By Alison Vaughn

‘Smart,’ is a word that everyone likes to hear about themselves. It is because it conjures an intelligent person’s image. However, a smart person necessarily does not score high in the tests or answer trivia questions. They are appreciative, humble, imaginative, and compassionate. These smart people believe they can do great things in this vast world.

Firstly, if you happen to be in a room where you are the smartest person, it is a seriously dangerous game. There is more risk and you are prone to quickly dismissing ideas of others and will establish your agenda with confidence. You believe your IQ is high. People believing, they are smart, more intelligent, always struggle to delegate. It is because they do not believe anyone is capable of doing the job as they can do. It means more anxiety, more stress, more tension, less sleep, no exercise, no peace, and so on. Thus, if you are the smartest person in a room, it is not the right room for you.

Secondly, if you are in a room where you are the dumbest, do not get embarrassed, hang on. Stay, you will get to learn a lot. If you feel embarrassed and walk out, you are sure to miss a lot of worth learning things. Intentionally surrounding or being amidst smarter people is a rare opportunity. You should admit and it is the fact that knowing everything is impossible. Use this situation with the smart people to fill your gaps. These high achievers will help you to raise your bar and to bridge the knowledge gap.

Thirdly, very importantly listen more than you speak, it helps. Speaking is about repeating that you know and most people know. God has given 1 mouth and 2 ears, use it properly. Listen more and acquire knowledge. Real listening is a brilliant thing, but most people do not listen. In conversations, people speaking the least benefits. Acquire knowledge by listening and by remaining silent you lose nothing. Speaking thoughtlessly or passing a wrong assumption reduces the chances for anyone to look forward to your speaking.

Interestingly, researches also suggest that a smart person can lead effectively, yet they have less leadership approach. It is because they lead a hypothesized way of being a smart person. Choosing to be with people smarter than you is a way to understand the mission and vision of a business or even to ensure your career security. Accepting you are less smart is not a crime, it is a way of displaying your honesty and confidence.


Alison Vaughn is founder of Detroit-based Jackets for Jobs, Inc., a nonprofit that provides career skills training and clothing to job seekers. Jackets for Jobs, Inc is recognized by ABC’s The View, NBC’s Today Show and NASDAQ  as a worthy organization to support. Vaughn is a sought after public speaker and community advocate. She is a Comcast Newsmaker, Goldman Sachs Scholar and honored as Crain’s Notable women in Non-Profits. She’s also been featured in Entrepreneur & Fortune Magazine.

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