Intellectual Capital Account

The Intellectual Capital Account

Defining Intelligence and Exploring Learning Styles

Throughout the Legacy Family Planning process, we will be referring to the four Capital Accounts. Traditional estate planning uses legal documents to distribute assets and focus is typically limited to the distribution of financial assets. Legacy Family Planning is quite different.

Financial assets are invested in the education and training of family members to achieve a high level of competency in four capital accounts. These accounts include financial, intellectual, social and human capital. We will be expanding on the other Capital Accounts throughout our program. 

Here we are going to introduce to you, intellectual capital, which includes innate learning styles and the collective knowledge you and your family members possess. Knowing your natural learning style and creating a lifelong learning goals increases your intellectual capital.  

We are going to help you create an Intellectual Capital Competencies List by exploring nine types of intelligence and four types of learning styles. Gaining a deeper understanding of intelligence and learning styles will help you identify your personal learning styles and giftedness, which will allow for you to set learning goals.

What is intelligence? 

It’s a word and concept most are familiar with, but when pressed to define, one that may not be so easy to put into words. Merriam-Wester provides many definitions of intelligence that range from “the ability to learn or understand or to deal with new or trying situations,” “an intelligent entity (angel),” “information concerning enemies,” and computer functions. 

We measure intelligence, Intelligence quotient (IQ), using a term first coined by German psychologist L. Wilheim Stern. IQ refers to the ratio of mental age to chronological age, and although the method Stern used is no longer in common use, the term IQ is still used to describe current testing procedure results. 

In 1983, the idea of multiple Intelligences was introduced by Dr. Howard Gardner, professor of education at Harvard University, who believed IQ testing was too limited. His Theory of Multiple Intelligences proposed eight different intelligences to account for the broad range of human capabilities. These multiple intelligences include:

  • Naturalist Intelligence (“Nature Smart”)
  • Musical Intelligence (“Musical Smart”)
  • Logical-Mathematical Intelligence ("Number/Reasoning Smart")
  • Interpersonal Intelligence ("People Smart”)
  • Bodily-Kinesthetic Intelligence (“Body Smart”)
  • Linguistic Intelligence (Word Smart)
  • Intra-personal Intelligence ("Self Smart”)
  • Spatial Intelligence (“Picture Smart”)

There is evidence of a ninth intelligence, Existential Intelligence, that is the capacity to tackle deep questions about human existence, such as the meaning of life, why do we die, and how did we get here. Discovering this concept of multiple intelligences helped me understand my seeming inability to learn a second language and lack of musical talent. To learn more about your multiple intelligences, click here.

Recognize your style to make learning easier. 

As a single mom, I returned to college and was required to memorize a poem for an English class. To leverage the hour-long drive to school each way, I created an audio tape to listen to while driving. Problem was, I’m not an auditory learner, and no matter how many times I listened to that tape, I couldn’t learn the poem. I earned my “A” by reading the poem, visualizing the words and writing them down. Now I know I am a reading/kinetic learner I don’t waste my time on audio tapes to learn new information. 

How about you? Which of the following is your natural learning style? 

  • Visual: Seeing words, images and pictures
  • Auditory: Hearing words, sounds, or rhythm
  • Reading: Reading written material
  • Kinetic: Physical activity, such as writing notes, drawing diagrams and moving your body

Do you have a prominent learning style, or are you a combo learner like me? Take the time to discover your natural learning style to shorten the learning curve. When put into situations that don’t fit your natural style, give yourself permission to ask for help. When I am on the phone and the caller is providing a number or spelling a tricky name I often say, “I am not an auditory learner, can you please slow down and repeat that?” 

Let’s put these pieces together. 

Our intelligence types and learning styles affect our ability and desire to learn certain information. Our schools are designed to teach linguistic and math skills through visual, auditory and reading modalities. Now can you understand how hard it is for a naturalist or musical intelligence child, who learns kinetically, to sit in a chair all day?

Investing in family members’ competencies increases the family’s capital account, which benefits the family by creating a depth of intellectual capital to make better decisions.


Intellectual Capital Account | Goals

1. Review your own learning style(s) and determine your unique intelligence type.

2. Encourage every family member to identify and write down their unique intelligence types and learning styles. 

3.  Find an area in your life where strengthening your skills will add to you and your family's Intelligence Capital Account. 

4. Schedule a family dinner to discuss the results of this exercise. 


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