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“If you find yourself to be the smartest person in the room, change rooms. You’re in the wrong one” – Jay Shetty
A Note on Intelligence
Where Being Smart In A Different Way Leads Us
How many people do you know who gave up corporate offers to…become a monk? Volunteer? Find themselves…and really follow through? Actually, that’s the best part of it for me. Jay Shetty shows us that being different and has its merits, and that there are many paths to success.
Teaching Multiple Intelligences
You’ve probably seen the “multiple intelligences” model Gardner created in many different forms – from 7 to 9 intelligences, categorizing being “smart” into different types of accomplishments or talents.
Can you think of which intelligences you or your students have? I’ll be putting together a worksheet about it this month in my free printables library, so be sure you have access!
What I Learned In Biz School About “Smart People”
However, it is true that you may need a certain kind of “intelligence” to finish a task, complete your certification or fully commit to the project you’re working on. Maybe it doesn’t come naturally to you, and it’s not a natural “multiple intelligence” you have.
Well, let me tell you about my time in biz school – that is, completing a four year Bachelor of Commerce degree.
3 Steps To Make The Most of The Intelligence Around You
Okay, what if you’re not in grad school, or surrounding yourself with a new group of people, or in cultural shock? I truly believe we can find those “intelligence rooms” wherever we are.
1. Be Curious
Ask questions! If you read my post on Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies, you’ll know that this comes easier to some than others. Even if it’s difficult for you, find a way to ask about new perspectives.
Join a meetup, go to a conference, or just observe. For example, take a look at how someone approaches a problem at work differently to the way you do, and ask yourself why.
2. Be Humble
Take that little ego, and shove it aside for a second.
It’s tough, I know. Especially when you think you’re an expert at something, or you thought you’d be great at something that’s really got you down. Breathe. Swallow your pride. Let someone show you how it’s done.
Sidenote: I just remembered that was a key piece of advice that they gave us in our Co-op/work experience seminars. Even if you think you know how to do something, let someone else show you their way. You might learn something, and people love to be listened to.
3. Ask For Help & Implement
That’s right – ask for help. You’d be as surprised as I was that some of the students in my biz classes were eager to create study groups and show me what they knew.
People love to teach others what they know. All we have to do is listen.
Not quite as confident as I am now, I remember hesitating to ask the “smart kids” if they wanted to study together for the midterm, or be in a group project together. Obviously, I mean the ones who were strong at the subjects I once was not.
They said yes every time, and we all leveraged each others’ varying skill-sets. Win-win!
“Smart” In The Classroom
For all you English teachers (or any teachers, really) out there – what can you do when you have different ability levels in the classroom? This definitely happens a lot in the ESL classroom!
- First, I’d set up a themed activity based on a unit where we can use vocabulary they’ve been introduced to in real-life situations. For example, we did a branding unit when I taught English to advertisers and I think this would be a perfect fit.
- Then, to set up “stations” in the classroom for learning the vocabulary in different ways – creating a video, doing a role-play, putting together a musical jingle for the ad, brainstorming a strategy diagram, etc.
- Finally, to wrap up, I’d have students self-assess how they did at each station and what their preferred learning method was.
What are your favourite tips for being around “smart people”, becoming “smarter” in a different area or field, or making the most of multiple intelligences in your class? I’d love for you to share with us in the comments below 🙂
Have a lovely and productive week!
P.S. Photography lovers, the photo for today’s post (and poster!) is one I took on a day trip to Bristol, UK in 2014
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