How can you spot intelligence in people?

Are you looking to spot intelligent person characteristics? If so, pay attention and this article will help you out.

Stupid people tend to overestimate their competence, while smart people tend to sell themselves short. As Shakespeare put it in “As You Like It“: “The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.”

That conventional wisdom is backed up by a Cornell University study conducted by David Dunning and Justin Kruger. The phenomenon is now known as the Dunning-Kruger effect.

So, if you’re not too sure about your own intellect, it actually might be an indication that you’re pretty intelligent — thoughtful enough to realize your limitations, at least.

Intelligence has been a prized human trait for a long time. When we think of smart people, we know that they typically earn more money, attend school for longer, and have an easier time managing all of the troubles we face in life. They seem to have more common sense and see things that will happen over the long term. Maybe they’re even better at games like poker.

When you spend time with a highly intelligent person, it’s obvious that they are smart. They don’t need to tell you that they’re smart, show you a proof of their achievements, or be arrogant. You just know. Their brilliance and common sense show themselves during routine conversations. They just seem more knowledgeable about everything than others.

There are common characteristics of highly intelligent people. If you’re spending time trying to hire the right person for an available job position and want to make sure to hire someone brilliant or simply want to surround yourself with smart people, you should look for these characteristics in the people you meet. If someone has a lot of these characteristics, they’re probably highly intelligent.

This has been a ‘hobby’ of mine for several decades now. Let me share the many common signs of intelligence I have observed.

Talk only to share information

Brutally honest with what they don’t know

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Consider different perspectives

Truly intelligent people have the ability to inhabit a different perspective, especially a perspective they disagree with. Abraham Lincoln would sometimes argue with a friend from one perspective, and then they would switch and argue from the opposite perspective.

Nothing to prove

Have patience

Know how to explain their craft

Good listeners

Continuous learners

Seeking new perspectives

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Are consistently curious

Mike Schoultz writes about improving the performance of business. Bookmark his blog for stories and articles.