About 15 years ago I was persuaded by a girlfriend to attend a weekend personal
development workshop where one of the exercises was to share with a group how
we were feeling spiritually. All I could do at the time was to copy some of
the things that I heard the other participants saying, words like, connected,
alive, dead, disconnected, inspired, isolated, etc.
The experience left me with a deep desire to be able to describe myself spiritually
with truth and a clear understanding of what I was feeling. Since then I have
become a coach and I’ve found that many of my clients also have an urgent
interest in understanding themselves spiritually. They ask for spiritual coaching.
They seek spiritual intelligence. But what does that mean?
Spiritual intelligence (SQ), emotional intelligence (EQ) and intellectual
There are three types of intelligence that determine our inner and outer success
in life. You have no doubt heard of IQ (measure of intellectual intelligence).
This is about linear, logical thinking and facts. It’s about structuring
processes, sequencing, organising and planning. It is a measure of our rational,
strategic, mathematical and linguistic talents. Intellectual intelligence can
be helpful for solving problems and understand ideas and concepts. We connect
to others using this form of intelligence by discussing and exchanging factual
information or engaging in logical thinking processes with others.
EQ (measure of emotional intelligence) is equally important in determining
success. People with a high EQ are able to feel their emotions and use them
as a guide, responding appropriately to different situations. Hence, they relate
to others in a healthy way, with empathy, and know how to balance self-regard
and regard for others. They have high self- esteem, having focused in their
development on becoming confident.
Both IQ and EQ have become part of our normal vocabulary. But as well as IQ
and EQ, all human beings possess innate spiritual intelligence (SQ), which is
also essential to our well being, though we tend to ignore it in favour of the
others. We now know that all three forms of intelligence are complementary.
Notice how both IQ and EQ work within the confines of existing information
and what is known, while SQ is a measure of our ability to be aware of and connected
to all that lies beyond the physical realm – things we may not be able
to see, hear, feel or touch.
Only SQ is capable of thinking beyond what is known and of seeing a higher
truth in a situation. SQ operates through knowledge of the spiritual laws on
which our world is founded. It comes from the premise that we are not just physical
bodies but also energy fields that affect each other in subtle ways. When our
IQ, EQ and SQ work together we are able to fully manifest our potential in the
People with high SQ
SQ puts our individual lives in a larger context. It provides meaning and purpose
in life and allows us to create new possibilities for ourselves, for others
and for the world. Our SQ allows us to utilize our IQ and EQ to express our
gifts in the world, improving our own lives while impacting the entire planet.
Great leaders such as Gandhi, Mother Theresa and Martin Luther King all had
high SQ as does Nelson Mandela. A high SQ is increasingly becoming a determinant
All living things possess life force energy. SQ is the key to identifying and
managing this life force energy. It is through this subtle life force energy
that we attract, repel, bond with and influence other people and it can be a
very powerful form of communication.
People with strong energy fields can influence others just by their presence.
We see this on both ends of the spectrum. Some people have positive, life-affirming
energy, while others have draining, toxic energy.
People with high SQ can manage these energy fields and transform them into
a productive force. They know how to partner with the universe and as a result,
they experience ease, flow and contribution. People with low SQ tend to experience
life as hard work because they have to do it all themselves.
Coaching tools for developing spiritual intelligence
People develop spiritual intelligence through practices such as meditation,
journaling, reading spiritual books, practising yoga or tai chi, eliminating
limiting beliefs and working with a coach who has a high SQ.
Two of the most important and valuable coaching tools for SQ are intuition
and a willingness to surrender to the greater knowing of the universe. Fundamentally,
coaches must work to improve our own SQ before we can help others to improve
theirs. Our clients can provide excellent mirrors to show us exactly where our
own work needs to take place.
As we lead the way by being willing to do our own transformation, we can help
our clients to connect to themselves. We can support our clients in embracing
transformation, helping them to ask themselves: What is this problem here to
We can encourage clients to become accountable for everything in their lives,
helping them to ask themselves: Why did I create this?
What if the whole world had a higher level of SQ?
In our modern day world we are not often appreciated for just being ourselves.
We are constantly asked to prove our worth and measure our success in terms
of money, power and other external achievements. Many of us end up with a deep
feeling of worthlessness, feeling negative and inferior. Our education systems
have contributed a lot to this by valuing IQ.
But if the whole world had higher SQ terms, no one would be inferior because
each individual is unique. Everyone would be able to identify their unique gifts
and understand how to use them. Everyone would live their lives with meaning
When people align their lives with their own truths, their own values and the
principles that inspire their action (e.g., service to others, support, love,
beauty, connection), they feel more alive and can express their true essence.
In fact, aliveness is one of the key measures of SQ.
As more and more people develop their SQ, the world is becoming a different
and better place. People are acting more responsibly to help the earth and showing
more respect for the planet. Workplaces are becoming more ethical and life-sustaining,
and their services and products are being designed more and more to serve the
greater good of the world.
As we progress to these higher levels of SQ, families and communities will
experience more peace, ease and grace. We will become less judgemental of others,
more accepting of both ourselves and others. We will experience true partnership
and interconnectedness. We will have more creative energy and use this energy
to enhance life. We will embrace transformation and see others as mirrors of
We will act with more compassion and for the highest good of ourselves, others
and the world. We will be more spontaneous and fearless and more able to create
miracles and magic. A new humanity will evolve, one that affirms, loves and
celebrates life, makes wise decisions and treats others as souls on a common
Alison Davis, IAC-CC, is the founder of Foundations for Living, a licensed
school of the IAC Coaching Masteries®, and is also a certifier
for the IAC. Alison has been coaching, training, facilitating and mentoring
individuals and in organisations in Europe, the US and South Africa for over
13 years. She is trained in psycho-spiritual integration, helping clients to
develop their SQ. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.