Every Wednesday, I’ll post about multiple intelligences so we can better understand children and why they do what they do.
In my first post in this two-part series, I shared how we can express gratitude effectively when we consider people’s multiple intelligences. This is true whether we’re simply expressing our appreciation or buying something for them to say “thanks.” I covered word, logic, and picture smart in that post. Let’s consider the other five smarts.
Music smart – Write a note describing their value to you or the beauty of your friendship with musical terms such as classical, melody, in tune, harmony, and composer. (This may seem crazy at first, but I’ve done this. It is possible!) Buy them symphony tickets, make sure to attend their recitals, listen to their favorite songs on their iPods, and spend time at a store listening to new music.
Body smart – Validate their abilities by letting them know you’ve noticed their athletic abilities/interests, their craft/art abilities that use their hands, their acting abilities/interests, and other things related to physical control. It would be very honoring to ask them if they’d like to teach you one of their body-smart strengths. Give them a gift of your time and go for walks or bike rides together or do other physical things.
Nature smart – Let these people know you’re glad they enjoy the outdoors. Affirm their interest in animals and plants. Think of a specific time that their abilities and enjoyment found in animals or plants blessed you and thank them. Nature-smart people often enjoy collecting things according to patterns so you could suggest doing that together and/or buy them something to help them with their collections.
People smart – Thank these people for helping you think things through and for being effective brainstormers and problem solvers. Celebrate their ability to read your moods and to respond accordingly. Because they tend to enjoy people and discussions, they may enjoy gifts of biographies or autobiographies and opportunities to hear presentations about current events and things of interest.
Self smart – Quiet, space, peace, and privacy motivate and help these people so look for opportunities to honor them with these things. Time alone might be their favorite thank-you gift. Gifts of journals, devotional books, and anything personalized will most likely be appreciated.
I could go on-and-on. That’s why I wrote a book on the topic of multiple intelligences! There are so many applications that bless us and others. Go for it! Consider the person’s smarts when choosing how to say “thanks” and they’ll say “thanks” in return.
[A version of this post was first published on November 17, 2011.]