TED Conversations

Gisela McKay

President and Co-Founder, pixcode

TEDCRED 30+

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How do smart people "find their level" in conversation?

I am interested in identifying how smart people (gifted/exceptional or whatever word we’re using this week) people recognize each other.

I have observed that they can identify each other relatively quickly, and even broadly determine where they sit relative to each other while average or “less smart” people can usually identify that they are dealing with “smart” people but not necessarily the extent to which they are smart.

Some things I have observed that are “tells” of being “quicker”:

1. A willingness to leave the conversational basics behind and explore deeper into the subject (and if the person they are conversing with does not follow, drop back to the level the other can cope with).
2. Anchoring - taking the current topic of conversation and looking for a frame of reference they are already familiar with to understand it better.
3. Quips and parallel commentary - fleeting comments that are not meant to derail the main thrust of the conversation.

Any other keys you have observed in your experience?

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  • Aug 9 2011: Most of the knowledges we humanbeing obtain are from watching and listening while most of the informations we send are from talking and body movement. Because of such features we have, it is easy to understand how smart people recognize each other. First, they must have known how smart is enough for their level. Then, they watch and listen to others' body movement and speach and get to recognize each other.

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