By Carina Marques – Swood Team
When talking about intelligence, the first thought that usually occurs to us is the ability to perform an activity, to understand instructions and to find solutions to problems. Basically, we believe that being intelligent is only about using thought. However, this is only one of the types of intelligence, the most primary, immediate and known – intellectual intelligence.
In addition to this, it is necessary to consider two more types of intelligence – emotional intelligence and spiritual intelligence. The first corresponds to the ability to understand and manage our own emotions and those of others. It allows an alliance between emotion and reason, that is, to use rational thinking to understand and manage emotions and make use of emotion to aid in reasoning. In turn, spiritual intelligence takes on a more profound and subjective nature. Although spirituality is sometimes associated with religious currents, in this case, spiritual intelligence is related to the individual and to the most basic questions of his existence. Thus, this type of intelligence is related to the individual’s ability to find himself, to be aware of himself and his surroundings, as well as his purpose and values.
In an academic context, intellectual and emotional intelligences are perhaps the most studied, although there is an increasing trend towards the study of the third type. However, in the practical environment, in the context of work, intellectual intelligence is the one that seems to predominate, leaving the remaining components in the background. They are types of intelligence that are more subjective, more difficult to measure and evaluate, and which, at times, may have a less positive connotation because they address issues of a more subjective nature.
The question is: how can emotional and spiritual intelligences contribute positively to an organization? From a more restricted point of view, the greater an individual’s ability to manage and understand emotions, both yours and others’, the better your relationship with co-workers will be. In turn, a positive relationship can contribute to a good work environment, to the motivation of employees and, ultimately, to their productivity.
Following the same line of thought, something very similar can be said about spiritual intelligence. Knowing and feeling the purpose of what is done in the organization and finding a balance point in yourself will tend to have positive effects on the well-being of employees. Only physically and mentally healthy employees can perform their role efficiently and effectively, contributing to the overall objectives of the organization.
In short, although many organizations do not take emotional intelligence and spiritual intelligence into account or do not place a high importance on it, investing in the development of employees in these areas appears to be advantageous at various levels: individual, team and organizational. What is increasingly being proposed, therefore, is the integration and complementarity of the three types of intelligence so that an organization’s most valuable assets reach their potential and contribute positively to the organizational context in which they operate.