Interpersonal intelligence: definition and tips to improve it

the interpersonal intelligence is a concept derived from the development of Howard Gardner’s theory of multiple intelligences. It is a type of intelligence that, along with others, allows us to adapt optimally to the environment and to interactions with others.

More precisely, interpersonal intelligence is what this explains how well we are able to make a rough estimate of the minds and moods of others. Thus, someone with good interpersonal intelligence is able to capture the intentions of others, their feelings (which they can more or less externalize), know what information others are missing … and therefore will interact well with these people, by adapting to and even predicting certain aspects of it.

See beyond words

It should be noted that this ability is not limited to how we interpret the words spoken by others, but it also extends to the ability to read facial expressions, movements and even behavior patterns. Therefore, it doesn’t just depend on what information the other person gives us about themselves.

Beyond the theory of multiple intelligences, interpersonal intelligence can be related to concepts such as social skills or emotional intelligence (in its social aspect, intrapersonal intelligence can also be included in this idea).

Ultimately, this type of intelligence has to do with how we adjust to the minds and actions of others, and how we interact with the people who define us.

How are people with good interpersonal intelligence?

From what has been said above, you may already be thinking of the trades and professions that are characterized by the exploitation of this type of skill. Professionally, it is usually these people who offer part of their added value related to their ability to solve diplomatic tasks or related to face-to-face contact with many people.

Examples of such profiles are advertisements, lawyers, teachers, public speakers and, of course, psychologists.

Interpersonal intelligence in modern times

The truth is that in the information age, interpersonal intelligence has become very important both in our personal life (in which we relate to a much larger number of people than there is a century).) As in the professional field, where diplomacy with different types of agents is almost inevitable.

That is why it is worth putting some effort into trying to improve it. You can read below some keys to tackle this task.

Tips for improving interpersonal intelligence

With these key points, you can learn how to improve your interpersonal intelligence.

1. Ask yourself what you know that others don’t know

In your interaction with other people, there may be instances when you refer to facts or things that others are not aware of. Suppose other people have the same information that we can make the conversation unfair or even have some awkward moments.

2. Give more credibility to actions than words

People can lie with words, but it is much harder to lie with the body. This is why the gestures of the face, the posture and the movements of the head or the arms give us information which, sometimes when they are not ambiguous it’s more reliable than the one who provides us with the content of his speech.

3. Think about how they see you

To better interpret what people around you are doing, it’s a good idea first think about how they interpret what you are doing. Make an effort to keep in mind that what you do for the rest depends a lot on how you are viewed.

4. Don’t be afraid to ask

There are some relevant aspects that deserve a question. When you notice that there is something interfering between you and others in your communication, values ​​the possibility of directly asking what it is. However, it is also good to consider possible topics that it is not good to be attacked head on in your conversation, as some questions can put others in a violent situation or can hurt a person’s sensitivity to be fully exposed.

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