Which Smart are you?

Sarina Sorrenti
July 12, 2019

The theory of multiple intelligences suggests there is more than one type of smart, the traditional IQ as it's known. So what type of smart are you and how can you use your natural smarts and abilities to do amazing things?

We are all smart in our own way – right? Sometimes we forget what we are naturally smart in and fall into careers where we just survive and not thrive. In the early 90s I came across Howard Gardner’s Multiple Intelligences the theory that human beings are smart in 8 different ways. We all have the entire 8 and we all have preferences or strengths where we shine. I love helping people find their strengths and thrive not just survive and usually work with Clifton Strengths tool. The multiple intelligence theory is another lens, an easier tool to understand your intelligence strengths and then design an ideal vocation. I created this infographic that combines the characteristics of the 8 intelligences with vocations that best utilize each strength.

The Eight Intelligences

Which kind of smart are you and does your vocation allow you to be your best? One of my undergraduate degrees is accounting and at best I was an average accountant. I needed to use so much energy to get all the details right as my brain naturally doesn’t work that way. My other undergraduate degree is in marketing and that was where I thrived. As a graduate, I was lucky enough to work for an organisation that saw me and helped me move into a role where I used my stronger natural intelligence. I loved work and was very successful with less effort and better outcomes.

My combination of intelligences are kinaesthetic – love doing, moving and learning through physical movement; Interpersonal – love to talk, interact with people and verbal linguistic – love words, writing, advising and debating. The combination of those strengths are perfect for coaching, advising and facilitating – my current vocation. I make up on the kinaesthetic side through Yoga, Tai Chi, Boxing, Dancing and walking my dog. I know for myself to be my best version I like to start my day with movement which gives me energy for the whole day.

One of my current ‘getting out of my comfort zone goals’ is singing. I am close to tone deaf and musical would be one of my lowest natural intelligences. It takes so much energy and courage to sing and I am surrounded by awesome musicians who just play with such ease and flow. It is frustrating and many times I just want to give up, but on the occasion that I sing in tune, it is magical and worth the effort. I have been a little bit inventive and used one of my natural talents and adapted it for my music goal – writing lyrics and working in collaboration with talented musicians.

Do you have a ‘getting out of my comfort zone goal’ for one of your lower intelligences?

Multiple intelligences can be used for vocation design, developing high performance teams, adaptive effective communication, workplace design and of course teaching to ensure all intelligences are activated for effective learning.

If you are not sure which is your strongest intelligence, reflect on the infographic above and rank the 8 in order of which is easiest to hardest for you. Be all you can be.

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"Since Sam joined the board at CartonCloud in the capacity of company secretary, he has contributed significantly to the strategic direction of the company while placing us on a path to better governance. He has been instrumental in CartonCloud securing large government funding which will take CartonCloud to the next level in terms of our software functionality and capability. I have gained from Sam’s vast business experience and is the consummate professional in his dealings with me and the broader CartonCloud team."

Carton Cloud

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Deakin University

"Sarina has partnered with Deakin for many years. Sarina develops highly effective development solutions after closely ascertaining needs and diagnosing problems. The feedback we receive from participants attending Sarina's sessions is always glowing, with many requests for Sarina to come and work with teams or individuals. I highly recommend Sarina and Engage Consulting."

Deakin University

"Through my professional journey, Sarina has helped me reinvent myself and focus on my aspirations. Her vibrant positive energy is contagious. Over the years she has helped me cultivate self-awareness, embedded the notion of mindfulness, and saved me from countless hours of frustration by sharing best practices to avoid common pitfalls as I transitioned through development. Sarina is not only my professional coach she is also my life coach and a wonderful source of wisdom. I can’t thank her enough… I am grateful for her support and feel privileged to have her as a coach"


"For many years Sarina has been a wonderful guide and support for me in my career. She has helped me to navigate my way through some challenging situations and worked to further develop my strengths and improve me where I have needed it. As I reflect on the work we have done together, I'm pleased that some of my weakest areas have, over time, become strengths. Now, many years later, I am enjoying seeing people in my team flourish as they, too, work with her. I can't speak highly enough of Sarinas' capability and her working style. I'm certain she would add considerable value to any company or any individual fortunate enough to work with her."

Gale Pacific


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