The greatest criminals in human history had high IQs, but their SQ was far below the average…
What is SQ?
Spiritual intelligence is a term used to indicate a spiritual correlate to IQ (Intelligence Quotient) and EQ (Emotional Quotient). Like EQ, SQ is becoming more mainstream in scientific inquiry and philosophical/psychological discussion. It refers to a suite or set of propensities comprising: perceptions, intuitions, cognitions, etc., related to spirituality and/or religiosity, especially spiritual capital.
SQ is “in”!
Models for developing and measuring spiritual intelligence are also increasingly used in corporate settings, by companies such as Nokia, Unilever, McKinsey, Shell, Coca-Cola, Hewlett Packard, Merck Pharmaceuticals, Starbucks and the Co-operative Bank. It has been identified as a key component of Leadership by bestselling business author Stephen Covey, who observes that “Spiritual intelligence is the central and most fundamental of all the intelligences, because it becomes the source of guidance for the other[s]…”
Modelling Spiritual Intelligence
There is a vide range of models and definitions of SQ. The question is new to the science and thus still very much open. Here are some examples.
Zohar and Marshall (1997)
The word “spiritual” in relation to the intelligence has no necessary connection with organized religion. A person may be high in SQ but have no religious faith or belief of any kind. Equally, a person may be very religious but low in SQ (SC). The word spiritual in the Zohar/Marshal concept comes from the Latin word spiritus, which means, “that which gives life or vitality to a system”.
Zohar and Marshall introduced 12 qualities of SQ. They derive these principles from the qualities that define complex adaptive systems. In biology, complex adaptive systems are living systems that create order out of chaos, they create order and information and defy the law of entropy.
Those principles are:
- 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; seeing problems in a 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
Robert Emmons (2000)
Robert Emmons (2000) defines spiritual intelligence as “the adaptive use of spiritual information to facilitate everyday problem solving and goal attainment.” He originally proposed 5 components of spiritual intelligence:
- The capacity to transcend the physical and material.
- The ability to experience heightened states of consciousness.
- The ability to sanctify everyday experience.
- The ability to utilize spiritual resources to solve problems.
- The capacity to be virtuous.
The fifth capacity was later removed due to its focus on human behavior rather than ability, thereby not meeting previously established scientific criteria for intelligence.
William Frank Diedrich offers the following definition of spiritual intelligence:
Most recently, it has been defined as “choosing between the ego and Spirit (Higher Self)”. This definition is based upon the root words: spiritus, meaning breath. Spirit is the breath of life. Intelligentia, meaning “to choose between”. There are three major aspects of spiritual intelligence. They are:
1. Identifying with one’s Higher Self or Spirit rather than with the ego. That is, you are not your body, your problems, your past, your finances, your job, your gender, or your ethnicity. These are each roles you play. You are a spiritual being having a human experience.
2. Understanding Universal Law—Cause and Effect. Spiritual Intelligence means that you take 100 % responsibility for your life, your situation, and for yourself. You recognize that you are the creator of your life and that your thinking, your beliefs, and your assumptions create your world. This means no blaming!
3. Non-attachment. As a spiritual being you are unattached to outcomes, forms, or experiences. Your well-being comes from within you, by way of your spiritual identity.
Can SQ be measured?
There is a great deal of disagreement over the measurement of spiritual intelligence. Many suggest that this ability set cannot be measured by traditional means, while others maintain that, like most psychological constructs, some degree of measurement is possible. Cindy Wigglesworth has developed the first competency-based Spiritual Intelligence Assessment Instrument, which measures 21 skills through a rigorously validated questionnaire, which has undergone statistical analysis of results to determine statistical significance and reliability, a construct validity analysis, and a correlation analysis with other highly respected, validated assessments of adult development. David B. King of Trent University is currently developing a self-report measure of spiritual intelligence, called the Spiritual Intelligence Self-Report Inventory (SISRI).
This is the scientific attempt to measure. I guess that in daily life the SQ can be easily measured…by just looking into the eyes of a person. The eyes of a SQ person do differ…I guess you know how.