Interpersonal Intelligence “People Smart”


Interpersonal Intelligence is associated with the ability to work cooperatively in a group, and communicate verbally and non-verbally with other people. Interpersonal intelligence relies on all other forms of intelligences.

People talented in this area are good at person-to-person encounters and working with others towards a common goal. They see differences in people as necessary and important.

Parents can influence their children’s “people smarts” by using the following eleven home activities (not in order of importance), developed by Connie Hine and Margaret Lewis Crosby, experts in child development.

  1. While cooking and baking, have the child cook with another person.
  2. When cleaning a room, do so cooperatively. Siblings can help each other with their rooms or a parent can help the child with a chore, taking time to talk as both work.
  3. Read stories with the child, stop now and again to ask how a character is feeling. Encourage imaginary conversations with story characters. Model if necessary.
  4. At bedtime talk about: favorite things, what happened at school (who got in trouble), friends, activities, and dreams.
  5. When grocery shopping, ask the child to tell about the different people that work in the store and shop there. What might the people at the store be thinking? Determine this by looking at their faces and how they hold their bodies.
  6. During family game time, play games that involve role playing, like dress-up, charades, and guess how I’m feeling.
  7. While traveling, encourage the child to talk to other children they meet along the way and make friends. Speak with the child about how other people feel and how to recognize the feelings of others.
  8. During homework, work nearby, be a study buddy for the child, help by quizzing.
  9. For the news, discuss issues and listen to each others’ thoughts.
  10. For family, ask the child who he likes to play, cook, read, and fix things with in the family.
  11. To get out of the house on time, have family meetings on the subject. Persuade others to cooperate while modeling cooperation for the child.



Adults who have strong interpersonal intelligences may find success as: counselor, psychologist, politician, sociologist, anthropologist, religious leader, or teacher.

To spark this intelligence in adults:

  • Volunteer for committee work or team activity inside or outside of the daily job.
  • Cut off “the inner voice” and listen fully when someone is speaking.
  • Try to guess what someone else is thinking based on visual cues, and check accuracy with that person.
  • Practice non-verbal communication: facial expressions, body posture, and gestures.


Next week there will be a performance by Sock Puppet Tim. Here’s the link Come and cheer him on! Let Tim know how he’s doing in the comment section of YouTube.


Join me the following week for the next installment of Multiple Intelligences, a closer look at Intrapersonal Intelligence; how to help strengthen it in children and spark it in adults.

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