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Understanding Interpersonal Intelligence and How to Develop it

Understanding Interpersonal Intelligence

When we talk about intelligence, we tend to think of the ability to solve problems, but intelligence has many nuances, and interpersonal intelligence is an ability that some people have to treat others empathically.

What is interpersonal intelligence?

This type of intelligence gives us the ability to see beyond, to perceive what other people do not see because it goes unnoticed. People with interpersonal intelligence go beyond the spoken words and can understand the meaning of other people’s gestures or looks and can understand and empathize with them. This allows them to adapt to the environment and relate more easily.

This type of intelligence is very useful for people who work with groups or help others, such as psychologists, teachers, or lawyers. In general, it can be used in the personal and professional fields to improve communication and relationships with other people.

How are people with good interpersonal intelligence

People who have developed their interpersonal intelligence are people with a great empathic capacity, can easily understand other people, and have great aptitudes to relate socially.

They can see beyond what people consciously express, detecting unconscious expressions, such as facial gestures, body movements, or even behavior patterns. In this way, they can capture more information than the other person is consciously contributing to himself.

By having great empathic capacity, they develop greater skills to function socially, complying with a good leader’s main characteristics. They are to be very friendly people and recognized in their environment for their charisma.

People with good interpersonal intelligence tend to pursue professions that involve face-to-face contact with many people and require skills to solve diplomatic tasks. Some examples would be professions related to teaching, business activities, management positions, lawyers, mediators, speakers, and, of course, psychologists.

Characteristics of someone with Interpersonal Intelligence

We live in society, and as such, we must live well with other people. Interpersonal intelligence is linked precisely to our social and relationship skills.

A person with strong interpersonal intelligence has a greater ability to understand other people, their emotions, needs, motivations, and intentions. He knows how to relate to them in a way that creates a favorable environment for the relationship.

Thus, he is a person who manages his relationships more effectively. He can win friends and the ability to deal with difficult people. He is generally an extrovert and can work well with several other types of people, and has good interpersonal skills.

Someone with interpersonal skills can express their wishes and desires and without offending or gaining dislike from others.

Some of the main characteristics of people with interpersonal intelligence are:

  • Have empathy
  • Are extroverted
  • Understand the emotions of others
  • They are friendly
  • Understand social norms
  • Enjoy meeting new people
  • Have ease of interaction with others
  • They have charisma
  • They are good-natured
  • Can establish a relationship of trust quickly
  • They are good communicators
  • Have leadership skills
  • Have the ability to connect with others
  • Are socially influential
  • Have the ability to understand both verbal and non-verbal communication
  • They have great conflict resolution power. They can reduce tension and promote harmony.
  • Have a good relationship with people of all kinds
  • They know how to use tact and diplomacy in relations
  • Practice active listening to understand others

The careers that demand the most interpersonal intelligence are those that demand the greatest relationship between people. Some examples are:

  • Managers and directors
  • Teachers
  • Doctors
  • Lawyers
  • Psychologists
  • Politicians
  • Vendors
  • Diplomats
  • Actors

People with interpersonal skills get on well with social interaction and tend to have a lot of authenticities. They can quickly establish a relationship of trust with others. They are usually people with many friends, and others like to be around them. People often seek your help and advice.

For those interested in leadership positions in a company, they must work hard in learning interpersonal psychology.

How to develop interpersonal intelligence

Interpersonal intelligence requires that you have a wide range of interpersonal skills to know which to use at what time and with whom. Intelligence can be developed. With intentional, regular exercise, the tendency is to improve.

To develop it, you need to put yourself in situations where these social skills are required.

Here are some suggestions on how to do this.

1. Force yourself to interact more with people

The more you talk, and the more you interact with others, the greater your ability to relate to others will be strengthened.

2. Participate in teamwork

Teamwork requires communication and collaboration—an excellent way to stimulate interaction and exchange.

3. Be Open-minded

Try to relate to people of different types (introverted and extroverted, humble and arrogant, boring and charismatic, etc.).

This will help you to understand and meet different types of people. The better you can relate to a greater variety of personal profiles, the more you will be understanding the concept of interpersonal relationships and improving your ability to do so.

4. Take the lead in an initiative where you work or somewhere else

For example, you can offer to take the lead on a new project for the company you work for. You can apply to become a Manager in your building or lead a voluntary work initiative. You can even organize a trip with friends, for example.

5. Teach

Help others by sharing your knowledge. It may simply be showing a co-worker how to do some activity that you have mastered. Or it can be something more advanced like giving training or even giving classes in some educational institution.

6. Make presentations to audiences

Practice the ability to speak in public. You can join a group or talk to colleagues or other places in your circle of relationships.

7. Organize a party

It doesn’t have to be a party. It can be a small party to celebrate an important achievement of your work team, for example.

8. Practice empathy

Put yourself in the other’s shoes and try to understand their needs and why they behave in a certain way

9. Have a good mood

One of the best ways to connect with people is through humor. Relax and open people up to be more receptive.

10. Use active listening

Try to understand the other person and his / her questions by genuinely listening to what they have to say.

11. Be flexible in interactions with others

Try to understand others’ opinions and be flexible in interactions instead of setting foot in your way of thinking. In this way, you will be better able to find a conciliatory point of view that meets the different opinions and needs in the most appropriate way possible.


We human beings are social beings. Living and interacting with other people is part of our nature.

Some people find it easier to connect with others quickly. But this is a skill that can be developed. It may seem a little complicated, but don’t underestimate your ability.

Cultivating it brings many gains to our professional life and the quality of our relationships. This can result in much richer experiences in your life.

Training these abilities to develop your interpersonal intelligence will help you establish better social relationships in the professional field and your personal life and contribute to your well-being since you will understand others better and enjoy greater happiness.