Clear Comm Consulting

Your Secret Weapon for 2011 — Inferred Intelligence

Jan 27, 2011

Is there a single person reading this who is an expert on all the things we need to know about these days? Subjects like finance, technology, history, business strategy or health issues? Few if any among us are true experts on all of these — or even a majority of the list — so what do you do?

That’s where Inferred Intelligence comes in, and it’s a terrific tool for you to use.

What is it? Inferred Intelligence means you use your research and communication skills to make it possible for you to speak on key issues without knowing all of the details. (No, this is not the same as the person who just stands up and blows a lot of hot air! That person really doesn’t have a clue and is just making it up. You’ll see the difference in just a moment.)

A person who has Inferred Intelligence is known as someone who can speak with a general sense of important issues — they are not content experts — but they have enough of a handle on key topics that they are considered valued members of the team or essential advisors. (In other words, they often have a seat at the table.)

How do you attain Inferred Intelligence? Often times those who best demonstrate it are people with a healthy amount of curiosity; they continue learning long after their formal schooling ends and they expose themselves to a wide variety of inputs. (This is the person who listens to both NPR and Fox News!) They often read more than one newspaper. They also have a confidence about them. They know they don’t have to understand EVERYTHING about something to be able to talk about it. And they are also quick to admit they have limits to their knowledge, which only causes people to connect with them further because they know the person is being straight with them and not trying to blow that hot air!

The reason I called this Inferred Intelligence is because it’s not about being the smartest person in the room — it’s about being able to communicate the connecting points on a topic so people better understand it. People “infer” that person is pretty bright even though they may not be any smarter than anyone else. Simply put, they use their communication skills and curiosity to do a better job of telling the story behind an idea without getting lost in the details.

Make plans now to increase your Inferred Intelligence during 2011 and watch your value rise among those who are important to you.

Cary Pfeffer is the founder of ClearComm Consulting,, a Phoenix, AZ-based communications consulting firm which is helping people tell their story. He works with clients to make the most of their media and live audience communication. Email him at: [email protected].

Follow along with Cary on Twitter @CaryPfeffer

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