Every Wednesday, I’ll post about multiple intelligences so we can better understand children and why they do what they do.

Surrounding ourselves with people different from us enriches our personal and professional lives. I’m not terribly picture smart so I’m very grateful for the people in my life who are. To be honest, sometimes they frustrate me. But, that’s when I choose (most of the time) to appreciate our differences. It takes character.

Especially before understanding that each intelligence has value, I might have been jealous of creative, artsy people. I might have avoided them because I didn’t like feeling inferior when we did certain things together. I’m not proud of that. I’m just being honest.

Personally, I’m now better off because I’ve gone to the art museum with Andrea, Nancy, and Tina and allowed them to help me see the beauty in some art that I didn’t understand or appreciate. I’ve also learned to enjoy stories from picture-smart people who can tell elaborate stories as they describe what they see in their mind. I’m less impatient as I work to stay with them and enjoy myself. (Yes, sometimes it does take work because the picture-smart intelligence is my weakest.) And, I’ve humbled myself and played games with my nieces and nephew that require drawing or creating because I knew they’d be blessed and so would I.

Who blesses you with their picture-smart interests?

Professionally, I’m much better off having picture-smart colleagues. Randy, who publishes this blog for us, easily sees pictures when reading my contributions so he can then search and find pictures to represent truths. He can create a sidebar that is visually appealing. And, because he’s also logic smart (we all have all 8), the way you navigate it makes sense. Nancy, our Project Manager, publishes our newsletter with the right pictures, colors, and design. She also works with our graphic artists to create new products. And, Linda, my assistant, can set up visually appealing sales tables way better than I can. I am blessed.

Who blesses you with their picture-smart abilities?

When being picture smart, we think with our eyes in pictures. We usually add to our visuals (in our mind and on paper) when we’re excited. Dr. Gardner, the “father” of multiple intelligences labels this intelligence “spatial intelligence.”

When we’re being picture smart, we’re drawing, designing, visualizing, doodling, imagining, creating, and watching. We probably enjoy beauty, art, demonstrations, displays, fiction, and history (because we see the action as we read and listen).

Appropriate, healthy uses of picture-smart strengths include to create beautiful things and, with permission, to help others create parts of projects that require more visual creativity than they have. Intelligences can direct career choice. We might become a hairstylist, personal shopper, interior decorator, art teacher, architect, or engineer.

Unhealthy and negative uses of picture-smart strengths that people must guard against include judging a book by its cover, only seeing negative details, being distracted by what is seen, watching inappropriate movies just because of the visual effects, looking at inappropriate pictures and/or websites, and doodling constantly even when told not to.

Who can you discuss this with? Who would benefit from knowing they’re not just creative, but they’re smart because they are creative? Who needs to understand they’re getting into trouble with a strength and they need to choose proper character so they can be smart with this smart? Please have these conversations. Pass on what you’re learning. Thank you.

[If you want to know similar details for the two school smarts, please see the blogs for word smart and logic smart that were published in the last two weeks.]