Book Review: SQ21- The Twenty-One Skills of Spiritual Intelligence by Cindy Wigglesworth

Published on: December 1, 2012

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So what is Spiritual Intelligence (SQ) and why is it of value? “Spiritual Intelligence, as distinct from both spirituality and religion, is a set of skills we develop over time, with practice…. It is the ability to behave with wisdom and compassion, while maintaining inner and outer peace, regardless of the situation.”

The premise of Wigglesworth’s approach is, when people were asked who they thought was a great leader, what emerged was a consistent range of attributes that helped define the 21 skills of Spiritual Intelligence. What they look like is: the faith and vision of Nelson Mandela, the love of Jesus, or the peace and nonviolence of Gandhi. This is a book about these human capacities, and how we develop them.

Part 1 addresses what Spiritual Intelligence is and is not. Wigglesworth then provides a clear alignment of SQ with the other intelligences, such as Emotional Intelligence (EQ), Cognitive Intelligence (IQ) and Physical Intelligence (PQ). And for those of us who want to feed the analytical part of our brain, Wigglesworth provides the science and research methods that were foundational for the formation of  the online Spiritual Intelligence Assessment.

Part 2 digs into the 21 skills of SQ in a framework built on the four quadrants of Daniel Goleman’s work with EQ. The skills focus on our Self-Awareness, Universal Awareness, Self-Mastery, and Social Mastery and Spiritual Presence. The 21 skills are detailed clearly and concisely with sample measurements of each skill ranging from Novice to Mastery. The full assessment is available only online.

Part 3 is an invitation to dive deeper into our work to develop SQ. Wigglesworth equates it to “spiritual weightlifting,” and provides three suggested exercises if the reader would like to jump into doing the work in order to live life from our more awakened noble self, or Higher Self.

Step by step, Cindy walks you through a landscape that will transform you and inspire you. If you want to make lasting change at work or in your personal life, this is the roadmap. Cindy writes with the brilliance and articulation of a scientist, combined with the compassion, warmth and humor of her own great adventure of being fully human.

Simply put, if you want less drama in your life, this is a must-read.

Kelly Isola

Rev Kelly Isola, MDiv is a consultant, speaker, author and radio show host, as well as the co-author of Who Have You Come Here To Be?: 101 Possibilities for Contemplation.

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