I am fortunate enough to have a lot of extremely intelligent people in my life. I find intellect to be comforting. To me it says that problems can be solved, mysteries can be explained, success can be achieved and logic will prevail.
Unfortunately, too many people rely completely on the IQ test to measure intelligence, even the folks at Mensa who should know better, and that is a huge mistake. There are several schools of thought on the subject, but it has been posited that there are as many as 77 different forms of intelligence, and the IQ test measures only one.
In light of that fact, I’ve come up with a very simple, utterly unscientific method for determining who are the most intelligent people in my life. People who pass this test tend to be the ones I approach for advice, because they are not only smart, but they also care about others, and that matters a great deal to me.
Here’s the test. One question. And it’s not even a question you ask the person in, uh…question. No, you ask this of yourself. Is this person capable of making him or herself understood no matter whom he is talking to?
Think about it. Some of the people with the highest IQs in the world cannot pass this test. You ask them to explain something and they hit you with a long, drawn out, highly technical response that not only goes straight over your head but also leaves you feeling even more at sea than you did before you approached them. How valuable is that?
The most intelligent people I know are more well-rounded than that. They not only take in the inquiry, but they also take in the nature of the inquiry. In other words, what is it you’re really trying to find out, and why? They also look at the source of the inquiry. A truly intelligent person (by my yardstick, anyway) will have a different response for a highly inquisitive 5 year old than they would have for an extremely educated colleague in the same field of study.
That may seem like common sense, but you’d be amazed. But this measurement, many of the people in Mensa would be considered not very intelligent at all.
You can know everything there is to know, but if you are incapable of communicating that information, you are nothing more than a solved Rubik’s Cube sitting on a shelf.
[Image credit: flytgr.tistory.com]