Intrapersonal Intelligence

Dottie Reynolds, CEO and founder of D Reynolds, Inc. was increasingly concerned about her company’s recruiting practices. The recent hires they had made were strong on interpersonal skills, but the company was missing the introspective thinkers it needed for advancing new ideas.

“I want to focus our hiring this year on those who are deep thinkers,” she explained to her recruiting staff. “They may come across as shy, but I want you to dig deeper into your assessment skills. Forget the handshake, the non-verbal cues, and their eloquence. Here’s a list of traits I’m looking for.

  • Those who enjoy working on new ideas
  • Those who don’t like meetings
  • Those who have an intuitive sense of what might work
  • Those who have a quiet ego
  • Those who have a creative hobby
  • Those who enjoy working alone

I want people who can help us develop the future.”

What Dottie was describing is intrapersonal intelligence in contrast to the more familiar interpersonal intelligence. Dottie’s frustration with her company’s hiring is similar to the experiences of many organizations today.

We have begun to recruit based on personality rather than traits that lead to innovative ideas. While personality traits are important for some career paths, they are not that important for others.

In our current economic world, disruption has become the norm. New ideas are totally rearranging our economy. Those new ideas often come from those with intrapersonal intelligence. An organization whose hiring is based on personality alone may not be able to sustain itself when disruptions take place.

How do you recruit for intrapersonal intelligence? You might consider asking these questions:

  • What do you think will be the greatest impact of artificial intelligence when we look back 20 years from now? (a measure of intuition)
  • What have you learned on your own? (a measure of self-direction)
  • Could you tell me what the future university will look like? (a measure of imagination)
  • What have you created? (a measure of creativity)
  • What personal change have you made in the past year? (a measure of self-reflection)

These are tough questions for many people to answer, but for those strong on intrapersonal challenges, they should not be that difficult.

* * *

“I think, therefore I am.” – René Descartes

How To Use

Useful guides for incorporating messages into discussion.