How to Enhance Your Physical, Emotional, Social and Spiritual Intelligence

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Personal development, skill development, and intelligence enhancement are smart moves no matter what field you play on. Business, personal, and social life will all be affected by taking steps to enhance your physical, emotional, social, and spiritual intelligence.

Understand physical intelligence: As Mariah Burton Nelson put it in the Washington Business Journal, physical intelligence is "the ability to listen to the subtle signals your body gives you, then respond wisely." Physical intelligence is knowing when to stop pushing yourself and take a break; when to turn off the computer and go for a walk, when your hunger pains are real and when they are a means of procrastinating on that intimidating project.To be sure you know what physical intelligence is, write out your own definition.

Understand emotional intelligence: Emotional intelligence is the ability to know and manage your own emotions, to produce inner motivation, and to recognize and manage the emotions of others. A leader who is emotionally intelligent will notice how an employee responds when corrected or praised, and will tailor his discussions to bring out that employee's positive emotions and defuse the negative ones. To be sure you know what emotional intelligence is, write out the emotions you feel most often when 1) rushed and 2) just told you have an additional paid holiday this year. Now write out the emotions a coworker would feel when 1) you tell him you're quitting the company or 2) you tell him you just got promoted.

Understand social intelligence: Social intelligence "requires the leader get beyond his or her own needs," says Jennifer Sertl of Business Strategies Magazine, "and focus on what the individual or group needs to be successful." A person with social intelligence will be able to gauge the emotional atmosphere and how it is affecting the group, and then respond with interaction that produces positive reaction. If you have social intelligence, you can lead a group into making good decisions, thinking as a team, and finding creative ways to overcome obstacles.To be sure you know what social intelligence is, write out what you would do if you walk into a meeting for a new team project and hear two of the team members arguing, while everyone else looks tense and uncertain. How would you change the atmosphere of the meeting?

Understand spiritual intelligence: Spiritual intelligence involves "the capacity to respond to the depth of being, the depth in others," says Zohar, one of the authors of "SQ: Connecting with our Spiritual Intelligence." The purpose of spiritual intelligence as related to business is in motivation: "companies are finding the deepest motivation of employees is if they're purposely engaged in what they're doing." Thus, spiritual intelligence is being aware of the deeper meanings and the purpose of the work you do. It is being motivated by a greater goal than a paycheck, and someone with spiritual intelligence will be able to see that goal in the day-to-day workings of business.To be sure you understand spiritual intelligence, write down three purposes you fulfill by doing your work that aren't anywhere on the company's mission statement.

Finally, understand what it means to enhance something: To enhance, according to dictionary.com, is "to raise to a higher degree; intensify; magnify." So to enhance your intelligence in any one of the areas above is to make it higher, greater, better, more intense, more noticeable, and more effective.

Get your calendar, planner, date book, whatever you use to keep track of your time and appointments. Mark out one hour every day for the next 30 days to devote to enhancing your intelligence in these areas. If it can be the same hour every day, say, when you first wake up, or over your lunch hour, that is ideal. If you have to move it around to accommodate your other obligations, that's okay. Just make sure it's in there every day. One hour. 30 days.

Make a list of possible activities that will enhance your intelligence in one or more of the areas. Each activity should require from fifteen minutes to an hour to complete and should relate to physical, emotional, social, or spiritual intelligence. See resources, below, for suggestions.

For the next fifteen days, choose as many activities as needed to fill up that hour per day that you have planned to devote to enhancing your intelligence. Do not skip a day. You may choose to do an hour-long, physical activity one day, like a long walk over lunch, or a shorter nap and then some stretching. Or you may choose to do several shorter activities within the hour. You can have as much variety as you like, just be faithful in doing those activities during that time. If you get bored with a particular activity, feel free to go on to the next one. Just don't cut your time short.

After fifteen days, take your hour to evaluate yourself on your physical, emotional, social, and spiritual intelligence. Do you feel more physically aware and responsive than you did two weeks ago? How about emotionally? Are you able to manage your own emotions, motivate yourself, and sense the emotions of other people better than you could two weeks ago? Socially, do you find yourself taking the lead in groups more, or becoming aware of the atmosphere in a social group more than you did two weeks ago? And on the deepest level, is your motivation higher and are you thinking of greater purposes than just finishing the day? Is your sense of fulfillment deeper than it was two weeks ago?

For the remaining fifteen days, continue to dedicate that hour per day to these activities. If you noticed in your self-evaluation that you were weaker in a particular area, then work a little more on that one than on the others.

At the end of the last fifteen days, do another self-evaluation. Was it worth it? Can you tell that your intelligence levels have gone up in these different areas? What could still use some work? By dedicating an hour per day every day for the last 30 days, you created a habit that can serve you for the rest of your life. Taking time to consciously improve your intelligence makes you more effective in business and in your personal life. So now that you have the habit, keep it up!

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