I am sure, everyone who reads this blog must have gone through the pain of feeling victimized with the blame that “you are not Intelligent and/or don’t have Potential”.
– decision makers – do not have enough knowledge about what Intelligence and Potential really mean and
– a superior assesses the areas of strengths and improvement through different and limited experience(s)
Based this observation, I thought of writing this blog.
Intelligence has been defined by many researchers in their own way, but no one has given any Mean definition.
Intelligence is not talent. Intelligence is not someone can learn. Fact is, everyone is born with intelligence naturally. Therefore, creating an impression that one is superior to another is not justified. Also, intelligence is primarily influenced by genetics and physiology of a person and nurturing, too plays an influencing role in one’s intelligence level.
One study suggests that intelligence is around 30-70% genetic. It doesn’t depend on the brain structure or size but the pattern of its utilization.
Actually, there are no types or divisions of intelligence!
Intelligence is the function of motivation. It is a basic attribute linked to survival. Intelligence does attributes to a person who is good at learning from experience and adapting to the environment. It stays stable across life and career spans of a person until the person has motivation to build the intelligence further. Scientific evidences suggest that it is possible to change intelligence level but is not easy. One has to have high level of motivation to influence and develop it. This is one of the big reasons that why people start assessing others based on their own intelligence!
Intelligence is very linked to Potential and so, Performance too in an organization!
As correctly defined by Macrae & Furnham “Potential is a possible trajectory of what a person can do.” It is opposite to performance. Performance is what a person has done in the past, potential is what the person could relatively do in the future, but is not a guarantee for future performance. Reasons, circumstances can not remain same, and so same intelligence can not be applied in future to achieve same performance – situations and people in team change!
Potential doesn’t always reside within an individual but in circumstances and the ability of the person to use to his advantage. Therefore, practically, it is dependent on factors which are outside the control of the individual. Individual skills and attributes are only foundational in nature and do not determine potential. On the other hand, factors like opportunities, good fortune, mentors, development, and career events etc are helpful in knowing potential of a person.
Having biases towards what one know to assess someone is always faulty and detrimental in nature.
In the end, let’s say,
“Top Performers do not need to be celebrated geniuses and genius alone is not sufficient for top performance.”
Moreover, “Intelligence is of limited use if one doesn’t have motivation.”
HR Head & VP
Gujarat Heavy Chemical Ltd.