Here’s the second part of the interview on Multiple Natures. It gives you an insight into the possible implications of MN for classroom learning, human resource management, and more. And yes, it also talks about my MIs and MNs! Enjoy…
What is the relationship between MI and MN? Can they exist in isolation?
I don’t think they can exist in isolation. They are largely exclusive of each other. We are talking of different things here – Intelligences are abilities and Natures are tendencies. Intelligences tell us how we are intelligent or able; Natures tell us how we use our intelligence.
Let’s say, for example, you have a strong Linguistic Intelligence and a Protective Nature. In such a case, you will use your language to protect people or environment. And, on the other hand, if you have a strong Bodily Intelligence and a strong Protective Nature, you will use your physical ability to protect people, may be by getting into law enforcement or the military.
So, they are separate and unique from each other, but when you combine them together, they create different ways in which you could apply those Intelligences.
When Gardner defines Intelligences, he talks about ‘end states’. An individual’s Intelligences are demonstrated in some way or the other that creates a useful or usable service, product or action – something that’s tangible, concrete, or demonstrable. For example, a person with a strong Intrapersonal Intelligence will usually display his abilities by counseling people, or by forecasting latest trends, etc. When you see that behavior, you can actually go back and see that the person demonstrates Intrapersonal Intelligence because he or she has done this kind of ‘action’. The same also holds true for Natures.
What implications can MN have for the corporate sector?
The benefit of MN in a corporate perspective is that it can be used as a hiring tool. Whenever companies have a job opening, they can identify the strong Natures that a prospective candidate is expected to have. Then look for candidates on the basis of those ‘expectations’ and may be even ask them to take the Multiple Natures Test. Ultimately, map candidates’ results to your profile and take your pick.
For someone who has been already taken in for a job, you can find out what is the Nature required for that profile, and consequently match it with that person’s Nature. It helps you identify the gaps between reality and expectations. You are therefore better positioned to understand their specific problems and extend support in the form of training.
It also helps you decide the strategy in case someone does not meet the expectations of his job profile. It can primarily involve role changes, that is, assigning people roles in accordance with their Natures. By knowing the Nature of your employees, you can also plan out cover-up activities wherein you assign a supervisor for someone who’s not performing well in a certain job profile. The ‘additional resource’ can work in sync with the subordinate and also do the essential ‘cover-ups’ if required.
Are you totally confident of the results of the test?
You know what, the more I use it, the more accurate I find it to be. It is quite extensible and can be applied to many additional areas. Multiple Natures keeps demonstrating its resilience and applicability in new situations; that’s what I like about it.
Any other areas where we can apply the MI-MN model?
It can be used in colleges for helping them with career decisions. Another way it could be utilized is in promoting leadership. It is not a thing that exists independently; people’s Natures should demonstrate leadership. Someone with a strong Protective Nature can be good as a lead advocate. But, it is not essential for him to be the best or most successful among his peers. Also, people with strong Providing or Protective Nature take the lead in times of crisis. If you take the case of the movie, My Name is Khan, Shah Rukh Khan’s character runs to help and serve people. He might not be the most creative or the most entrepreneurial, but he is leading from the front nonetheless.
We have just initiated the propagation of MI-MN. It may take several years before we unleash its full potential. But, am sure, it will go a long way. We have implemented it in dozens of schools and are gunning for more.
I recent met the Union Human Resource Development Minister, Mr. Kapil Sibal, and also the CBSE Chairman, Mr. Vineet Joshi. Both these gentlemen were quite excited by the concept of Multiple Natures and also expressed interest in doing a pilot for some New Delhi schools. In fact, the Chief Minster of Sikkim, Mr. Pawan Chamling, has also shown interest in our educational model.
What is your Nature type and what does it indicate about your behavioral patterns?
I am very clear about my Nature types. When I was in college, I wanted to be a rock star, because my Musical Intelligence and Entertaining Nature were strong. I had to take up a part-time job as a teacher just to pay my bills. When I was taking my first class, I suddenly felt this ‘divine voice’ guiding me and saying, ‘You are meant to be an educator, not a rock star’. This feeling made me realize that my Intrapersonal Intelligence and Educative Nature were actually stronger.
It does not mean that I do not love music any more. Even when I am teaching, I am an entertainer; I love to entertain my students. And, I usually finish my classes with small musical sessions. I realized I had Intrapersonal inclinations ever since my childhood. In fact, that was what actually brought me to India. As far as the Educative Nature is concerned, I realized it only after the opportunity came by.
You are a good public speaker. Is this Nature inherent or did you develop an interpersonal nature to market your ideas well? Is it possible to work on one’s Nature and change it eventually?
I don’t think one’s Nature can really change significantly. They can certainly be improved. When you are in alignment with your Natures and Intelligences, and you are engaging them effectively, you get into a Flow State – flow, continuity, and excellence. While you are in that state, your other Natures and Intelligences can actually be significantly enhanced. Once you exit out of the flow state, they tend to fall back. It is not easy for an individual outside the flow state to work hard on them and bring that up independently to become a leader in one’s activities and engagement.
My strong Musical and Intrapersonal Intelligences as well as Entertaining and Educative Natures make me a good public speaker. However, when I have to sit and take Hindi lessons, it becomes a huge struggle for me; that’s because my Linguistic Intelligence is weak.
In the end, I would say it’s best to work on your Nature rather than go against it. By doing so, you will get the best return on your investment. Moreover, it will also play a key role in boosting your self-esteem and competence levels.
Part III coming your way soon.