Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Three Questions to Assess a Person’s Paradoxical Intelligence

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same
time and still retain the ability to function.    -F. Scott Fitzgerald


The paradox is “a situation, person, or thing that combines contradictory features or qualities.” The paradox is the result of two opposing truths existing side by side, which can be both right. The paradox is also like the two sides of the coin, they are not just opposite, but also complementary, to make it a whole. At today’s digital world with complexity, uncertainty, and ambiguity, digital leaders or professionals with high paradoxical intelligence can see things from different angles and understand the situation profoundly in order to make effective decisions or craft better strategies. Which questions shall you ask to assess a person’s Paradoxical Intelligence (PI)?


Is Paradoxical Intelligence the type of wisdom which can be applied to break down the silo, overcome bias, and understand things more profoundly? All wisdom has some paradoxical theme.  Digital now is just like the new window, provides a multidimensional view of hyperconnected nature to see things differently and gain in-depth understanding. To cure superficiality, the old cliche comes to mind: two sides to a coin; one complements the other. At a silo, perhaps you only see or understand one side, believe it’s right, and then assume the other side must be wrong. But if you stand at the right angle to see the both sides, you know even they are different, but both hold part of truth in it. The critical thinking (constructive “negativity”) followed by positivity is necessary, to point out blind spots. The eyes with circular vision can fill the blind spots and see things via different dimensions, and the mind with high PI can understand things thoroughly without pre-conceptual judgment.


Can you apply PI to practice balanced thinking, not extremes of any kind? Nature is the perfect example of balance. Only a balanced mind with a strong experience of illumination and insight can take the tough decision and make better choices. Without the inner balance of energies, one cannot achieve a perfect balance of emotions and logic. So how can you strike the right balance when it is difficult to tell the two apart, as when entities change slowly but utterly, or when their boundaries as indistinct. Are the vague objects only vague language? Whether you are vague about identity, or identity with vagueness, there is a multitude of issues that afflict decision-making and action, some of which have spawned whole new fields of inquiry. That pertain to motivation, preference, knowledge, insight, wisdom as well as morality, positivity, and responsibility. Therefore, the mind with high PI means to gain understanding in more objective, empathetic, and systematic way. Acceptance is the key. Acceptance of others as they are, without prejudice or destructive criticism, acceptance of self as an authentic being, acceptance that paradoxes are two sides of the same coin and that complexities are the spice of life.


Is the mind with high PI more inquisitive and innovative? Interdisciplinarity and paradox are the rare and precious dots to spark the next level of innovation because often creative outcomes come from recombining ideas in different ways to create the fresh ideas or the new ways to solve the old problems. Creativity is a divergent-convergent, dot-connecting scenario. PI is the multidimensional intelligence, without broad knowledge, profound insight, and ultimate wisdom, you can not understand both sides of coin cohesively or discern multifacet truth confidently; PI is also a high level of EQ because emotional excellence can only be achieved via balancing of confidence and humbleness; logic and intuition, orders and chaos.


Digital leaders with high PI can orchestrate and harmonize via their circular vision and distinctive abilities to navigate uncharted water and lead in a mature way. Digital professional with high PI can participate and collaborate, with the ability to listen, discern, analyze & synthesize, and make a fair judgment in order to make the right decisions based on the often overloaded information with contrary qualities, or paradoxical and ambiguous circumstances. The mind with high paradoxical intelligence can think more creatively and critically, but also, balance well, without any type of silo, or extreme thinking, to keep wisdom flow.

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