team building and multiple intelligences
team building and multiple intelligences, to many people,
have as much similarity as a company dinner and an I.Q. test. if you are new
to multiple intelligence, the following is a brief explanation:
The Theory of Multiple Intelligences
The Theory of Multiple Intelligences surfaced in 1983 when Dr. Howard Gardner’s
renowned book titled, “Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences”
was published. Within the next 10 years, educators worldwide embraced the
theory as a basis to identify talents in the children they work with.
Before that, people are perceived to be intelligent
if they score high in an I.Q. test or other psychometric tests, or are good
with logical thinking, mathematical, musical and perhaps, linguistic skills.
In his book, which has been described to have caused paradigm shifts, Dr.
Gardner identified 7 distinct types of intelligence:
1. Linguistic Intelligence
the talent to learn and use languages, it includes the ability to effectively
use language to express oneself rhetorically or poetically, using language
as a primary means to remember things. Poets, writers and translators are
people with high linguistic intelligence.
2. Logical-Mathematical Intelligence
the capacity to analyze problems logically, performs mathematical operations,
and scientifically investigate issues. Scientists and mathematicians are some
examples of people with high logical-mathematical intelligence.
3. Musical Intelligence
skills in the performing arts, composition, and appreciation of music.
It also includes the capacity to recognize and compose musical pitches, tones,
and rhythms. Examples of people with high musical intelligence are: musicians,
composers and singers.
4. Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence
the use of one's whole body or parts of the body to solve problems. It is
the ability to use mental abilities to coordinate bodily movements. Some examples
of people with high bodily-kinesthetic intelligence are carpenters, seamstresses
5. Spatial Intelligence
the potential to recognize and use the patterns of wide space and more confined
areas. Designers and architects are people with high spatial intelligence.
6. Interpersonal Intelligence
the capacity to understand the intentions, motivations and desires of other
people. People with well developed interpersonal intelligence tend to work
effectively with others. Some examples are educators, religious and political
leaders and salespeople.
the capacity to understand oneself, to appreciate one's feelings, fears and
motivations. People with high intrapersonal intelligence have a good idea
of what they want to do in life, what they can and cannot do and when to get
help. Some examples are high achievers and entrepreneurs.
Brief History of team building
No one can be sure how the term “team building” was formed
or when team building first started. The term “team building”
is probably the combination of the words “team” and “building”,
which means “building a team”. team building could have started
as early as the 1930s, when Professor Elton Mayo’s research in The Hawthorne
Experiments (1927 to 1932) concluded that the need for recognition, security
and sense of belonging has a greater effect on workers' morale and productivity
than other working conditions.
Today, team building can mean different things to different
organizations. To some it may simply mean building cohesion among participants,
while to others it may mean improving communication and sharing of information
So How Does Multiple Intelligence Help
Multiple intelligence has been widely applied to children, particularly
in the early detection of talents and gifts. So does the theory
of multiple intelligence still hold true among adults? Are we able to apply
the theory to adults? We began to ask these questions a few years ago when
we were helping clients with their team building exercises.
Over the years, we have successfully conducted team building
sessions for many corporations, using multiple intelligence in our games,
to bring out strengths of different people in different situations, creating
an environment to promote mutual respect, understanding and patience with
Organizations may define team building in different ways,
yet one very basic reason for team building is getting participants to
acknowledge the importance of teamwork and appreciate that people are different.
Dr. Sandy E. Kulkin, founder of Institute for The Motivational
Living, Inc, USA (the world’s largest publisher of DISC personality
profiling system) once said, “People are different, but they are predictably
different”. Dr. Sandy is an expert in human behavior and he develops
courses, trains and certifies professional trainers in behavioral analysis
for personal and business settings. He is a firm believer that in order for
us to be better able to work with one another, we need to understand why people
behave in the way they do and how they look at things differently from us.
Thus in our view, if we can help participants realize that
people are different and see these differences as strengths in the other person,
we will be able to help them learn to celebrate the differences, thereby creating
Understanding multiple intelligence helps broaden our perspectives
of the people around us. In the context of team building, it uncovers the
types of intelligence fellow teammates possess, which may never surface within
the office setting. This brings about better understanding among the participants.
Exposing participants to multiple intelligence during team
building also creates an environment in which participants share their knowledge
in the type of intelligence that they possess with their fellow colleagues;
it helps participants to be patient with one another as they take turns to
learn from one another.
It can also be a humbling experience when we realize that
there are other types of intelligence which may not be well developed in us.
Introducing multiple intelligence during team building can also help participants
become conscious that if we work as a team, we will be well-equipped to tackle
different issues and problems as people who are more developed in different
areas of intelligence tend to look at different aspects of an issue. These
people will also be better at solving different challenges that the team face.
Here are some of Dr. Howard Gardner's books on Multiple Intelligence:
• The Arts and Human Development (1973)
• Art, Mind, and Brain: A Cognitive Approach to Creativity (1982)
• Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligence (1983)
• The Unschooled Mind: How Children Think and How Schools Should Teach
• Multiple Intelligences: The Theory in Practice (1993)
• Changing the World: A Framework for the Study of Creativity(1994)
• Intelligence: Multiple Perspectives (1996)
• Intelligence Reframed - Multiple Intelligences for the 21st Century
related team building articles:
team building and team bonding
history of team
o.p.t.i.m.a.l. approach to organizing
team building activities
why team building
activities always involve games