Teaching - by Staff

Interpersonal Intelligence: The Social Butterfly

this girl has strong Interpersonal Intelligence that allows her to be the center of attention

Are you really good at making friends? Are you that person with whom your friends always confide? Are you great at sales?

If you describe yourself as a “people person,” you have an interpersonal intelligence profile.

The Progressive, Modern Understanding of Intelligence

Throughout much of history, intelligence has been thought of as the general capacity to understand complex concepts and ideas. Intelligence has been thought of as one’s ability to retain knowledge.

Progressive, modern psychology now differentiates between 8 diverse types of intelligences.

These 8 intelligence types make up the theory of Multiple Intelligences, or MI theory. MI theory expands upon the common understanding that learners are visual, auditory, or kinesthetic, meaning those who retain knowledge by writing or physically performing a task.

Pioneered by Harvard professor and psychologist, Howard Gardner, MI theory has led to discoveries in effective classroom learning and an increase in overall aptitude.

What Is Interpersonal Intelligence?

Interpersonal intelligence refers to the most sociable type of aptitude of all 8 Multiple Intelligence theory profiles. This kind of intelligence describes someone who is empathetic and able to understand the moods, emotions, and body language queues in others. Interpersonal intelligence profiles have a knack for relationship management, mediation, and negotiation.

A social lunch

It’s not hard to notice the people around you who have interpersonal intelligence. They’re usually talkative, have no trouble making friends, and often times, they’re the loudest people in the room. They adapt easily to social situations, and they make people around them feel comfortable.

What Are The Character Traits of Interpersonal Intelligence?

Interpersonal intelligence is easy to spot. As one of the most distinguishable intelligences in the theory of Multiple Intelligence, there are 4 hard to miss character traits shared by people with interpersonal intelligent profiles.

4 Characteristics of Interpersonal Intelligence

  1. The Natural Leader: Those with interpersonal intelligence are often seen as someone to follow.
  2. Influencers: Interpersonal intelligence enables you to influence others. You’ll see those with this intelligence type using compelling, tailored dialogue to persuade others.
  3. Relationship Managers: This intelligence type makes friends easily and keeps them. They maintain meaningful relationships with others.
  4. Cooperators: Interpersonal intelligence is the MI theory profile with a notable ability to work in groups and complete tasks as a team.

It sounds great to have an interpersonal intelligence profile. Maybe especially awesome from the vantage point of people who classify themselves as introverts.

Interpersonal Intelligence vs Extroversion

This personality type is a social butterfly

Shy or socially awkward people look at these social butterflies and wonder how that natural born leader can be so extroverted.

Be careful here! Remember that interpersonal intelligence does not mean the same thing as extroversion.

Have you ever met anyone who was flirtatious, loud, often lacked the ability to focus on the task at hand, and demanded to be the center of attention?

That person is an extrovert. And an extrovert does not always possess interpersonal intelligence.

On the flip side, a person with interpersonal intelligence is not always an extrovert.

Diagnosis: Do You Have ‘Interpersonal Intelligence’?

There exists no proper diagnosis or test to tell if you possess the MI profile of interpersonal intelligence. Everyone has varying degrees of two or three intelligence profiles.

Interpersonal intelligence is marked by your ability to relate to others. If you feel comfortable and engaged when listening to other people, and you are able to offer sincere advice while genuinely caring about other people and their feelings, you have an interpersonal intelligence profile.

Self Improvement: How Can I Become More Interpersonally Intelligent?

To enhance this intelligence superpower, you can practice asking friends around you questions about themselves. Genuinely listen to their response.

Practice active listening. Active listening is a fundamental element of the interpersonal intelligence profile.

If you’re a shy person, strike up a new conversation every day with someone you’ve never spoken to. Train yourself to focus on the other person’s body language and match your posture to theirs.

Tran how to recognize other people's body language

You’ll develop your interpersonal intelligence quicker than you think and you’ll experience a massive boost in your self-confidence.

Professional Goals: Best Careers for Those with Interpersonal Intelligence Profiles

So, you read the description above, and it matches your personality. Or, maybe you have a student, child, or young adult that undeniably matches this profile. What career choices will you (or he/she) love?

Interpersonal intelligence profiles are usually excellent candidates for roles in advertising. They are caregivers, mentors, coaches, teachers, and therapists. They lead HR teams, and they excel in sales.

Fun fact: Sales training and seminars are actually teaching interpersonal intelligence skills.

People who possess this intelligence profile are always learning. They are educators, and they love to be in a position of influence over groups and wowing audiences with engaging dialogue.

The Red Carpet: Celebrities With Interpersonal Intelligence Profiles

Famous actors and actresses, comedians, politicians, journalists, motivational speakers and talk show hosts all share one thing in common: they are interpersonally intelligent.

Think of Jon Stewart, Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie, Jeff Foxworthy, Barbara Walters and Tony Robbins. Interpersonal Intelligence characterizes these red carpet influencers as people who find it easy to communicate with others. They get the people around them to feel comfortable and open up.

You’ve heard the old saying, “The most beautiful sound in the world is the sound of your own name.” These celebs have internalized this quote. They live by it. They are leaders in their field. They entertain us and make us feel good about ourselves. They convince us to make goals and strive to achieve them.

Education: How is Interpersonal Intelligence Related to Academic Performance?

Teachers and educators are using Gardner’s Multiple Intelligence theory in the classroom through group activities and cross-subject learning.

Group activities strengthen the interpersonal intelligence profiles of students and lead them to develop cooperative learning. Student’s work together to solve problems, answer complex questions and design their own learning games.

Group/Class brainstorming sessions teach students to collaborate rather than compete. Although competitiveness is not a trait to be frowned upon, students must also learn the value of working together.

Collaborative activities help students learn time management. When students work together, they explain to each other the different tasks that are delegated amongst the group. This process refines their working knowledge of the lesson, and it ignites discussion.

As a result, students gain valuable communication skills, and they learn to set their differences aside and finish a task.

Cooperative learning and group activities are not limited to the classroom. Homeschoolers can strengthen interpersonal intelligence through group co-ops, 4-H programs, volunteer activities, and clubs to name just a few.

In The Classroom: How People With Interpersonal Intelligence Profiles Learn

Students and adults with interpersonal intelligence learn by discussion and explanation. By interacting with the task at hand through dialogue amongst a group, interpersonally intelligent individuals grasp a subject easier than if they were to read about the topic in a room by themselves.

A school group talking an issue over

Students with interpersonal intelligence profiles learn best by cross-subject projects that involve their need to be around others.

Classroom sidekick website, Thirteen.Org, recommends mixing history class with music class. Have students get into groups and write a song about a chosen topic in history and sing it in front of the class.

Encourage multimedia presentations and research questions brainstormed by the students. Assign math, history or literature projects that are presented in the form of art in front of the classroom.

Most important of all, establish an environment of free discussion. Create an environment where students can ask questions and suggest ideas without fear of criticism.

Last updated on May 24, 2017

About Staff

Homeschool Base is the internet's largest volunteer driven homeschooling website. To learn more about us, check out our Mission Statement. This is the non-attributed Staff account used for posting articles, news, announcements, pages, and other… Full author bio

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