Can you think of great experiences you have had being part of a team, whether it was a sports team, a team in the work place, or a group project in an organization?
Can you think of important things you have learned from working with others? When has another person spent time with you helping you understand or teaching you something?
Can you remember completing a task or project that you could not have completed on your own--where you had to rely on another person or other people?
These experiences are the “stuff” of PeopleSmart; namely the stuff of human relating, collaboration with others, and learning from and about other people.
It involves involves the ability to work cooperatively in a group as well as the ability to communicate, verbally and non-verbally, with other people.
It builds on the capacity to notice distinctions among others, for example, contrasts in moods, temperament, motivations, and intentions.
How many of the following are true for you?
You learn through personal interactions.
You probably have lots of friends.
show a great deal of empathy for other people,
You have a deep understanding of other points of view.
You love team activities of all kinds and are a
good team member—you pull your own weight and
often much more.
You are sensitive to other people’s feelings and ideas .
You are good at piggybacking your ideas on others’ thoughts.
You are skilled at drawing others out in a discussion.
You are skilled in conflict resolution, mediation, and finding compromise when people are in radical opposition to each other.
We know this intelligence well for, usually, we spend a large amount of every day working with and relating to other people. Yet, how skillful are we really in this relating? How much do we really value and understand everything that is involved the deep of cooperation and collaboration with others?
Beginning in early childhood, throughout our formal schooling, and into our adult work life, the normal socialization process of most Western societies provides us with hundreds of both formal and informal training opportunities in how to be competitive and in being the “rugged individual.”
There is nothing whatsoever wrong with competition or individualism, if we keep them in perspective. In fact, in some ways they are “survival skills” especially in capitalistic, free enterprise societies.
However, the interpersonal capacities of cooperation and collaboration are quite different from those of competition and individualism. Had you grown up in a tribal society, or a culture in which the family and extended family are the core social units, you would likely have acquired the capacities of PeopleSmart much in the same way you learned to compete or stand on your own two feet in this society!