiences. It’s like having a diverse toolkit of learning styles to choose from, each with its unique advantages.

What circumstances, environments, and behaviours make it easier to learn?

  • Having positive beliefs about your ability to learn.
  • Being relaxed and open-minded is important.
  • A supportive and safe learning environment will encourage you to take risks, ask questions, and explore new concepts without fear of judgment.
  • Engagement: When you’re engaged and interested in a topic, you are more likely to absorb and retain information and knowledge.
  • Avoid comparing yourself to others — everyone learns differently (as you’ve seen from this post). If you must compare, then compare what you know today with what you knew before.
  • Being put under pressure can be useful in some learning environments – especially if you’ll use the skills being taught in stressful situations (think fire drills or CPR)
  • It’s useful to be in the same emotional state when you’re learning something as you’ll want to be in to use the skills you’re learning. For example, being relaxed and confident as a learner are also important emotional states for presenting.
  • Having a sense of curiosity.
  • Being willing to ask questions or challenge assumptions.

A person who asks a question is a fool for a minute… but a person who doesn’t is a fool forever…” – Unknown

  • Relevance — Thinking of where the information fits or doesn’t fit with what you already know. Making connections between new information and your existing knowledge or personal experiences.
  • Getting feedback on how you’re doing and adjusting accordingly.
  • Identifying ways you can use what you’ve learned as soon as possible after you learnt it — and then doing so.

Did you find your unique blend of smarts and learning styles?

As we wrap up this exhilarating journey through the intricate landscape of human intelligences and learning styles, remember that your unique blend makes you one-of-a-kind. Embrace your individuality, celebrate your strengths, and explore the vast possibilities of knowledge acquisition. Learning is the adventure of a lifetime, and the path you choose is yours to blaze. So, venture on with curiosity, respecting and appreciating that we need all those types of intelligence to make the world wonderful.

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Tags: intelligence, Language, Learning and memory, Self-awareness, Thinking and mindset


  1. Penny Wigan

    It should read

    I LOVED this particular blog post – highlighting our different forms of intelligence. Brilliant and applicable with so many wonderful insights. Thanks Steph for sharing what’s inside your mind!

  2. Stephanie

    Thank you, Penny. So glad you enjoyed it and found it useful.


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