Interpersonal intelligence


The interpersonal intelligence is one with which beings humans manage to have more empathy with others, by understanding different states of mind and skills.


What is interpersonal intelligence?

It is that type of intelligence doomed to the area of ​​social skills or abilities. They involve various capacities, such as empathy , problem and conflict resolution , the ability to influence others and to act accordingly. It is a very important type of intelligence in those jobs that involve relationships with other people.



Intelligence is a concept that has been spreading over the last few years. Until not long ago, it was believed with conviction that intelligence encompassed only those related to mathematical , logical , abstract and linguistic skills . You could think of an intelligent person, and then have personalities like Albert Einstein , Sherlock Holmes, Stephen Hawkins, among many others in mind!


But is it limited to this? The intelligence , like everything in psychology , is a broad construct sea. It covers many fields, hence it is said that there are multiple intelligences. What one is good at may not be good in other areas. And one of these areas is social.

Interpersonal intelligence is that type of intelligence aimed at the social development of a human being. It is that capacity that involves all skills or social abilities, and implies the good or bad performance of one person when dealing with another.

Next, we will dedicate this article to talk about interpersonal intelligence and all that it implies.

Characteristics of interpersonal intelligence

Like any psychological construct , it has its essential characteristics. Next, we will talk a little more in depth about these:

  • It is a type of intelligence focused on the area of social or interpersonal skills or performance.
  • It involves two highly differentiated capacities: empathy and the management of intersubjective relationships.
  • It is part of the so-called multiple intelligences.

What is it for

Its usefulness lies, as has already been observed, in social performance. Human beings distinguish ourselves from other animals by our need for bond. Since we are born, we are very eager to bond, to contact another person. Without bond, there is no mental or physical healing . An adequate level of interpersonal intelligence is, as a general rule , always an indicator of mental health, since it allows the person to have a fairly wide range of relationships within which to rely on in moments of, say, some difficulty. It is also a skill closely related to success in the business world, for reasons that we will see below …

In summary, we could say that the ie is used to:

  • Build new relationships.
  • Maintain or preserve old or existing relationships.
  • It helps to understand the reason for some decisions of your own or others in the interpersonal area.
  • It allows better access to certain fields. These are only reserved for the most influential personalities.


The ie has two highly differentiated and important capabilities. Without these, interpersonal intelligence per se can be very compromised and / or impaired.

Empathy capacity

This implies, of course, the ability to connect and tune into what is going on in another person’s mind. It involves, in turn, two components: cognitive empathy and affective empathy. The first would focus only on the area of ​​thoughts or intellectual notions that we have about the experience of the other (example: you can see that he is sad). The second, on the other hand, would imply a greater degree of connection; It would be about tuning in, feeling-with the other (example: I feel that he is sad).

Ability to manage interpersonally

Another area where many disagreements can be discovered. It would consist of the way you have to handle yourself in the links. These in order that there is no clash between personal and other people’s desires, and, in a certain way, there is a certain parity and justice.

Activities to develop interpersonal intelligence

Developing this skill is a practice that requires daily dedication. Some individuals have never been very good at this ie , while others appear as if they were born with it (there is evidence showing a biological predisposition to a high ie). The following activities would be recommended for the first group. Here are some of them:

  • Develop active listening: you would be surprised how many times we say we listen to someone and, in reality, all we do is hear noise. The first step in being able to relate is to allow yourself to listen carefully, without unnecessary distractions.
  • Imagine yourself in the place of the other: they tell him in many ways: “put yourself in his place” or “put yourself in his shoes” . It would be that ability to imagine yourself in a different place. In this case, to imagine yourself in the place of another person. How it feels How he thinks. How it works.
  • Get out more often: the more locked in we are, the more difficult it becomes for you to run into other things. Having interpersonal intelligence implies, many times, knowing positions and thoughts different from oneself. The more open you allow yourself to be, the easier it would be for you to develop this type of IQ.
  • Recognize emotions: be in oneself or in others. It would be said that it is one of the most important attributes of interpersonal intelligence, since a large part of the bonds and relationships that we have are an emotional issue, that is, where there are many emotions involved. Being able to recognize pleasant and unpleasant emotions, without judging or criticizing them, allows the person to anticipate problems that arise with another person, and perhaps even prevent them.

Professions associated with interpersonal intelligence

Some of the professions where we can find a greater commitment in interpersonal intelligence are:

  • Right.
  • Business Administration.
  • Diplomacy.
  • Human Resources.
  • Psychology.
  • Social work.
  • Politicians.


At this point, it should come as no surprise that the importance of developing good interpersonal intelligence is emphasized Ultimately, it would be the type of intelligence that would allow the creation and / or maintenance of links. In the same way, a good ie is a sine qua non condition for the success of many businessmen and politicians who, today, are a benchmark in the world of entrepreneurship .


To give an example of this type of intelligence, we have the case of two people who enter a company at the same time. They would be called a and b. A is very withdrawn, somewhat surly and does not like to talk to people. B, on the other hand, is outgoing and is the “life of the party .” For the person responsible for selecting them, he was not too surprised when he learned that ab was finding it easier to integrate than a. A was good at his job, but they hardly took him into account in some of the decisions that were made and some did not even know his name, while ab, despite being very new, already asked him what he thought if they took such a or what decision.

People with interpersonal intelligence

We believe that some of the great examples that we can draw to understand this construct would be characters such as:

  • Daniel Goleman.
  • Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
  • Gandhi.

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