Posts Tagged 'multiple natures'

How to Improve Your Visual Spatial Intelligence

Tips to improve Visual Spatial Intelligence:

- See if you can close your eyes and visualize a route from one location to another.
– Read about ancient civilizations and how their cities were built. Then compare them with our modern world.
– Do 3D puzzles like Rubik’s Cube.
– Disassemble old, broken or thrown-out devices (air conditioners, phones, etc.) to see how they are put together.

You need to sharpen your visual spatial intelligence if you want to excel as an architect, sculptor, structural engineer, choreographer, event manager or an interior decorator.

Some famous personalities with high visual spatial intelligence include Anish Kapoor (sculptor), Edwin Lutyens (architect), Gustavo Eiffel (structural engineer), Jonathan Ive (technology and industrial designer) and Frank Lloyd Wright ( architect/interior designer).

A Mela of the Mind

Body Painting at Sanskar Mela

We had a wonderful day at Jiva Public School yesterday in the annual Sanskar Mela. More than 2000 people came out for a day of fun and frolic–and to explore themselves. There were dozens of game booths, each of which was connected to the concepts of Multiple Natures and Multiple Intelligences.

One unique feature about the event was how it was organized and run. The students and teachers were assigned duties based on their MIs and MNs. The students in the Customer Care team were ones strong in Providing Nature, the Event Management team was made up of students who have strong Administrative Natures. And the students at the Ticket Counter? Well, Entrepreneurial Nature–of course!

All in all, I think the event was an excellent way to demonstrate how natures connect to work and to jobs. And the results were clear: the event ran like clockwork. Everything was well organized, there were no squabbles, and there was no litter to be found anywhere.

When people’s natures and energies are properly channelized, you wind up with a winning atmosphere. I hope more schools adopt the MN concept for organizing their events (and why not companies and government bodies too??!)

Multiple Natures: A Powerful Plug-in for CCE

Multiple NaturesChange is in the air in the education sector with schools now wrestling with the challenge of how to implement the newly introduced assessment framework, CCE (Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation). Over the past few weeks in my workshops for educators, I have mentioned this latest three-letter acronym, only to be met with responses ranging from grimaces to chuckles. While all of us express our deep desire for change, we struggle when it comes to the actual implementation. And many a times we scoff at those who dare to take a practical step into uncharted territory.

I can commiserate with my colleagues in the teaching fraternity. Some find the concept vague and impractical. Many don’t have the time, energy, or resources required to decode it and figure out how to make it work in their particular contexts. I can even muster up a smidgen of understanding for those who, finding it hard to kick old habits, have chosen to carry out CCE through written tests and assignments (and who have been censured by the CBSE Chairman for doing so!).

Even though CCE doesn’t get everything right, it’s a step in the right direction—an attempt to enable us to identify and celebrate the uniqueness of each child, and thereby build on students’ strengths so they can achieve their potential. It is not a perfect system. Not nearly. But it is at least a license for educators to look at children beyond the rigid evaluative confines of marks and exam results—and an opportunity for us to mold things the way we want them to be.

When a software company creates a first version of a product, the product usually solves certain problems that delight users, but creates others due to certain flaws and a lack of features. However, the fact that an actual product exists (as opposed to an idea for a product), provides an opportunity for customers to give their feedback so the product can be improved. In order to circumvent a program’s shortcomings or limitations, users often create their own improvements in the form of mini-programs called “apps” or “plug-ins”, which provide additional features and functionality. Whether it’s an extension that enables you to type Hindi in your word processor or a tool that lets you to upload photos from your phone to your blog, user-created add-ons have greatly enhanced our productivity with the major applications that have been bestowed upon us by the Microsofts, Apples, and other digital powers that be.

It is here that I would like to apply the plug-in analogy to the Multiple Natures model and CCE.

In short, you can think of MN as a plug-in to the “CCE Application” that highlights qualities of a student that are critically important, yet missing in the framework. For instance, while “thinking skills”, “emotional skills”, and “social skills” appear in the CCE model, there is no mention of Providing Nature (the tendency to help others), nor a reference to “Administrative Nature (the tendency to get work accomplished). MN also includes Entertaining Nature (attracting attention and amusing people), Protective Nature (protecting or preserving things), and Entrepreneurial Nature (creating value through ventures). These Natures, along with four others (Healing, Educative, Adventurous, and Creative) comprise the 9 Multiple Natures—core behavioral dispositions that form the basis of an individual’s personality.

Connecting Multiple Natures into the assessment framework extends the power of CCE in the following ways. First, it enables students to pick the right streams and career paths according to their natures—an element that is sorely missing from the current tools available. Second, it helps students see the value of important qualities that do not currently appear on the radar screen of CCE. Third, in the hands of an able teacher or counselor, MN can inspire the blossoming of a bud: When children discover that they are not merely the sum total of their ability to juggle numbers or use language effectively, but that equally important are, their capacities to teach, manage, or protect others (qualities they possess that have till date received little or no recognition), their self-concept transforms immensely. They can finally make the greatest, most liberating leap in learning—the metamorphosis that occurs when individuals realize that they do not exist for school, studies, and exams, but the opposite: that education exists to help them understand themselves better, figure out where they fit in, know where they need to go, and determine what they need to do to get there.

CCE is here to stay. The choice is ours of whether we decide to resist it, or to embrace and shape it into the tool we want. I have chosen the latter. And who knows—perhaps one day Multiple Natures will be adopted directly into CCE as a standard feature (as often happens in the case of really good plug-ins). But until then, I do know that those who have decided to “install” it are thoroughly enjoying its full, rich set of features and the enhanced educational productivity that comes along with it.

The Peter Principal (sic)

You have probably heard of the Peter Principle–a management theory that states “in a hierarchy every employee tends to rise to his level of incompetence.” It was formulated by Dr. Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull in their 1969 book The Peter Principle.

After having spent two decades in the area of education, I believe the concept should have a specific application to this field, which should  be termed as “The Peter Principal” (sic)–i.e., every educator rises to his highest level of incompetence. She starts out as an excellent classroom teacher; becomes a very good coordinator, an average department head, a poor headmistress, and awful principal!

I like to use the Multiple Natures model to describe this phenomenon in this manner: The Multiple Intelligences and Multiple Natures that make someone exceptional in one type of work cannot necessarily be applied in another area. Sachin Tendulkar is an incredible batsman–but a lousy captain. That’s mainly because captaincy requires strong Interpersonal Intelligence and a strong Administrative Nature, which he must lack. The Peter Principle as I see it deals largely with this same issue–as one moves up the organizational hierarchy, he must use more of these two particular qualities, which correlate highly with effective management.

As such, when it comes to educational management, my advice is that both the teacher and employer should be careful when considering promotions, and should do a careful analysis to determine the strength of the teacher’s Administrative Nature and Interpersonal Intelligence. If these qualities are on the weaker side, it might be better to keep her happy and successful in her instructional role, positively affecting dozens of students on a daily basis (which is a great thing!). If they’re  of medium strength, both should have realistic expectations of how much management-related responsibility should be given. And if she’s promoted, plenty of support and training should be provided to help her develop these qualities. However, if they are strong, then it would make every bit of sense to let her spread her wings and rise to the top as the head of the school.

I believe Peter would have certainly approved of this principle–and principal.

Origin & Evolution of Multiple Natures – Part II

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.

Vishnu – The King of the Administrative Nature

I’ve always marveled at the divine form of Vishnu, ever since I saw this painting–maybe 23 years ago. The fact that Vishnu can create and manage all of the universes in existence while lying on his back (and sleeping) demonstrates his prodigious Administrative Nature. (Those billionaires who pride themselves in their ability to manage huge industries from tropical regions while cruising on their yachts ought to bow down :)


Origin & Evolution of Multiple Natures – Part I

Now that our cool, new website ( is up and running, it’s the right time to take you inside the world of Multiple Natures; how it all began and how the concept has grown over the last two years.

Enjoy these excerpts from a freewheeling chat I had with Jiva Content Manager, Shubhra Banerjee Batra, and familiarize yourself with the amazing Multiple Natures framework, which helps you identify your unique nature and path to success in your school, college, or professional life.

Why was the need for Multiple Natures felt? Were there any shortcomings in Multiple Intelligences or were you dissatisfied by how it classified people?

Multiple Natures was born out of a need; a need to help me understand how and why certain individuals are attracted to particular types of work and what makes somebody successful in one type of work and another person not so successful in the same type of work.

We have used MI extensively for many years. I have read many books and research papers about the application of MI. One of the things that I kept seeing again and again, especially in the commercial books related to MI, was how people used the framework to explain why people would go into certain type of careers. Or rather, if somebody had a particular strength with one type of Intelligence, how that might predispose them to performing well in a particular type of job.

I read things like, ‘Children who have a strong Linguistic Intelligence might be very good as a journalist, or creative writer, or poet, and other such professions that go along with that.’ Or, for that matter, ‘People with strong Interpersonal Intelligence will do well as sales people, politicians, counselors, etc.’

Initially, I found it quite helpful. However, after a certain point, when I began applying that to my students, trying to find out which career paths would be good for them, I found myself asking, ‘Why would somebody want to become a chef?’ When I turned to the MI model, I really could not find any satisfactory answers to these questions. I then came up with other careers to test this model, such as a pilot, or a comedian. At the end, I was sort of left inconclusive about that.

So, it told me, something else is happening, which was influencing our career decisions, success and failures. That was how the concept of MN came up.

How did you end up categorizing the Natures? Why nine… Why not seven or eleven?

It was not that one day I just sat down and thought, ‘Okay, Howard Gardner has eight Intelligences. I need to match up to him, or even beat him at it!” My Natures were derived largely through observation. Of course, one starts with oneself; I observed different things about my own nature. Then, I observed people around me and looked at their Natures – friends, family, colleagues, teachers, students in our school, celebrities, and so on.

Following this, I came up with my list of categories. And I did test them out to ensure that there were enough categories that they could meaningfully account for the array of different Natures that exist. I did not want to beautify it by having too many categories, or too few categories for that matter; otherwise, you cannot effectively describe the Natures out there. It was just a process of looking at different types of behavior and categorizing them.

There was so much other research work out there that helped me quite a lot. Psychological models like the Big Five, Myers-Briggs Personality Types, Enneagram, QC Test, etc., were really insightful. Other than that, I had traditional Indian literature to look into. The Bhagvad Gita and some of the Smritis contained extensive descriptions of characteristics of people’s natures. These also played a key role in derivation of my categories. A combination of observation and research of both Western and Eastern models gave me a strong case for the nine Natures.

Was their any category that was added later or any that did not make the cut?

That was one that I left out that was added later. Until one point I had eight Natures – Protective, Educative, Administrative, Creative, Healing, Entertaining, Providing, and Entrepreneurial. I was happy to have tallied with Gardner’s eight Multiple Intelligences! But, the problem that I encountered was there were still a few professions that I failed to categorize. For example, when I looked at a sportsperson, or a researcher, I was not quite able to come out with a Nature that I could identify with them. I felt something was left out and eventually added the Adventurous Nature to my list.

Does every individual have all the Natures? Is it possible for different Natures to predominate on different days?

I would agree with the first part of your question. We all have all nine Natures. They are of different degrees of strength – some will be very strong and some weak. I certainly do think that they are affected by our environment. And, it is possible, in certain cases, some will manifest themselves more strongly than others. Natures are sometimes governed by Intelligences.

As far as different Natures dominating on different days, I don’t really think that’s possible. Natures are like habits; they are an inherent part of our existence. In the majority of circumstances that you encounter, your basic Nature will be predominant. That’s why the concept refers to it as Nature, because Nature is what you are.

Do not forget to tune into Part II of this interview… will be posting soon!

Take the Multiple Natures Test

Confused about your ideal career? Take the Multiple Natures Test to discover the amazing careers that match your unique nature. Click here to take the test online.

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