Much has been said about emotional intelligence and its contribution to individual wellbeing and leadership. Spiritual Intelligence (SI) is an analogous concept, which in fact has been shown to be similarly significant in explaining and contributing to individual functioning and wellbeing. By Spiritual Intelligence (SI) we mean the ability to apply, express and embody spiritual resources and qualities to enhance daily functioning and wellbeing. Spiritual Intelligence is distinguished from a spiritual experience (e.g. an experience of oneness while meditating or walking in the forest) or spiritual belief (e.g. belief in God). With spiritual intelligence the focus is on the ability to express and embody spiritual resources and qualities to enhance functioning and wellbeing in day-to-day tasks and daily living. Spiritual resources refer to themes from the world’s wisdom traditions related to consciousness, ultimate meaning, the sacred, transcendence and liberation. Other such qualities, in addition to those mentioned above include, truth, relatedness, service and compassion, to name a few.
“I enjoyed taking the survey and reflecting on my decision-making, and leadership style. Gave me a lot of introspective thought and insight. And the coaching and lessons based on the results were invaluable. Thanks for the opportunity.” - Melissa
In Yosi Amram’s research he interviewed 71 spiritual leaders and teachers nominated by their peers as those that ‘walk the talk’ and embody their spiritual values in daily life. In developing an ecumenical grounded theory based on thematic analysis of all these interviews, he identified a number of universal themes across the world traditions (1, 2). Participants identified themselves within most of the major spiritual traditions: Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Non-dual, Earth, Taoism and Yoga. Seven major themes of SI emerged as nearly universal:
- Consciousness - developed refined awareness and self-knowledge;
- Grace - living in alignment with the sacred, manifesting love for and trust in life;
- Meaning - experiencing significance in daily activities through a sense of purpose and a call for service, even in the face of pain and suffering;
- Transcendence - going beyond the separate egoic self into an interconnected wholeness;
- Truth - living in open acceptance, curiosity, and love for all creation (all that is);
- Serenity - peaceful surrender to Self (Reality, Truth, God, etc.);
- Inner-Directedness - inner freedom aligned with responsible wise action.
In follow-on research and collaboration with Christopher Dryer PhD, we developed and academically validated an ecumenical measure of Spiritual Intelligence (SI): the Integrated Spiritual Intelligence Scale (3). It contains 83 self-report items that assess 22 SI capabilities that group together within 5 domains. They are:
Consciousness domain including capacities subscales for:
- Intuition, Mindfulness, Synthesis
Grace domain including capacities subscales for:
- Beauty, Discernment, Freedom, Gratitude, Immanence, Joy
Meaning domain including capacities subscales for:
- Purpose, Service
Transcendence domain including capacities subscales for:
- Higher-self, Holism, Practice, Relatedness, Sacredness
Truth domain including capacities subscales for:
- Egolessness, Equanimity, Inner-wholeness, Openness, Presence, Trust
““By participating I came up with 10 areas of improvement in my work, and more importantly, my life. It was also important to hear what my strengths are so I can continue to leverage them. Thanks!” - Laura
Integrated Spiritual Intelligence Assessments:
It may sound strange to receive an assessment for your spiritual intelligence. After all, it is hard to imagine how it can be objectively measured. Well, much like emotional intelligence (and other assessments for psychological constructs), we do have an academically valid and reliable instrument that has been used and applied in dozens of research studies and translated into dozens of languages. However, it is also important to understand what these assessments provide and don’t provide. Given the instruments rely primarily on self-report, they do not claim to provide an objective absolute measure of SI, like you might expect with an IQ test, which would say that your SIQ is X (for example 122). Rather we provide a profile of YOUR OWN key strengths, other assets, and areas of greatest opportunity for growth. In other words, we might provide you with an assessment profile that identifies Gratitude as an important strength and Freedom as opportunity. You might score ‘higher than average’ (compared to most people) on both, but relative to yourself Gratitude is more of a strength than Trust. For someone else Trust might be a key strength and Discernment might be an opportunity. Along with each competency area we provide some tips on how to apply that competency and further develop it.
- Free basic Integrated Spiritual Intelligence questionnaire (ISIR-B). This assessment takes about 10-15 minutes to complete and you will receive your personalized report of your profile of strengths and developmental opportunities along the 22 SI capacities.
- Comprehensive Spiritual Intelligence Report (ISIR-C), which is more complete and reliable than the basic version and takes about 20 minutes to answer. In addition to your profile of strengths and developmental opportunities for each competency area, it includes personalized helpful tips and recommendations for the development of each of the aspects of SI that we cover.
- Our ISIR-360 report involves both the comprehensive self-assessment as well as asking others who know you in your daily life to provide feedback on their perception of your strengths and developmental opportunities along the same dimensions of SI. Simply provide their emails and we will invite them to provide the feedback, which takes about 10-15 minutes for them to complete. Your ISIR-360-report includes both your self-assessment profile of strengths and opportunities, as well as the 360 feedback from your associates. The report compares your self-assessment to your 360-feedback so you get a picture of how accurate your self-perception is compared to how others experience you. You gain valuable insight into whether - and in which areas - you tend to be either overly humble or overly confident in your self-assessment.
- (1) Amram, Yosi (2007). The Seven Dimensions of Spiritual Intelligence: An Ecumenical Grounded Theory (pdf). Paper presented at the 115th Annual (August 2007) Conference of the American Psychological Association, San Francisco, CA.
- (2) Amram, Yosi (2007). What is Spiritual Intelligences? An Ecumenical, Grounded Theory (pdf). Working paper of the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology, Palo Alto, CA.
- (3) Amram, Yosi & Dryer, Christopher (2008). The Integrated Spiritual Intelligence Scale: Development and Preliminary Validation (pdf). Paper presented at the 116th Annual (August 2008) Conference of the American Psychological Association, Boston, MA.