Behavioural Intelligence

September 19, 2021

We have all encountered difficult people and have had to deal with them whether in our day-to-day life or at work. Behavioural intelligence refers to one’s ability to affect their environment through overt behaviour. It is one thing to know the rules and regulations, but it is another to behave in accordance with them and to avoid impacting your environment negatively.

What is Behavioural Intelligence?

It is the application of skills and abilities to accurately explain existing behaviour, predict future behaviour, influence other people’s behaviour, and control one’s own behaviour.

A vast amount of study on behaviour has concluded that change in behaviour occurs when it is interactive and is followed in real-time by corrective feedback. Behaviours that are rewarded will be more likely to occur in the future, and behaviours that are punished will be less likely to occur again. Interestingly, behavioural intelligence does not rely on working memory and attention. In fact, there is strong scientific evidence that “overthinking it” hinders behavioural skills learning.

Applying the below steps allows you to behave in accordance with rules and regulations, avoid harassing behaviour and behave as an effective leader.

How does behavioural intelligence help you?

  • Allows you to learn from experience
  • Assists you in responding flexibly in situations that are new or unanticipated
  • Applies learnt or programmed knowledge to solve problems
  • Uses reasoning in solving problems
  • Helps you understand and infer facts and rules
  • Recognises the relative importance of different elements in a situation 

So, how do you apply behavioural intelligence in your day-to-day work?

Take it easy

  • It is difficult but start doing it. You can only control things that are at your disposal. Take life as it comes. It’s good for your emotional intelligence.

Think before you make promises

  • Do not make promises when you are happy or angry. 

Listen to yourself 

  • You are a better judge to yourself than anyone else. Listen to what you want in life and follow it. It leads to happiness and success.

You are not above or below anyone

  • Avoid bad personality traits. It is important for your emotional intelligence.

Let go of the ego

  • Ego brings no good. The ego will not bridge the gap between people. 

Don’t hesitate to say sorry

  • Be the first when it comes to saying sorry. Strong people don’t hesitate to apologize and give forgiveness. Bring in this good habit.

Virtual reality (VR) could help develop behavioural intelligence

Imagine donning a VR headset and being transported into a large meeting with one or many avatars or people. You can be the interviewer or interviewee, manager, or employee and that the other individuals can be of any gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and can exhibit any personality or level of frustration. As they respond to your behaviours and you to theirs, you receive real-time interactive reward and punishment feedback. VR could be one of the best tools at engage behavioural learning in the brain and lead to meaningful behaviour change.

Find out more about how to deal with difficult people by checking out an excerpt from Ceous Partner Jay Johnson’s talk: Part of the Live at SRSD Series. Check it out here.