Practical Intelligence: Definition and How To Develop It

Practical intelligence is defined as the ability that individuals use to find a more optimal fit between themselves and the demands of the environment through adapting, shaping, or selecting a new environment in the pursuit of personally valued goals (Sternberg, 1985, 1997).

Intelligence is a term that is widely used in a variety of contexts and can mean different things to different people. Practical intelligence is one type of intelligent thought process that has become increasingly important in the modern world. Practical intelligence is the ability to apply knowledge in a variety of settings, whether it be academic, professional, or personal. It is the ability to think critically and to problem solve, utilizing the available resources to make informed decisions. Practical intelligence is a key component of success, as it allows individuals to think and act quickly and efficiently in any given situation.
This blog post will explore the definition of practical intelligence and how it can be applied in different areas of life. We will discuss the various characteristics of practical intelligence and how it can be developed in individuals. We will also look at the benefits of having practical intelligence, as well as the potential risks associated with it. Finally, we will discuss how practical intelligence can be used to create lasting impacts in organizations and

What Instances of Practical Intelligence Have You Encountered?

How to develop practical intelligence

You can start developing practical intelligence both inside and outside of the workplace once you understand what it is. You can take the following actions to increase and develop your practical intelligence:

1. Learn from your experiences

Every day is a new opportunity for learning, and the more you can learn from your own life’s experiences, the more real-world knowledge you can amass. Consider writing down what you were able to learn from the experience the next time you make a mistake. This can assist you in assessing alternative strategies in a similar circumstance and revisiting problems as they emerge. The more you can learn from your mistakes, the less likely it is that you will repeat them.

2. Explore your strengths

Knowing your strengths can help you overcome new challenges and advance your abilities in other areas. Recognizing your strengths can also help you relax. Examining your responses to specific situations and your accomplishments is a helpful way to discover your strengths. Try to keep a journal of your professional achievements, including the satisfying results and compliments from your boss or team.

3. Discover new ways to complete tasks

You can increase your productivity and practical intelligence by trying new approaches to tasks and focusing on what works best for you and what doesn’t. Make a list of everything you want to accomplish each day at the beginning of the day. Make sure to record your tasks as soon as you think of them in writing. Try to concentrate on the tasks you know will take you longer to complete.

Identifying your day’s less productive activities and concentrating on cutting down on their time can also be beneficial. By doing so, you’ll have more time to finish the most crucial tasks. You can also make a daily schedule and keep track of all the ways you achieve your objectives.

4. Acquire new skills

Read fresh books, enroll in a course on a topic that interests you, or watch videos to learn new skills. Try to focus on one skill at a time as you learn new ones. There are several enjoyable and practical skills that might be of interest to you. While drawing can help you express your creativity and conceptualize ideas, coding can be a great way to learn how to analyze a problem in a variety of ways.

Choose a skill that you are most interested in learning, and then make a list of tasks for yourself to complete. You can also reward yourself for meeting certain milestones. For instance, if your goal is to learn Spanish, you can set weekly language objectives and, once you’ve achieved some fluency, reward yourself with gifts.

5. Change how you think

Finding a solution to a variety of problems can occasionally be difficult, which is why it’s crucial to shift your perspective and concentrate on the solutions rather than the problem itself. Next time a problem at work arises, push yourself to come up with potential solutions. Think about what can change rather than what you are powerless to change. Because it focuses on what’s working rather than being overly preoccupied with the nature of the problem, solution-focused thinking can be a great way to develop and enhance your practical intelligence.

What is practical intelligence?

The capacity to pick up new skills or hone existing ones is a sign of practical intelligence. It includes the abilities required to acquire pertinent abilities. It is distinct from academic intelligence, which consists of the mental abilities required to succeed in a classroom. People with high practical intelligence tend to excel at solving real-world, practical problems, while people with high academic intelligence frequently excel at recalling theories and making academic judgments. A person with high practical intelligence can confidently take on new challenges and solve problems quickly.

Employers frequently assess a person’s practical intelligence by asking interview questions about how they might handle various customer types or navigate a more difficult situation. A situational judgment test may be used by an employer to ascertain how a candidate will respond in various circumstances. They might also provide a case study for the applicant to read through and identify important issues. Case studies are in-depth analyses of a real-world situation that can reveal to a potential employer a candidate’s practical intelligence and fundamental reasoning.

Practical intelligence FAQs

Here are some responses to some of the most frequent inquiries about practical intelligence, including why it is so crucial to develop:

Why is practical intelligence important?

Practical intelligence is significant because it can be used to predict success in a variety of circumstances, such as negotiating with new clients at work or quickly adjusting to new responsibilities. A potential employer may be drawn to you if you have a strong sense of practicality. Additionally, it can boost your confidence during the interview process, particularly when responding to behavioral interview questions that may inquire about your prior experiences. You can use your practical intelligence to convince an employer that you are capable of handling a variety of situations.

What are the benefits of developing your practical intelligence?

There are many different kinds of intelligence that can make people more successful in life, but practical intelligence is especially crucial for leadership roles across a range of industries. Gaining practical intelligence can make it simpler to learn from your mistakes and provide you with insightful information about yourself. Other advantages of increasing your practical intelligence include the following:

Whats the difference between analytical intelligence and practical intelligence?

While practical intelligence involves applying reasoning to a real-world situation, analytical intelligence frequently entails applying complex reasoning to more abstract situations. Additionally, psychologists believe that analytical intelligence is much more closely related to intelligence quotient (IQ) tests, which gauge a person’s capacity for conceptual understanding and memory. Since practical intelligence involves how a person directly adapts to a situation and navigates their immediate surroundings rather than how they process information, it is more challenging to measure practical intelligence using an IQ test.

What test is available to measure practical intelligence?

Psychologist Robert J. In order to assess a person’s practical intelligence, Sternberg developed the Sternberg Triarchic Abilities Test (STAT). According to his triarchic theory of intelligence, intelligence can be divided into three categories: analytical intelligence, creative intelligence, and practical intelligence. The STAT assists in identifying a person’s propensity for each of the three types of intelligence. Examining a person’s entrepreneurial skills may also reveal their level of practical intelligence. High levels of practical intelligence may also increase the likelihood of successful entrepreneurship in some individuals.

Does practical intelligence change?

A person’s practical intelligence may change over time, especially as they get older and accumulate more life experience. Unlike other types of intelligence, emotional intelligence is not fixed and frequently changes over the course of a person’s lifetime depending on their environment and willingness to learn new things and acquire new skills. Even though you can’t learn this kind of intelligence in school, it is still possible to grow and develop it as you age and advance in your career.


What are examples of practical intelligence?

Examples of Practical Intelligence
  • You’re Good at Public Relations. …
  • You’re Good at Conflict Resolution. …
  • You’re Good at Keeping Calm in Emergency Situations. …
  • You can Perform Well in a Job Interview. …
  • You are a Skilled Negotiator. …
  • You’re a Good Customer Service Representative. …
  • You’re good at Project Management.

What is practical intelligence and why is it important?

Practical intelligence results from a hands-on, experimental operating style that promotes specialized learning. According to him, people with high practical intelligence prefer to learn by doing and experiencing things rather than by reading or watching. People with strong general intelligence sometimes fail at business.

What is practical intelligence called?

Detailed Solution Practical intelligence is also called concrete intelligence. Key Points. The ability to use the appropriate knowledge at the appropriate time through practical and concrete experiences is referred to as practical intelligence.

What is practical intelligence by Sternberg?

Street smarts is a term that has been used to describe practical intelligence, according to Sternberg. Being practical entails using knowledge gained from experience to apply knowledge to problems you encounter in your daily life.

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