What is interpersonal intelligence? How does is serve as a vital factor for communication? Well, since it involves the ability to understand and deal with people, it is vital to effective communication.
Intelligence, by definition, is a property of the mind that includes many related abilities like the capacities to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, understand ideas, use language, and learn. It includes the capacity to comprehend, analyze, and react to a situation. It is the collection of our abilities to act and react.
Howard Gardner, an American psychologist postulated the theory of multiple intelligences. He categorized intelligence on the basis of the different faculties of intellect. He observed that while some exhibit good linguistic skills, others fail to grasp language; while some excel at mathematics and logic, others are proficient in sports. He came up with this concept of the types of core intelligences which were named linguistic, logical-mathematical, spatial, bodily kinesthetic, and musical. The other forms of core intelligences deal with a person’s ability to understand the feelings of others and one’s ability to know oneself. They were called interpersonal and intrapersonal intelligences respectively.
What is Interpersonal Intelligence?
We are a part of society. Hence along with our abilities to lead life as an individual, it is also important to be able to live and grow as a part of a group. It is important to enhance our social abilities so as to live in society. This includes the abilities to interact with others, understand them, and interpret their behavior. Interpersonal intelligence is something we all need to have but it becomes a vital factor for people in occupations that require interaction with people. Those who have to deal with people as a part of their profession need to have interpersonal intelligence. These include medical practitioners, people in the sales or marketing fields, and teachers.
Interpersonal intelligence relates to interacting with the people around. It is about the understanding of their thoughts and feelings and the ability to respond to them. People with interpersonal intelligence typically fall in the group of extroverts. They are sensitive to the moods and sentiments of others. They possess the ability to cooperate with people around them and are good team players. They can work in a group with ease and efficiency and can understand the temperaments of the others in the group.
Interpersonal Intelligence and Effective Communication
An understanding of others that characterizes interpersonal intelligence, is a vital factor for effective communication. For effective communication to be possible, the parties involved in it should understand each other’s views. To communicate effectively with another person, it is important to know his/her opinions about a subject and put oneself in that person’s shoes so as to understand the reason behind his/her views. As these abilities constitute what is known as interpersonal intelligence, it is a vital factor for effective communication. People who possess it can easily communicate with others.
Those who possess an understanding of the moods and emotions of other people can empathize with them. They learn by working with others and take interest in discussions. Thus, people with an interpersonal intelligence make effective communicators.
Interpersonal communication is defined as the one that occurs between two people who are interdependent and share a common past. Interpersonal skills are needed to interact in social situations. They include the abilities to effectively convey one’s feelings to another person and understand his or her take on the subject. These skills refer to the communicative abilities applied during social interaction. Interpersonal skills facilitate communication wherein conflicts are reduced, interactions become easy, people seem approachable, hassles minimize, and a healthy and productive environment is created.
The Art of Communication
Be it in the work sector or at home; be it a formal communication or a chat with friends, the art of communication underlies them all. It is the knack to effectively communicate which rules every relationship. A professional relationship is guided by effective communication and so is the interaction with family and friends. This underlines the importance of interpersonal intelligence.
Now that we are aware of the importance of interpersonal skills in our lives, let us see how to improve them. Interpersonal intelligence can be developed if one wishes to acquire it. It being a vital factor for effective communication, acquiring interpersonal skills is essential. Learn to be positive and appreciative. Pay attention to the people around you, be observant about their behavior, try to understand their views. Rather than being a complainer, learn to lighten situations with humor. Practice empathy; it is the key to reach out. Improve your interpersonal skills to be an effective communicator and join the camp of the ‘interpersonally intelligent’!