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The ability to lead people is a way of being “people smart.” One of the greatest quality of a leader is someone who understands and cares for others. Good leaders have common characteristics like confidence, reaching out, desire to work with others and willingness to be a team member. This article will explore these qualities and how wil give you tips on how you can build these qualities in your children.


We will be talking about learners who are good with people in terms of communication, relationship building and team-work. Being people smart means that you care about people and enjoy finding ways to help them.

Campaign Person

This might mean that you are understanding and nice to the shy or the less popular child in school. It also means that you are good at resolving arguments between friends or siblings; volunteering for helping people directly or through organizations. For example, you may be a part of a blood bank or a marketing campaign which is raising funds for the tsunami victims in Southeast Asia or the awareness campaign about safe drinking water in your locality.

Reading People

You’ve heard about people reading books but do you know that people can also read other people. When you smile at someone, they are reading your face and guessing that you are happy. When you frown, you send the message that you are sad and upset.

However, reading books can be easier than reading people. For example, take different kinds of smiles. A big grin is the indication of being extremely happy. A tight smile like the one that your mother has on her face when you are late from school means that she is angry with you. People also have a fake smile and a genuine smile. Fake smiles do not have closed eyes and the bottom teeth are visible. Next time someone smiles at you, you can well look at these indicators to know if this smile is honestly from the heart or as a means to avoid you.

Greetings in Islam

Islam has laid great emphasis on being a people’s person. The ProphetSAWSused to go to the mountain before the first revelation came down. However, he was then asked to live amongst people and communicate the message to the people.

Our Prophet SAWS taught us in great detail about the concept of greeting each other with ‘AssalamualaikumWaRamatulullahWaBarakatahu’ – peace and blessings of Allah be upon you. There are ahadith that explain about the etiquette of group greetings. For example, a standing person is supposed to greet the sitting person, the small group greets the bigger group and children are supposed to greet the elders. Also, we’re obliged to reply to a greeting with similar or a better greeting.

Brotherhood in Medina

This was the beginning of people smart learners within the community. Emphasis on teamwork was one of the first things that the MessengerSAWS did after immigrating to Medina. The Prophet SAWS created a system of brotherhood where one of the immigrant was paired as a brother to one of the Ansar, lit helpers i.e the resident of Medina.

Thus started one of the best processes of team building in a new community. One of the Jewish authors and a United Nation humanitarian ambassador mentioned that if people were to take example from the society in Medina, it would resolve all the refugee problems of the world. What an amazing testimony to the best statesman of the world.

Strand of Hair

Amir Muawiyah, the Ummayad caliph was asked how he resolved the conflict amongst himself and the people. The practical solution that he suggested was that he understood that relationship between the ruler and the people was like holding a thin strand of hair. Sometimes, he would hold the strand of a very tightly and at other times, release it to give advantage to the other party. This is the easiest no nonsense guide to negotiation that we can use in everyday life, be it with colleagues in the workplace or with children at home.

Popular Students

One of the most popular trends in learning about people smart is a psychological analysis called “Emotional Intelligence”. Think about the most popular children in the school. They may not be the brightest student but are popular for different reasons such as confidence, charm or compassion.

Thus, the profile or the popularity of a student among students and teachers is because they know how to get along with others not just because they get A’s in every class. That doesn’t mean you can’t be a good leader and be smart in academics! However, it shows that a person who is a people’s person is a good communicator and understands the value of relationship building.

Who is a People Smart person?

  • One who gets along with others including your friends, parents, classmate and team members;
  • Makes many friends;
  • Uses skills to resolve disputes and helps others become better;
  • Organizes and leads people.

How do I become People Smart person?

Here are 5 simple ways to become a people smart person:

  1. Smile: Smiling is sunnah of Prophet Muhammad SAWS. He laid great emphasis on building a society that is gentle, caring and smiling at each other. People are more likely to respond positively to you when you smile.
  2. Listen: Give your friends plenty of time to talk and focus on what they say. Do not be a pseudo-listener. A pseudo – listener only listens to interrupt and put his or her opinion. Practice active listening. It means paying close attention to what someone is saying and letting the person know it by smiling and asking questions.
  3. Be yourself: Do not feel shy or uncomfortable talking about what you like. It’s like being a good host for a talk show. Ask questions and then do lots and lots of listening. Remember, Allah SWT gave us one mouth and two ears, which is significant because we have to listen more and talk less.
  4. Find shared interest: When you meet new people, talk about a topic that appeals to both of you. The great scholars of the past said that we should not bore people with speaking excessively about Islamic knowledge. Rather, we should also also speak about culture and other social things.
  5. Help: There can be no better way of becoming a people smart person except by reaching out to new people and helping them in any way you can. It can be by becoming a part of a charity drive, visiting a flood affected area, going and giving a beautiful piece of advice to young reverts or meeting young people at an orphanage.

Finally, let’s remind ourselves of the amazing verse from Surah Hujurat, where Allah SWTsays that we are created into nations and tribes so that we may know each other (49:13). Go ahead and start knowing your friends and neighborhood.



  • The ability to lead people is a way of being “people smart”.
  • One of the greatest qualities of a leader is someone who understands and cares for others.
  • Islam has taught the etiquette of greetings.
  • A people’s person is one who is a good communicator and understands the value of relationship building.

In the next article, we will learn about the personality which is within ourselves. At times, we refer to them as introverts. However, self learners, know how to motivate themselves and can develop their skills into powerful writing, reflection or analyzing. This learner style is termed as Intra-Personal learners. Please share your views about this article in the comments section below. 🙂



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