Copyright 2001, Reprinted 2006 by Crown House Publishing Ltd., Wales
Reviewed by Judith E. Pearson, Ph.D., L.P.C.
Profiting from Multiple Intelligence in the Workplace, by Joyce Martin, is about changing our concepts of what constitutes intelligence. It is a book for human resource specialists, managers, training staff, and consultants who want to increase organization productivity, service, profitability, and staff satisfaction. The book draws upon and expands the work of Dr. Howard Garner of Harvard University who first developed the concept of multiple intelligences for the classroom. Garner takes a multidimensional view of human intelligence as number of inter-related attributes.
Specifically, Garner defines nine types of intelligence:
Linguistic: The ability to use language, orally and in writing, to convey information, conduct critical analysis, persuade, and convince.
Mathematical, technical, logical and scientific: The ability to perform mathematical operations, make logical decisions, understand technical principles, and apply scientific rigor.
Visual: Artistic ability as well as the ability to understand spatial relationships and attend to visual detail.
Auditory: Auditory acuity and ability to make distinctions based on auditory input.
Kinaesthetic motor: The aptitude for physical performance as well as fine motor skills.
Interpersonal: The ability to relate to others effectively in order to accomplish specific results.
Intrapersonal: Self awareness and self understanding.
Naturalistic: The ability to understand and respect nature, geography, and climate, and apply these understandings to problem solving.
Philosophical ethical: The ability to influence behavior in a way that reflects cultural values.
Martin brings theory into application by teaching her readers how the multiple intelligence model can be used to: · Understand human capabilities · Write definitive job descriptions · Speed the interview process · Improve customer service · Enhance staff training · Create productive teams · Enhance employee morale · Improve leadership
First, Martin takes on many of the myths that plague the modern workplace. Mainly, she explodes the myth that managers are good judges of skill and talent, and that traditional measures of intelligence (IQ, aptitude, and personality tests) are effective predictors of quality performance. While she acknowledges that the concept of Emotional Intelligence has validity in personnel assessment, she states that the means for measuring it have shown low reliability and inconsistent validity.
Garner's model, however, is supported by research in the classroom and the workplace, showing that intelligence is not one skill, or a trait, or a number. Instead intelligence is: · Evidenced by culturally valued products and activities as defined by one's society. · Selectively applied, depending on the task. · Universal and varies according to genetic endowment, maturation, and relevant experience. · Responsive to experience.
As a result of recent models and methods of teaching that have found their way into the education system, the applicants entering today's workforce will score lower on traditional measures of intelligence, want jobs that accommodate their individual circumstances, prefer team work over isolation, and are not likely to bend to please authority. In light of that last item, today's leaders are expected to be experts at managing process as well as people.
Martin's book is chock-full of assessment tools so that readers can identify their own intelligences and create a personal profile and personal data base in skills in each area of intelligence. Such information can be applied for pinpointing areas of self-improvement, discussion topics for teams, and upgrading a resume.
Under the topic "Intelligent Hiring" Martin tells managers how to use the multiple intelligences model to establish criteria for job descriptions, and well as for new approaches to interviewing and hiring. She provides job profiles that help HR specialists define work force requirements now and for the future. She shows how to redesign job applications forms and provides sample interview questions.
Martin revamps the human resources process by challenging many time-honored tenets of human resources management and offers suggestions for improving corporate practices. Her book includes a number of inventories for assessment of human resource activities, such as supervision, training and development, development and delivery, promotion, and management. She also provides tools for assessing workplace stress and motivation.
Martin posits that the multiple intelligences model will increase profits because: · The workplace will better meet the needs of the "new breed" of employee now entering the job market. · Organizations will better recognize the strengths of injured workers and support rehabilitation and retraining. · The multiple intelligence model supports diversity. · The model adapts to the global economy. · The model can be used to assess customer satisfaction.
The author also discusses how the model is applicable to public and private-sector organizations, small businesses, sales, and self-employed consultants.
The multiple intelligences model challenges readers to: · Expand their criteria for defining what constitutes a skill. · Rethink the value of traditional test scores. · Replace subjective measures of performance with job-related intelligence-based inventories. · Match the cultural strengths of applicants with corporate needs.
About the Author
Joyce Martin is a lecturer in social psychology at the Australian Catholic University, Sydney. She has been involved in adult education for over 20 years. And has produced a wide range of research papers, books for working with diversity, and career advice materials for Zonta International. Sydney Joyce has also worked as a consultant with the New South Wales police on the use of action learning.
Profiting from Multiple Intelligences in the Workplace is as astute presentation of the kind of thinking that will, ideally, shape the approach to human resource management in the 21st century. Martin skillfully does away with decades-old approaches and shows how the multiple intelligences model can be implemented for productivity and profitably. It is a model that accommodates human diversity, complexity, and adaptability.
The modern corporate environment requires multi-tasking, rapid learning, and a constantly shifting mix of academic, technical and interpersonal skills. Couple this with the fact that today's employees want more than a paycheck; they want work that is enriching, with opportunities for training and advancement, and flexible hours. Today's culture supports diversity, technical savvy, the ability to handle high information volume, and fast response. With this complex array of demands on the work environment, the multiple intelligences model holds promise for restructuring how employers hire, evaluate, train, supervise, promote, and manage people.
As with any innovation coming into the corporate or institutional, workplace, change must start at the top. Unless CEOs and executives buy in, this model, like others, will wither on the vine. Are executives likely to read this book? No, because it is targeted at an human resources management audience. Therefore, if the multiple intelligences model is to survive, human resource departments must educate CEOs through executive-level briefings, garnering support from national-level management associations, and calling upon organizational consultants who are experts in the model. If the multiple intelligences model gains a foothold in major corporations we will see a dramatic shift in the way skill and talent are defined.
To purchase Profiting from Multiple Intelligences in the Workplace contact:
Crown House Publishing Ltd. Editorial/Marketing Offices 4 Berkeley St. Norwalk, CT 06850 USA Phone: 203-852-9504 Fax: 203-852-9619 Email: info@CHPUS.com
In the UK: Crown House Publishing Ltd. Crown Building Bancyfelin, Carmarthen, Wales SA33 5ND, UK www.crownhouse.co.uk