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The Foundation of Multiple Intelligences

22 Apr

Remember this model?

UntitledIt’s a tying together of the theory of multiple intelligences with a personal twist as we look at how events in our lives filter through several steps of interpretation.  This  is really fascinating and important stuff, and today I’m going to start to explain why. Essentially, I’d like today’s post to lay the foundation for explaining an approach I often use in my coaching with client and in my daily life. It’s about realizing our patterns, and figuring whether or not they serve us well.

And now I’m going to tell you a little story. 🙂

For a whole lot of reasons we’ll touch on as we go, I grew up tying academic achievement with my own self-worth.  The better the grade, the better I was. That’s crazy unto itself, but add in the fact that my peer group of friends were brilliant “logical smart” individuals, and you are left with a load of pressure. I compared myself to their achievements so much that I totally skipped over my own valuable contribution to the world. Don’t get me wrong, I resonate with being logical smart – I throw the question “why is that?” at everything and need to know the theory and statistics behind ideas  . . . but during school, when I equated being successful with high grades in math and science (which was a struggle for me to obtain) it basically caused me to ignore my even greater strengths of people smarts, music smarts and more.
I judged myself against an ideal that didn’t fit my mold back then. I now understand that our brain has an ever-changing structure and its activity can change too. The brain’s neuroplasticity allows it to grow, decline or go unchanged as we transform with experiences, habits and our genes. In that way, we can grow our capacity to be smarter and increase the number of neurons in particular areas of our multiple intelligences. Change happens when we exercise the brain.

As the saying goes “use it or lose it.”

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Do you ever feel that pressure to be amazing academically, to the point of using that to measure self-worth?

Fast forward a load of years to right after I had gone through breast cancer treatment. An opportunity arose to attend the Royal Roads University to become a Certified Executive Coach (CEC). Of course I jumped at the opportunity! But in the process an unexpected external trigger kicked in: school = self-worth  tied into grades. And here I was thinking I’d accomplished so much in my life that this feeling wouldn’t come back!

Using the Multiple Intelligences Map, I’m going to take you through my reactions, and how I was able to reframe that process for a far more positive outcome. If you can think of a similar situation, walk yourself through that experience as we go, and see if this makes sense to you. Feel free to leave questions or comments if you have a question.

External Event Trigger:

Going back to school.

Tendency to delete, distort, or generalize the information: I began to feel the same emotions from high school, with feelings of being less good than others (distorted information). Suddenly there was this need to prove myself again.
Mapped across multiple intelligences: By the time I reached the Royal Roads University, I had more awareness about my other strengths and had built up my self-esteem through coaching. I have a great love for being with people (emotional intelligence smart) and sharing in their stories, I love music (music smart) and have an ear for its complexities, and I have the ability to live with a sense of Spirit (spiritual smart) in every moment. Not bad, eh?! However, my logical smart side, being triggered by that word “grades”, wanted to stand up and rule.

I can still remember how this attitude led me to feel inadequate even during that RRU experience. There was a PowerPoint slide presentation that I had created for my RRU team, and a team member said it wasn’t professional. Okay, so I might have indulged too much in the different colours and let my artistic side go just a bit wild . . . in any case, being told I wasn’t professional enough felt like a blow. Forget that I had done what felt right, my logical smart side took a hit to the ego and it impacted my self-worth. Was I not good enough to be there?

Internal Processing:

I decided to examine my own response which was resonating with my need to do everything extraordinarily well. But was it really such a great setback? So I am not a natural composer of PowerPoint slides, so what?! When I received the feedback, it was devastating and my body felt it – but then, as I was able to review the situation (internal processing) . . . I started to realize that in perspective of my other strengths  and that everyone is doing their best, this feedback could help me in the long run.

I just needed to get my bruised ego out of the way.


I bounced back. I asked myself how I could improve the situation, and I had more empathy toward my other strengths; anchoring myself in what I was good at like interacting with new friends from the course which helped me speak with far more confidence.


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When you become aware of  your internal processing of an event that stirs up a strong emotion in you, you are certainly on the right track to create change.  The beauty of this communication loop with yourself and how you relate to others is that it can continue to weed out what isn’t working for you. It has been four years since that RRU experience and I’m happy to say that I continue to learn and grow by exploring my thoughts and emotions with my coach. I now respond less to triggers that do not serve me and I spend more time rejoicing in the imperfections of a blessed life. Thank you MC and John!

So, have you ever had an experience that you would like to share with us about how you communicate with yourself or others? I’d love to hear more if you resonate with any of the above, or if you have questions too. Just leave your thoughts in the comments.

Till next week,

Reality Testing Your Business

23 Sep

Have you ever heard of reality testing? It’s the ability to keep your emotions from excessively influencing how you interpret events (i.e. to be objective). Reality testing can be a great tool when working in a team, assessing a problem or . . . when launching your own business. Ottawa entrepreneur, Ashley Grandy has been kind enough to answer some questions this week around the theme of reality testing.

Along with her business partner, Ashley has launched an interested concept for the city of Ottawa with her business, Safe Way Home. This driving service drives home clients when they are no longer within legal limits of alcohol consumption.  But not only that – they drive your car home too. So the next morning. Ashley’s company is now in talks with some very big clients (as you’ll see. Think “Hockey”), but it’s taken some serious objective thinking to get this far in her company’s success.

Ashley, would you describe yourself as a realist or an idealist? How does this description manifest itself in your job?

“Realist. I have realistic expectations when it comes to clients and have pragmatic expectations for the pace of my business’ growth; putting time, energy, money, planning and personal investment into this business long before receiving financial reward.”

Can you describe a time when you should have listened to your instincts rather than being so objective. How do you confirm that your instincts are reliable?

My business partner at the growth stages felt that we wouldn’t be successful and wanted to cut our losses and give up.  I felt that it was premature and truly believed we had the foundation of a successful business if we could just get through the difficult beginning stages.  Now that we are in talks with the Senators and the calls are coming steadily, I’m happy I held my ground.

That’s why this business has been rewarding on both a professional and personal level; I’m learning to trust my instincts because I was fully prepared to learn a lot about business and had been researching, working hard and studying consequently but was unaware of the personal growth that would parallel this learning curve.

How would others describe the goals you set (Big hairy Goals or more attainable goals in small steps)? What information do you take into account when you set these goals?

Others would describe the goals I set as small, stable, safe, attainable goals.  What they don’t see is the large goals I am pursuing.  I have many visions but use them solely as a guide to setting the smaller, more attainable goals. It is these goals that other people are following that, in my mind, are just the steps necessary to attain the final objective.

When setting these smaller, more realistic goals, I consider my staff, co-workers and the tools they have to succeed in executing these goals and attaining this sense of achievement.  For the larger vision I have I consider the direction I want the business to go and how I want my business to appear; the personality I want my ‘Safe Way Home’ to exude to the public and the details necessary for achieving this goal.


Sister Leadership would like to issue a huge thanks to Ashley for sharing so openly about her experience with reality testing. Safe Way Home caters to individuals, corporations and events, and we with Ashley and her team the best of successes as they continue to grow.

cararesourcesSo why is reality testing important for your emotional intelligence? That’s what we’re asking and answering in this week’s Sister Leadership resource from the tool box. This week we are giving you eleven key take-aways of assumption to help you stay objective. First on the list, “You cannot not communicate.” Click her to read the rest of the snippets, and learn their meanings.

Till next week!


Camille Boivin is founder of Sister Leadership, certified in EQi 2.0 and EQ360, a master practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), has been coaching high-level women and men for over six years, and is now opening her expertise to those emerging in business. Camille pulls her blog topics from her unique coaching approach that combines her training as a EQi 2.0 and EQ360 certified facilitator with the dig-deeper tools of NLP.

Get in touch here if you’d like to talk with Cam about group or one-on-one coaching, and EQ assessments. With the miracle of Skype and telephones – distance is no issue!

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