Susan 馃悵 Rooks, The Grammar Goddess

5 years ago 路 3 min. reading time 路 visibility 0 路

chat Contact the author

thumb_up Relevant message Comment

Thursday Thoughts: What is "Smart," Anyway?


i Geni
A few days ago, I remarked in an LI group I belong to that I needed some help understanding how to send Neil Hughes a voice message on my iPhone. Others were able to do that, but I couldn't figure it out.聽

Of course, Neil immediately rushed to help me, and yes. I guess I can do it after all. And I will, Neil! Honest!

But I was surprised (and tickled) to receive a message from Arnie McKinnis saying:聽

"Susan, you're my hero - for probably none of the reasons that would pop up in your head immediately. It's for this simple fact ... you are willing to ask a question, even IF that means "exposing" some area. There is something so wonderful in asking those simple questions, and it is one thing I've strived to embed in my kids (mostly because I've missed out on a lot because I was unwilling to expose "not knowing" something). Thanks for a simple reminder today. If you don't know, ask."

I was both delighted AND surprised to be praised for having done that, because asking questions is a sign of strength to me, not weakness. I realize it's the same for Arnie, but I guess not for everyone.

News Alert!

I do not know everything in the world!

I don't even know all the grammar rules that are available in those huge books!聽


No one does. We are all smart in many things, but not in everything.

And that brings me to my central point, the way I live my life -- that no one knows everything, even if they're "smart."聽

I grew up in a world that revered IQ. If you had a high one, you were聽supposed to be smart in everything. Smart was smart, right? IQ was supposedly the answer to anyone's ability to do well, to succeed, to be able to master everything in the world.

But it didn't work that way. Too many times others would end up saying (about someone known as SMART), "If he's so smart, how come he can't figure THAT out?" Or "Since she's so smart, she should have known better!"

Clearly, IQ wasn't (and still isn't) the answer to everything.聽

Then came EQ, back about 20 years ago, in a book entitled "Emotional Intelligence"聽by Daniel Goleman, that I read cover to cover dozens of times. It helped me -- and millions of others -- understand at least one reason that some very smart people might have trouble with others. It's not a cure-all, but it sure helped me see that there are lots of ways to be smart. And they are all valuable.

Over the years, I refined my ideas into two simple statements, shown below:

Do NOT ask "How smart is he?"
DO ask "How is he smart?"

I know I have a decent IQ; I can learn many things reasonably quickly, and I'm pretty good at most of what I need to be good at (not math, though). But "pretty good" isn't always good enough. So when I'm stumped, especially with my website (right, Sheila Oliver?) or social media (right, John White?), I reach out.聽

So, Arnie, thanks so much for your comment, which sparked this post. I appreciate what you wrote, and you never know when I might reach out to YOU to find out more about marketing and technology.聽

How are YOU smart? What are YOUR strengths? YOUR challenges?聽

PS: Those of you who were watching American TV in the mid-'60s might recognize the picture at the top.聽

*********************************************

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. If it has helped you in any way, I hope you will share it with your connections, so they may learn as well. And please share your thoughts with us; I am always interested to see what my readers find valuable.聽

************

My previous posts can be seen here on my website,聽and specific ones are they're easy to find because they're categorized. Just type in a word in the search box on the topic you're looking for and see everything I wrote on it. 聽

************聽

Do the associates in your company look and sound as smart as they are?聽They would if they could take one of my Brush Up on Your Skills workshops right where they work. If your company hires outside experts to teach any topic to its associates, please share my posts and website with your Human Resources or Training Manager.聽

Do you belong to an association or other group that is looking for a speaker for one of its meetings? There are a lot of communication-based topics that could be perfect for a light-hearted and interesting presentation.聽


Brush Up on Your
American Grammar
Skills

Grammar Goddess Communication
Look Smart. Sound Smart.

508-238- val

www.Grammar Goddess.com
SusanR@Grammar Goda ess. col m
LE

Would you like a free generic聽Brush Up on Your Skills workbook in a pdf format in American grammar, business writing, or interpersonal skills? They show what I teach in my three-hour corporate classes. Not all the answers for the quizzes are there, but if you read the information carefully, you'll learn a lot!

Let me know which one, and please send me your e-mail address. I won't use it for anything else.聽

thumb_up Relevant message Comment
Comments

Phil Friedman

5 years ago #4

You make several excellent points, Susan Rooks, but I am left in a quandary, nevertheless. If I discover something that I don't know, then ipso facto I then know it, or at least know of it. Which means that In order not to know everything, I must remain totally ignorant of that which I don't know. And consequently not knowing everything is a state of being occupied only by those who believe they know everything. However, what I do know is that good grammar is next to goddessness. Cheers on a Friday morning!
How are YOU smart? Inquiring minds want to know.
#1
Paul \ -- Wasn't that show a hoot? Wonderful title, and the characters so clearly showed that one could be both smart and . . . not-smart.
#2
Deb Helfrich, I too have some difficulty learning more than a few words in another language (I can ask "where is the bathroom" in about 5, however). Each of us is wired differently, and of course many of us can and do overcome that basic wiring and become very proficient in things we didn't expect. I'm glad you're smart at driving! In this country, that's a wonderful ability / talent / way to be smart. And from everything I've read of yours -- and comments from others who know you well -- it appears you're emotionally smart, too. I'll take that any day over someone else who is emotionally tone deaf.

More articles from Susan 馃悵 Rooks, The Grammar Goddess

View blog
3 years ago 路 1 min. reading time

Thursday Thought: Every Day Should be Gratiday!

Yes, of course I made the word up! 路 But it occurr ...

3 years ago 路 1 min. reading time

We Keep on Learning, Right?

Have you ever realized how little you know about s ...

3 years ago 路 2 min. reading time

American Grammar Checkup: Subject/Verb Agreement

It's been quite a while since I last offered you a ...