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Intrapersonal skills describe skills that enable humans to lead different processes within human mind. Intrapersonal skills are talents or abilities that reside within the individual and aid him or her in problem solving.
The term intrapersonal – ‘intra’ meaning inside – separates our inner functions and processes from the physiological functions of the body. The intrapersonal domain includes competencies that occur within the individual’s mind or self, such as self-regulation, self-efficacy, goal setting, and perseverance.
Donald J. Trump and Robert T. Kiyosaki bring out that while interpersonal intelligence is your ability to communicate with others, intrapersonal intelligence is your ability to communicate with yourself. Their approach is relaying in Howard Gardner who was one of the first to mention intrapersonal intelligence – a person with detailed, accurate self-knowledge has such intelligence. Gardner sees intrapersonal intelligence as one of seven different intelligences and describes it as access to one's own feelings and the ability to discriminate among them and draw upon them to guide behavior; knowledge of one's own strengths, weaknesses, desires, and intelligences.
Intrapersonal skills are widened to all processes that take place within our mind and explored in depth by psychiatrist Helena Lass in the scientific paper Developing Intra-Personal Skills as a Proactive Way to Personal Sustainability - The Preventative Side of the Mental Health Equation. In this paper Dr. Lass states that in reality all humans possess an internal realm and experience intrapersonal events on a daily basis such as feeling emotions, learning, thinking, planning, focusing and leading our attention, having an ability to investigate, gaining an insight etc. Intrapersonal skills are described by Dr. Lass as a pathway to mental wellness. Mental wellness in its rightful context would mean a certain ease in directing those internal processes. This becomes possible if we are able to differentiate between specific intra-personal functions and understand their patterns and combinations. Early proactive intervention in the form of structured awareness-based intrapersonal skills education increases quality of life and decreases the chances of stress, burnout, depression, anxiety, etc., all of which have become epidemic in their proportions and have serious consequences on individuals, companies and economies alike.
Intrapersonal are also explained as skills that focus on self-insight by Kate McEntee. Distinct from interpersonal skills, which are the basis of social interactions, these personal skills include the capacity to be empathic with oneself and the internal drive to be curious; a willingness to be challenged and an agility to overcome obstacles; knowing when to take ownership and when to be humble. These mindsets are as much about personal resilience as they are self-awareness.
Intrapersonal functions and why people need to learn intrapersonal skills
Intrapersonal functions and events emerge in parallel with brain neurodynamics and coordinate the functioning of each other through instant feedback loops. A structured approach to intrapersonal functions enables the entities that people describe as the mind, Self, awareness, subconscious, spirit, ego etc. to obtain a clearer meaning and a practical reference. The intrapersonal functions can be classified into three meta-types: emotional functions, mental-cognitive functions and awareness-related functions. Every individual is not only potentially capable, but indeed requested to direct these functions if we aspire to live harmonious lives and build sustainable societies.
Intra-personal wellbeing should not be considered only as a goal in itself, but also as a sign of fluency in basic life-skills. Learning intrapersonal skills refers to an enhanced ability in managing and directing the three types of internal meta-functions, in this regard universal skills, very similar to learning to read. Once a person learns to read, the ability itself turns into a basic skill that enables the development of further skills through reading. In this sense, intrapersonal skills form the foundation of any successful career, yet are lacking in workplaces and the wider business world because of their absence in current educational curricula.
By learning, training and directing intrapersonal skills, a vast amount of inner potential will open up, ultimately advancing our human capacity leading us towards better mental wellness. Only when we have internal wellness, can we solve external problems, be creative and take initiative. It is the intrapersonal intelligence that gives entrepreneurs the advantage in the world of business. Intrapersonal intelligence empowers entrepreneurs to do what most people are afraid of doing, or do not want to do. When you have strong intrapersonal skills, you can control the self-talk that holds you back and undermines your success.
The article School Counselor’s Role in Facilitating the Development of Students’ Soft Skills: Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Attributes to Promote Career Readiness by Allison C. Paolini addresses the instrumental role that soft skills and specific character traits such as a growth mindset play in students’ future work place achievements. By acquiring the interpersonal and intrapersonal skills, including leadership, effective communication, listening, resilience, self-management, self-regulation, work ethic, perseverance, integrity, accountability, time management, stress management, creativity, zest, gratitude, and optimism, students will have distinct advantages in their career journey and ultimate workplace accomplishments. According to employers, soft skills even more so than technical ‘hard’ skills, have been shown to have a profound impact on employee workplace performance. Through fostering and promoting student soft skills, school counselors are in the unique position to recognize student attributes, encourage them to build upon their strengths, identify skills and traits that need to be enhanced, and implement interventions to help students augment these skills, so that they have the opportunity to reach their potential and thrive in a globally competitive society after high school graduation or their post-secondary education.
- Chad Palmer (2018-03-28). "Workplace Mental Wellness and Intrapersonal Skills: A Case for a Proactive Approach". Corporate Wellness Magazine. https://www.corporatewellnessmagazine.com/article/workplace-mental-wellness-intrapersonal-skills-case-proactive-approach. Retrieved 2019-05-17. "Intrapersonal skills are based on knowledge and understanding about what goes on inside of us, intra meaning inside. This enables us to notice our thoughts and feelings before they develop to the point where they cause a cascade of problematic consequences. Intrapersonal skills draw on awareness, the primary tool or instrument we can use to regulate and maintain optimum performance of our internal functions."
- Peter McGuire (2019-04-26). "Business courses – a global perspective: How important is it to gain international understanding from your business degree?". Irish Times. https://www.irishtimes.com/news/education/business-courses-a-global-perspective-1.3857029. Retrieved 2019-05-17. "A good business course should produce graduates with teamwork, leadership, interpersonal, communication and IT skills, says Kidney. 'Intrapersonal skills – how people communicate with and understand themselves – also matter, and these are the attributes we want to see in graduates of business programmes.'"
- National Research Council (US) Committee on the Assessment of 21st Century Skills. 2011. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK84217/.
- Helena Lass (2018-07-23). "Proactive Mental Wellness: key to success in the midst of entrepreneurial endeavors". Cofounder magazine. https://www.cofmag.com/2018/07/proactive-mental-wellness-key-to-success-in-the-midst-of-entrepreneurial-endeavors/. Retrieved 2019-05-17. "When we study our internal domain we find that our minds have three main separate internal functions: awareness and intellect, mental and cognition, feelings and emotions. Learning to lead all three and their sub-processes can be seen as intrapersonal skills. The term intrapersonal, ‘intra’ meaning inside, separates our inner functions and processes from the physiological functions of the body."
- Bill Howatt (2018-08-29). "How to sate millennial leaders' desire to learn and grow". Globe and Mail. https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/careers/leadership/article-how-to-sate-millennial-leaders-desire-to-learn-and-grow/. Retrieved 2019-05-17. "Four universal domains that affect leadership effectiveness are intrapersonal skills, interpersonal skills, management skills and leadership skills. Before we can lead others effectively, we need to be able to lead ourselves with strong intrapersonal skills such as stress tolerance."
- Lass, Helena (17 May 2018). "Intrapersonal skills as a proactive way to personal sustainability". https://www.hrmagazine.co.uk/article-details/intrapersonal-skills-as-a-proactive-way-to-personal-sustainability.
- Noonan, Patricia M.; Gaumer Erickson, Amy S. (2018). The Skills That Matter. Teaching Interpersonal and Intrapersonal Competencies in Any Classroom. Corwin. pp. 18. ISBN 9781506376332. https://uk.sagepub.com/en-gb/eur/the-skills-that-matter/book255639.
- Trump, Donald J.; Kiyosaki, Robert T. (2012). Midas Touch. Why Some Entrepreneurs Get Rich– and Why Most Don’t. Plata Publishing, LLC. pp. 41. ISBN 978-1-61268-096-5.
- Gardner, Howard; Hatch, Thomas (November 1989). "Multiple Intelligences Go to School: Educational Implications of the Theory of Multiple Intelligences". Educational Researcher Vol. 18, No. 8: 4-10. https://www.sfu.ca/~jcnesbit/EDUC220/ThinkPaper/Gardner1989.pdf. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
- Lass, Helena (2018). "Developing Intra-Personal Skills as a Proactive Way to Personal Sustainability - The Preventative Side of the Mental Health Equation". In Parodi, Oliver. Personal Sustainability Exploring the Far Side of Sustainable Development. New York: Routledge. pp. 95-115. ISBN 978-1-138-06508-6. https://www.routledge.com/Personal-Sustainability-Exploring-the-Far-Side-of-Sustainable-Development/Parodi-Tamm/p/book/9781138065086. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
- Lass, Helena (2018). "Developing Intra-Personal Skills as a Proactive Way to Personal Sustainability - The Preventative Side of the Mental Health Equation". In Parodi, Oliver. Personal Sustainability Exploring the Far Side of Sustainable Development. New York: Routledge. pp. 95. ISBN 978-1-138-06508-6.
- Lass, Helena (August 2018). "A proactive way to personal sustainability". http://hrprofessionalnow.ca/health-and-safety/618-intra-personal-skills.
- McEntee, Kate; Grocott, Lisa. "Transforming Mindsets: Intrapersonal Skills and the Becoming of a Designer". https://acuads.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/McEntee-K-L-Grocott-Transforming-Mindsets.pdf.
- Lass, Helena (2018). "Developing Intra-Personal Skills as a Proactive Way to Personal Sustainability - The Preventative Side of the Mental Health Equation". In Parodi, Oliver. Personal Sustainability Exploring the Far Side of Sustainable Development. Routledge. pp. 96-97. ISBN 978-1-138-06508-6.
- Lass, Helena (2018). "Developing Intra-Personal Skills as a Proactive Way to Personal Sustainability - The Preventative Side of the Mental Health Equation". In Parodi, Oliver. Personal Sustainability Exploring the Far Side of Sustainable Development. Routledge. pp. 98. ISBN 978-1-138-06508-6.
- Lass, Helena (23 July 2018). "Proactive Mental Wellness - Key to success in the midst of entrepreneurial endeavors". http://www.cofmag.com/2018/07/proactive-mental-wellness-key-to-success-in-the-midst-of-entrepreneurial-endeavors/.
- Trump, Donald J.; Kiyosaki, Robert T. (2012). Midas Touch. Why Some Entrepreneurs Get Rich– and Why Most Don’t.. Plata Publishing, LLC. pp. 43. ISBN 978-1-61268-096-5.
- Allison C., Paolini. "School Counselor’s Role in Facilitating the Development of Students’ Soft Skills: Intrapersonal and Interpersonal Attributes to Promote Career Readiness". Global Journal of HUMAN-SOCIAL SCIENCE: G Linguistics & Education Vol. 15 Issue 10. https://globaljournals.org/GJHSS_Volume15/1-School-Counselors-Role.pdf.