What’s your Positive Intelligence Quotient? Making Your Brain Work for You

I love horoscopes. Fortune cookies. Tarot cards. Anything that purports to reveal something about my personality and give me insight into my particular brand of insanity—what motivates, inspires, frightens me. I like such things because they increase my self-awareness, or at least remind me that increasing my self-awareness should be one of my ongoing goals.

I am not alone. There is a veritable industry built around the use of tools that help individuals learn more about what makes them and those around them tick. Inventories like the Myers-Briggs and the DiSC are in high demand by many companies and organizations that require that all of their employees take them. The results are then used to help managers and their staff communicate more effectively, based on how they interact with others and orient themselves toward their work. Many of these tests have been scientifically validated to ensure they measure what they are intended to measure and that they measure consistently over time. They are not prescriptive, but they can increase the taker’s understanding of their priorities, motivations, and values.

I recently found a personality inventory suite based on the concept of positive intelligence, which is “the science and practice of developing mastery over your mind so you can reach your full potential for both happiness and success,” according to the positive intelligence website. Positive intelligence is the brainchild of Shirzad Chamine, Stanford lecturer and author of the book Positive Intelligence. I also like things that purport to help me be happier and more content, so I am a fan of anything positive.

One of the inventories available at the site measures the taker’s PQ, or Positive Intelligence Quotient. This is a measure of the percentage of time your mind serves you (acts as a “sage”) compared to the amount of time it works against you (acts as a “saboteur”). In other words, if you score a 60 on the inventory, it means that your brain helps you with organization and effectiveness 60% of the time and sabotages you with worry and anxiety 40% of the time.

The inventory does not take long to complete and, even better, it is free of charge. And as a person who likes action items, the results come with an explanation of why the PQ might be relevant AND how you can improve your score by completing exercises, reading success stories, and taking other inventories.

So if you are curious about how much your mind is working for and against you, check out your PQ. And if you have questions about how to follow your own good advice, contact me!