PeopleSmart

Developing Your Interpersonal Intelligence

Mel Silberman (Author) | Freda Hansburg (Author)

Publication date: 06/01/2000

Bestseller over 80,000+ copies sold

PeopleSmart

Utilizing self-assessment tools, checklists, and practical exercises, PeopleSmart provides a plan to make every relationship in your life more successful and fulfilling.

  • Offers user-friendly tips, helpful self-assessment tools, motivational checklists, and practical exercises to help readers build their interpersonal intelligence skills
  • Provides an effective, step-by-step plan to make every relationship-with supervisors, coworkers, teammates, spouses, partners, children, relatives, and friends-more successful and fulfilling
  • Presents eight essential interpersonal intelligence skills and a powerful five-step process for developing each one

WE ARE ALL in the people business because we deal with other people all the time. But do you sometimes reach out to others only to find your efforts misunderstood or rejected? Do you wish your relationships with people close to you were more harmonious and fulfilling? PeopleSmart is a practical guide for anyone who asks these questions, which means most of us at some time or other. It reveals a powerful plan for making your relationships more productive and rewarding-whether they are with a supervisor and coworkers or a spouse, relatives, and friends-by developing your interpersonal intelligence.

In this step-by-step guide, the authors show how to develop the eight key skills and abilities of interpersonal intelligence: understanding people, explaining oneself clearly and honestly, asserting needs, seeking and giving feedback, influencing others, resolving conflict, being a team player, and shifting gears when relationships are stuck. They present a realistic and doable five-step plan for self-improvement. They explain how to see the current depth of each skill in ourselves, help us learn more about it, give clear guidance for how to develop it, and inspire us to live it every day. Through this five-step, interpersonal fitness plan, readers can learn how to

  • Listen carefully, observe body language, and interpret behaviors
  • Communicate clearly and concisely
  • Speak up about their needs
  • Motivate others to action
  • Encourage others to give helpful feedback
  • Give feedback that is descriptive, helpful, and non-blaming
  • Negotiate differences and work out a creative resolution to disputes
  • Coordinate the efforts of team members and build consensus
  • Change old, ineffective patterns, and more

PeopleSmart empowers each of us to become the kind of person who can establish solid relationships, easily connect with others, and effectively link their needs with what we have to offer. Its creative exercises, examples, and tools provide a fun and dynamic workout to help each of us strengthen our interpersonal intelligence skills and improve all our relationships.

  • Offers user-friendly tips, helpful self-assessment tools, motivational checklists, and practical exercises to help readers build their interpersonal intelligence skills
  • Provides an effective, step-by-step plan to make every relationship-with supervisors, coworkers, teammates, spouses, partners, children, relatives, and friends-more successful and fulfilling
  • Presents eight essential interpersonal intelligence skills and a powerful five-step process for developing each one

Read more and meet author below

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Overview

Utilizing self-assessment tools, checklists, and practical exercises, PeopleSmart provides a plan to make every relationship in your life more successful and fulfilling.

  • Offers user-friendly tips, helpful self-assessment tools, motivational checklists, and practical exercises to help readers build their interpersonal intelligence skills
  • Provides an effective, step-by-step plan to make every relationship-with supervisors, coworkers, teammates, spouses, partners, children, relatives, and friends-more successful and fulfilling
  • Presents eight essential interpersonal intelligence skills and a powerful five-step process for developing each one

WE ARE ALL in the people business because we deal with other people all the time. But do you sometimes reach out to others only to find your efforts misunderstood or rejected? Do you wish your relationships with people close to you were more harmonious and fulfilling? PeopleSmart is a practical guide for anyone who asks these questions, which means most of us at some time or other. It reveals a powerful plan for making your relationships more productive and rewarding-whether they are with a supervisor and coworkers or a spouse, relatives, and friends-by developing your interpersonal intelligence.

In this step-by-step guide, the authors show how to develop the eight key skills and abilities of interpersonal intelligence: understanding people, explaining oneself clearly and honestly, asserting needs, seeking and giving feedback, influencing others, resolving conflict, being a team player, and shifting gears when relationships are stuck. They present a realistic and doable five-step plan for self-improvement. They explain how to see the current depth of each skill in ourselves, help us learn more about it, give clear guidance for how to develop it, and inspire us to live it every day. Through this five-step, interpersonal fitness plan, readers can learn how to

  • Listen carefully, observe body language, and interpret behaviors
  • Communicate clearly and concisely
  • Speak up about their needs
  • Motivate others to action
  • Encourage others to give helpful feedback
  • Give feedback that is descriptive, helpful, and non-blaming
  • Negotiate differences and work out a creative resolution to disputes
  • Coordinate the efforts of team members and build consensus
  • Change old, ineffective patterns, and more

PeopleSmart empowers each of us to become the kind of person who can establish solid relationships, easily connect with others, and effectively link their needs with what we have to offer. Its creative exercises, examples, and tools provide a fun and dynamic workout to help each of us strengthen our interpersonal intelligence skills and improve all our relationships.

  • Offers user-friendly tips, helpful self-assessment tools, motivational checklists, and practical exercises to help readers build their interpersonal intelligence skills
  • Provides an effective, step-by-step plan to make every relationship-with supervisors, coworkers, teammates, spouses, partners, children, relatives, and friends-more successful and fulfilling
  • Presents eight essential interpersonal intelligence skills and a powerful five-step process for developing each one

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Meet the Authors


Visit Author Page - Mel Silberman



Mel Silberman is president of Active Training in Princeton, New Jersey, a company that offers active-training seminars for educational, corporate, government, and human service organizations worldwide. He is known internationally as a pioneer in training and performance improvement. As professor of adult and organizational development at Temple University, he has won two awards for his distinguished teaching. He shares his original and practical ideas through numerous books, including Active Training, The Best of Active Training, 101 Ways to Make Training Active, and The 60-Minute Active Training Series.



Silberman’s training skills, psychological insights, and engaging personality have made him a popular keynote speaker and workshop leader at conferences of ASTD, ISPI, and NASAGA. He served as the editor of The ASTD Training and Performance Sourcebook and The ASTD Team and Organization Development Sourcebook, annual collections of tools for trainers and consultants. He recently edited The Handbook of Experiential Learning (Pfeiffer, 2007).

Contributor to ASTD Handbook for Workplace Learning Professionals - Available as article-length Fast Fundamentals whitepaper (PDF download): Active Learning Strategies.



Visit Author Page - Freda Hansburg

Freda Hansburg, Ph.D. is a psychologist and novelist.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1. What Does It Mean to Be PeopleSmart
Chapter 2. Becoming PeopleSmart
Chapter 3. How PeopleSmart Are You?
Chapter 4. PeopleSmart Skill 1: Understanding People
Chapter 5. PeopleSmart Skill 2: Expressing Yourself Clearly
Chapter 6. People Smart Skill 3: Asserting Your Needs
Chapter 7. People Smart Skill 4: Exchanging Feedback
Chapter 8. People Smart Skill 5: Influencing Others
Chapter 9. People Smart Skill 6: Resolving Conflict
Chapter 10. People Smart Skill 7: Being a Team Player
Chapter 11. People Smart Skill 8: Shifting Gears
Chapter 12. Putting It All Together

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Excerpt

Praise for PeopleSmart

What Does It Mean to Be People Smart?

Check off the “people” activities below that apply to you:

  • supervising employees
  • parenting children (and one’s parents)
  • working on a team
  • being in a committed relationship
  • dealing with your boss
  • participating in religious or community groups
  • helping others understand how to do something
  • coping as a consumer
  • obtaining business
  • interviewing others or being interviewed
  • relating to doctors, nurses, and mental health professionals
  • selling to a customer
  • attending a party
  • networking
  • interacting with coworkers or classmates
  • chatting on the Internet

Chances are you checked several of these items. It used to be said that some of us were in the business of working with people and some of us were in the business of working with facts, figures, and machinery. This distinction was probably never accurate, but its inaccuracy is now beyond dispute: Good people skills are a must for any job, including technical ones. Our lives at home also demand superior people skills as we try to juggle new roles and new living conditions. The people business is no longer the domain of the few. It includes you and everyone you know.

The twenty-first century will feature a rapidly changing and highly interrelated world. You will probably accomplish very little on your own, but with other people you may be able to accomplish a lot. Increasingly, success will depend on being people smart.

Ask the person on the street what it means to be people smart, and you may get an answer such as, “Oh, that’s a person who is really a smooth operator… a person who knows how to get others to join his side.” A second person might answer, “someone who is personable, friendly, fun to be with.” While few people would complain about having those two attributes, they represent a very limited view of what it means to be gifted with people. Being people smart is a multifaceted intelligence, not limited to your political skills or your social graces but including a wide range of interpersonal abilities. Being people smart means that you are good at eight skills:


PeopleSmart Skill 1


Understanding People


How well you understand others has considerable impact on how successful you will be in every arena. People who understand others communicate more effectively, influence what others think and do, and resolve conflicts in a healthy manner. To discover what makes people tick, you must learn to listen actively, empathize, and acknowledge other viewpoints. You need to know how to ask questions that clarify what a person is trying to say. Understanding people means going beyond the words they speak and learning how to interpret the unspoken. You must also know how to read other people’s styles and motives so that you can work with them effectively.


PeopleSmart Skill 2


Expressing Yourself Clearly


Being people smart means knowing how to get your message across. Expressing yourself clearly is important to any relationship, personal or business. When you go on and on to make a point, you don’t get the results you want. You must know how to get to the point when brevity is required, yet provide enough details so that you don’t confuse people. And it’s important to say things so that your words are memorable. You must also sense when the other person can help you be clearer by checking understanding of what you’ve said.


PeopleSmart Skill 3


Asserting Your Needs


In order to be people smart, you’ve got to be your own person. You have to have limits and you have to establish those limits. If you try to be all things to all people, you’ll wind up disappointing them. You also need to be straightforward with your wishes. Hinting at what you need from others only leads to disappointment and frustration. Once that happens, you often become angry at others and lose the calm and confidence you need to be at your best.


PeopleSmart Skill 4


Exchanging Feedback


Being people smart means having the ability to give feedback easily and do it without giving offense. The feedback you provide must be descriptive, concrete, and intended to be helpful. It should also be well timed, nonblaming, and practical. It’s also smart to get in the habit of asking for feedback as well as giving it. If feedback is withheld from you, it’s as though you have blinders on. Without feedback, you’re always left wondering what the other person is thinking about you. To encourage others to respond to your requests for feedback, you must give them time to organize and express their thoughts, and you must listen to what they’re saying with an open mind.


PeopleSmart Skill 5


Influencing Others


The people smart person is able to motivate others to action. To be in a more commanding position to influence others, you must become the kind of person who is able to connect with others, unearth their needs, and link them in an effective way to what you have to offer to them. You must also know how to reduce resistance to change and how to make persuasive appeals.


PeopleSmart Skill 6


Resolving Conflict


The previous five skills become especially valuable when the situation is taking place in a tense arena. When emotions are running high, all the previous skills must come to the fore and some new skills come into play as well. Interpersonally brilliant people are exceptional conflict resolvers. The key to a person’s ability to be a conflict resolver is to know how to get the subject right out on the surface. That’s hard if you’re scared or anxious. The other person may also be scared or anxious, and maybe even explosive. Besides getting the problem on the table, you must figure out what’s bothering you and what’s bothering the other person and be able to suggest creative solutions.


PeopleSmart Skill 7


Being a Team Player


A person’s ability to be interpersonally intelligent is really challenged when it comes to teamwork. All of us are involved in some kind of teamwork, whether at work, with another parent, in a neighborhood group, or in a service organization. Being a part of a team is challenging because you have less personal control over the outcome than you might have in a one-to-one relationship. It’s often frustrating since you have fewer opportunities to get your point across and persuade others. Working in a team takes special skills, such as complementing the styles of the others, coordinating the efforts of team members without bossing them around, and building consensus.


PeopleSmart Skill 8


Shifting Gears


Finally, people who are interpersonally adept are flexible and resilient; they understand that there are different strokes for different folks. One of the ways you can get a stuck relationship to change is to change the way you act in it. People who are successful in improving relationships are people who can get out of ruts and habits, even if they are helpful in some situations, and do things that are new and different. That’s risky, so it’s important to know how to avoid sticking your neck out too far.

These eight ways to be people smart give you the tools you’ll need to establish and maintain strong relationships with everyone with whom you come into contact—from the perfect stranger to your most intimate partner. You will discover that these eight aspects of interpersonal intelligence fit together almost like a child’s building blocks, each one offering a firm foundation for the next. Developing skill in one area also brings benefits in other areas. You’ll come to think of these integrated abilities as keys for repairing and developing relationships that haven’t always reached the levels you would like.

As you develop these skills, you will discover that many benefits follow:

When you understand someone else, you are appreciated. We like people who take time to understand what we think and feel. Being listened to and understood makes people feel more important and reassured.

When you explain yourself clearly, you are understood. If you can make your point clearly the first time, there may be less confusion to sort out later. This could help things go more smoothly at work, decrease misunderstandings at home, and save you time and energy.

When you assert yourself, you are respected. People respect individuals who are forthright. When you are straightforward, other people will admire your courage and personal strength. Your quiet firmness also goes a long way toward influencing others to honor your needs.

When you exchange feedback, you are enlightened. When you seek feedback, you discover the impact of your behavior on others. When you give feedback to others, you learn whether your views are on target. In the exchange, your relationships with others become fuller and more meaningful.

When you influence others positively, you are valued. Lots of people give advice, but people will welcome your advice only if you do it in a constructive manner. Your counsel will be sought because it is sincere, compelling, and helpful.

When you resolve conflict effectively, you are trusted. If you are soft on people and tough on issues, you don’t bruise egos or make enemies. That inspires others to negotiate fairly.

When you collaborate with teammates, you are prized. People with good team skills are the employees most employers covet. You will be given more responsibility and greater rewards if you are a team player.

When you shift gears, your relationships are renewed. That’s because a change in your behavior is often the catalyst for a change in the other person’s behavior. You create the opportunity for problem relationships to be mended.

In short, you will find that it is smart to become people smart. What will it take to become more people smart? Let’s find out.…

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Endorsements

"As e-commerce 'commoditizes' the world, PeopleSmart is the preeminent intelligence. Seldom do you see scholars become this practical! Theoretically sound. Well researched. Very reader friendly!"

-- Stephen Covey, author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

"PeopleSmart is an outstanding 'how-to' guide on connecting effectively with people. It's essential reading for growing important relationships in our personal and professional lives."

-- Ken Blanchard, coauthor of The One Minute Manager, Raving Fans, Empowerment Takes more than a Minute and Gung Ho!

"People with high intellect but low interpersonal effectiveness are likely to succeed only in limited areas of their lives. Here's an intelligent and clearly written book that will raise your people quotient. Read it...please!"

-- Arnold A. Lazarus, ABPP Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Psychology, Rutgers University

"Mel Silberman is the Leonardo da Vinci of experiential learning-a scholar, inventor, engineer, and artist-and PeopleSmart is a masterpiece. Silberman, along with colleague Freda Hansburg, has crafted the most skillfully organized, user-friendly, and personally useful handbook of interpersonal lessons and individual development activities currently available in the marketplace."

-- Jim Kouzes, coauthor of The Leadership Challenge and Encouraging the Heart, Chairman Emeritus, tompeters!company

"PeopleSmart is an elegantly simple fieldbook, jampacked with everything you need for great relationships. Make it a must-read for all your relations-associates, friends, spouse-and reap the rewards of harmony, understanding and productivity."

-- Chip R. Bell, coauthor of Dance Lessons: Six Steps to Great Partnerships in Business and Life

"PeopleSmart offers insight and assistance for today's biggest workplace challenges-getting things done through others."

-- Ron Zemke, coauthor of Generations at Work

"PeopleSmart is at once inspirational and practical. If you want to be interpersonally effective, this book will show you the way."

-- Glenn Parker, author of Team Players and Teamwork

"I found PeopleSmart to be concise and easy to understand. I believe it will be quite a useful learning tool for operational managers."

-- Hiromasa Yokoi, Vice Chairman, CEO and President, Berlitz International, Inc.

"PeopleSmart gives us eight critical skills to achieve interpersonal success in all aspects of life. It's easy to read, practical, and very useful."

-- Lenny T. Ralphs, Director of Strategic Management, Franklin Covey

"PeopleSmart should be required reading for all corporate executives ..Mastering even one chapter could transform a career."

-- John H Reynolds, President, BMF Reynolds, Consultants in Executive Recruiting

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