While I first heard the term “spiritual intelligence” very recently, it was first introduced in 1997 by Danah Zohar in ReWiring the Corporate Brain. Intuitively, I liked the idea of further enlarging the concepts of IQ (raw intellect) and EQ (emotional maturity) to include a spiritual dimension.
Danah Zohar listed 12 characteristics of spiritual intelligence:
- Self-awareness: Knowing what I believe in and value and what deeply motivates me.
- Spontaneity: Living in and being responsive to the moment.
- Being vision- and value-led: Acting from principles and deep beliefs and living accordingly.
- Holism: Seeing larger patterns, relationships, and connections; having a sense of belonging.
- Compassion: Having the quality of “feeling-with” and deep empathy.
- Celebration of diversity: Valuing other people for their differences, not despite them.
- Field independence: Standing against the crowd and having one’s own convictions.
- Humility: Having the sense of being a player in a larger drama, of one’s true place in the world.
- Tendency to ask fundamental “Why?” questions: Needing to understand things and get to the bottom of them.
- Ability to reframe: Standing back from a situation or problem and seeing the bigger picture or wider context.
- Positive use of adversity: Learning and growing from mistakes, setbacks, and suffering.
- Sense of vocation: Feeling called upon to serve, to give something back.
While the above lists many worthy traits, I found myself preferring the simplicity of Cindy Wigglesworth’s definition: “The ability to act with wisdom and compassion, while maintaining inner and outer peace, regardless of the circumstances.” One drawback to the scientific acceptance of SQ is that a valid way to measure it has yet to be found; most measurements rely upon self-reporting with all the inherent bias thereof.
I am indebted to Wikipedia for much of the information above.
“When emotional intelligence merges with spiritual intelligence, human nature is transformed.” – Deepak Chopra
“Spiritual intelligence is concerned with the inner life of mind and spirit and its relationship to being in the world.” – Frances Vaughan
“Spiritual intelligence is the central and most fundamental of all the intelligences, because it becomes the source of guidance for the others.” – Stephen R. Covey, The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness (Simon and Schuster, 2004, p.53)
As always, I share what I most want and need to learn. – Nathan S. Collier