One of the hallmarks of interpersonal wisdom is what I call continuously maneuvering within the evolving (therapeutic) relationship. Scholars talk about this capacity as part of emotional or social intelligence. I think some people are born with the ability to do this while others have to learn the capacity. Simply put, this capacity is the ability to discern and know what your client needs in the moment and being courageous and creative enough to provide it. But the trick is in the knowing. And to know is to see.
Change agents that have this capacity are deeply attuned to their clients on a moment by moment basis and they have high intuition. When we speak about intuition we often think about the emotional “felt sense”. I like to think about intuition as a learned means of knowing that has been finely tuned over years of interpersonal practice. Sometimes folks that have this skill are interpersonal extroverts who thrive in person to person energy exchanges. Others may be observers who grew up feeling like outsiders in their relational communities and thus developed a strong capacity to see and know. Others may be from family situations where there was conflict or interpersonal tension and as a result of that experience they learned how to anticipate response patterns in order to protect themselves. There are many ways that people hone this capacity, which may be one of the most important that change agents possess.