Writer’s block. Thinking block. Talking block. Listening block. Decision making block. Creative block. What if I suggested all of these are possible? You’re not surprised, right? You have probably experienced more than one of these. Let me suggest that the eight great smarts can break through any barriers. Be encouraged!

There are many reasons that multiple intelligences are powerful. Today, let me suggest things we can do for all eight that can result in breakthroughs. For instance, there are times I get stuck when writing. When I move from thinking with word smart to other smarts, I see things differently, think of different ways of expressing myself, and am able to continue writing.

Have you recently experienced frustration when trying to explain something and getting nowhere? What if you used a different intelligence? Maybe you are being too logic smart for your picture-smart son. Or, maybe you’re not being logic smart enough for your logic-smart daughter. Maybe you are explaining something important in a dark room to a nature-smart child who can listen better when outside. You get the idea.

Here are my suggestions. You can adapt them to use yourself and when communicating with others. Let me know if they’re helpful. Let me know what works for you.

Word smart:

  • Talk and write with your listener/reader in mind.
  • Listen intently to learn (not just for your turn to talk).
  • Encourage people to jot down keywords while listening.
  • Read books, blogs, etc. related to the topic. When students are lacking in this smart, have them read easier library books about topics in their textbooks so vocabulary words are introduced. You can also read these books to them.

Logic smart:

  • Talk with, listen for, and write with comparison/contrast and cause/effect relationships.
  • Include reasons when talking and writing by using the word “because.”
  • Include things worth thinking about or boredom will set in quickly.
  • Ask questions out loud and in your mind while reading and listening.

Picture smart:

  • Think about and describe what you see in your mind when someone is talking to you.
  • Study things with your eyes; investigate details with your eyes.
  • Use rich adjectives and action verbs when talking and writing.
  • Draw or sketch what you mean as you’re talking.

Music smart:

  • Think of a song relevant to what you’re reading about or listening to.
  • Take a break and listen to music for a while.
  • Experiment to see if you concentrate best when a certain type of music is playing in the background.
  • When talking, use your voice dramatically and expressively.

Body smart:

  • Without distracting others, move while talking and listening; take breaks to stretch and move.
  • Explore things with your hands.
  • Use manipulatives when learning, write in the sky using many muscles to help you remember things, etc.
  • Act out the meanings of words, the order of events for a history test, etc.

Nature smart:

  • Be outside, or inside by windows, when needing to talk about important things.
  • Look for patterns in what you’re studying (e.g., numbers and letters, similarities among words and ideas).
  • Categorize things based on shape, design, and other patterns.
  • Relate learning to things in nature when possible.

People smart:

  • When you have decisions to make, talk with others to get ideas flowing.
  • Notice and interpret body language; watching DVDs, TED talks, and other messages about topics you’re studying may help.
  • When talking, be aware of your body language as people with people-smart strengths will read it and draw conclusions.
  • When you need to remember something, exaggerate your body language to help you (e.g., if studying the definitions of angry and pouting, make facial expressions as you read or talk the definitions).

Self smart:

  • Think deeply inside of yourself about the topic.
  • Relate what you’re learning to your life.
  • Be quiet and find physical space you like where you can think alone.
  • Give people time to think and make decisions without pressure from you.