Common Traits of Highly Intelligent People

The other day I attended a meeting where I was able to able to meet with several companies that had all been started under one umbrella where they began in think tank full of really intelligent people who all worked on different ideas until their best ideas rose to the top to become actual companies. Seeing the brain power that existed in these companies that were all working under one roof on their separate projects was truly inspiring. There is a special energy that is felt when great minds come together to create and innovate….I LOVE THAT KIND OF ATMOSPHERE!

There are obviously many different types of intelligence, mental, social, spiritual, etc. And each of those could be looked at individually to see what traits might exist across each one. In an article written last year by Shanna Lebowitz for Business Insider she discussed 8 traits that research has shown that highly intelligent people tend to have in common:

They’re highly adaptable

They learn to work around problems and find solutions when complications arise.

They understand how much they don’t know

They aren’t afraid to admit they don’t know something and they aren’t afraid to dig in and learn about things. They understand that being smart isn’t about how much someone knows, its about being capable of learning new things and making the effort to do so.

They have insatiable curiosity

They love to learn the how and why and what about things. They are always looking to learn more.

They’re open-minded

They love hearing new ideas and they don’t see new information as a threat to their existing intelligence, rather they see it as an opportunity to expand their knowledge. That being said they are also careful to really know their facts before making judgment calls on which new information to accept as valid and which to dismiss.

They like their own company

They are comfortable in their own skin and they tend to be comfortable spending time with their own thoughts.

They have high self-control

They are goal oriented. They are willing to work for their reward. They are able to put off what they want today in order to gain something more important later on.

They’re really funny

They have a good sense of humor.

They’re sensitive to other people’s experiences

They care about other people emotions and feelings and have an awareness of other’s needs.

I love those traits that were cited. I’ve come across people who fancy themselves as great intellects but who have none of those traits above. I am glad that research shows that truly intelligent people are open to learn and humble enough to listen and who aren’t afraid to do the work it takes to accomplish great things. It’s no wonder being around a group of truly intelligent people with the qualities listed above is so inspiring! Magic happens anytime you get a group of truly intelligent people together – I LOVE IT!

~Amy Rees Anderson


  • Matt Warnock says:

    Much more interesting and useful traits than other similar lists I’ve seen published, like messy desk, night owl, etc. These are much better predictors of success in my experience. Thanks for sharing!

  • Dave Handley says:

    That sounds like an exciting group to be associated with. I would love to have the opportunity to experience that once again before the curtain falls.

  • gale says:

    good work Amy, good to see you did not include ‘high self-esteem’ which would have been carelessly added by someone with less intelligence – ha ha ha

  • Jane Anderson says:

    I think they love life and love humanity too. Love your list. I can see why working around people like that would create its own energy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.