How to Improve Interpersonal Intelligence

by Grace Dickins

Socially savvy students seem to have a sixth sense about how to interact with anyone from peers to strangers. A person's ability to recognize and respond to non-verbal cues from others indicates a high interpersonal intelligence. While it may seem as though this is natural instinct, people can improve their interpersonal intelligence. Practicing time management skills and organizational skills will raise a person's interpersonal intelligence.

3 Ways to Improve Time Management Skills

1) Track time: Keep a diary to account for all of your time over the course of one week. This will serve two purposes. First, you will become aware of how much time you spend completing a task. For example, you might have thought paying bills and opening mail takes five minutes. In reality, you might spend twenty minutes on this task. Being aware of the time it actually takes will help you to plan and manage time better. Additionally, documenting the time you spend will demonstrate the amount of time wasters that can be eliminated from your routine.

2) Disconnect: Phone calls, text messages, notifications from Facebook and the like all serve to as distractions from the task at hand. Disconnect for an hour at a time to facilitate focusing on work.

3) Schedule activities: Create an honest schedule that includes routine tasks and upcoming deadlines. Remember to schedule breaks and buffers between tasks to ensure that you meet deadlines and accomplish all of your goals.

3 Ways to Improve Organizational Skills

1) Prioritize: Prioritize your schedule and to-do list by giving the most dreaded tasks the highest priority. Tackling these tasks first will get them over with and give you a sense of relief and accomplishment. Then, you'll be motivated to continue focusing on accomplishing the remainder of your list!

2) Batch: Designate time to complete similar tasks in batches. This can include paying bills once per week, scheduling time to check and respond to emails, or cleaning the kitchen while the meal cooks. For students, batching household tasks and errands is as important as batching academic tasks. Reinforcing organizational skills in daily living will benefit a student's academic progress.

3) Create mini-goals: Just as educators divide a curriculum into daily and weekly components throughout the semester, individuals with high interpersonal intelligence know to create mini-goals for any major task. Mini-goal setting is a talent that becomes a good habit for everyone to have. For example, a student can create a mini-goal to improve his science grade over the semester and schedule fifteen minutes per day to review the prior week's material. The mini-goal is manageable and achievable, and the repetition will become habit. The experience of mini-goal setting will become a habit that the student can apply to fiscal responsibility!