This refers to common sense about people. It is about the ability to be interpersonally appropriate and aware. People smart individuals tend to know what is happening in a group situation and how to deal with others in the most effective way. They ask good questions, listen to what others are saying, and stay engaged in conversations intently.
For people smarts, we are looking for five things:
Awareness: Team members with People Smarts have a high emotional intelligence. They are aware of how their actions, words, body language, tone, and expressions impact others. People Smart team members are also aware of the feelings of others and know how to act, what to say, and how to say it.
Empathy: People Smart team members know what others feel and based on that can accurately anticipate how others will react. They show empathy for members and teammates and “seek first to understand, and then to be understood”.
Sincerity: People Smart team members are attentive and sincere listeners. They like to listen more than they talk. They know how to use body language, eye contact, tone, words, and take genuine interest in the lives of teammates and members outside the gym. People Smart team members make others feel appreciated, understood, and included.
Approachability: People Smart team members are approachable. They carry themselves in a way which makes team members and athletes feel comfortable bringing things up. They do not react emotionally but instead are open to hearing people out.
Group Dynamics: People Smart team members have good judgement and intuition about group dynamics. They understand how to make people feel comfortable, included, and important as a part of a group. People Smart team members have the ability to adjust their behaviour and style to fit the conversation or relationship. People Smart team members consciously try to make everyone feel welcome, and understand that when they take care of the people they are around, those people will take care of each other.
As a self-assessment, ask yourself the following questions:
Are you aware of how your words and actions affect those around you? Do you have regularly have unnecessary conflict with people?
Can you understand where others are coming from and how they may feel in different situations? Do you make assumptions or seek to understand their point of view first?
Do you seek out information on what other people have going on in their lives or do you prefer to talk about yourself?
Would others describe you as being approachable?
Do you feel comfortable adjusting your style for a group and understand the subtleties of group vs. individual dynamics?