Are you School Smart or Street Smart? Which is Best?

Guestpost by Samuel Madu

When it comes to intelligence (the ability to understand)there are various forms to express it and not only in the form of good grades at school or the fastest at TV quizzes. And you have probably heard of being school and/or street smart. So, are you school smart or street smart? What does that even mean?

In order to understand the difference and the concepts behind street and school smart, Samuel, our guest writer today will shed some light on the topic!

How the school smart can become street smart

books library #bookssmart
Photo by Christin Hume on Unsplash

In life, there are two types of intelligence, which are beneficial to the human race and society at large, to be proficient one must have both types of this intelligence or rather choose to understand and go deep into the different layers of each of the intelligence he posses.

Different intelligence comes in handy and more beneficial in certain fields. The scholar will always be useful in schools and educational organizations while the person with a perfect understanding of human nature will always find themselves useful in a business where human interaction is necessary.

This article mainly talks about how a type of smartness usually fails in the field of money and dealing with everyday life and how they can get to know the way of the other type of smartness blessed to understand the ways of money and human interactions.

The two types of intelligence or smartness are as follow

  1. The school smart
  2. The street smart

Looking at these two different types of smartness nobody needs to tell you how different both of them are in their approaches in the real world

The school smart is theoretical and the street smart is practical. One person can have both but this person seems to be rare. These people that acquire both street smart and school smart become the leaders in society and business environment, they rule the world.

Now let’s go deep into the characteristics of these two types of smartness

The school smart just as its name entails is heavily good at the theoretical approach of life. In business, they are good with the data reading, paper works and all sort of things that deals with the life or relationship of the classroom

This school smart with their ability to dive down into theoretical problems tend to avoid the real-life scenario of things and how things normally work.

Most smart and intelligent people are school smart, especially when they got their experience from a book.

business negotiation #streetsmart

Now the street smart is a whole different ball game, this is practical and realistic learning, a learning that comes with no certificate but experience, a learning that comes without grade but respect.

This part of intelligence doesn’t deal with the classroom but with everyday people and human nature. Being street smart is knowing what the street is talking about and where the demand is going and coming from.

This is the reason why you will see dropouts do well with the entrepreneur lifestyle. They know what the ordinary man needs, they know and understand the language of the average man. They understand the illiterates of society more than the man that is school smart or books smart.

Many intelligent people get so stuck in their books that they fail to understand the language and needs of the average man, what he wants, and how he can be persuaded to conform to their needs.

They get stuck in this theoretical approach while demeaning the real-life approach that works in the real world.

The book smart suffers in the everyday approach of life because they get too stuck on the theoretical world that their practical world suffers from it.

One thing these people need to understand is that no matter where you are in the world, half of the world is not educated and won’t see things from your approach. They will rather listen to those that speak their language and a language they could understand. 

This is the reason why you will see the average politician without a head for advanced learning rule a country or state and the most ignorant CEO lead a billion-dollar company. This does not need rocket science and you don’t need rocket science mathematics to understand this.

Emotional Intelligence

Emotional intelligence

One of the qualities of being street smart is having a very sharp and active emotional intelligence. That is where the whole idea is based off on.

As someone who grew up from the street, I understood early in life that you need to understand the emotions of other people to be able to get something from them or force them to do something.

People have problems of their own and are dealing with issues of their own, nobody cares about your problems in the street, and as a matter of fact, people hate being sold to especially when not done right.

This is the reason why you need to understand the position of the other man before you can make any business proposal or offerings to him. 

What state is he in and how can you go about helping him with whatever state he is in? Emotional intelligence is reading the room, knowing what the room lacks, and giving that room what it lacks. This is the secret of all successful business and business founders out there.

Power of persuasion

convincing enthusiasm persuasion

Only when you begin to understand where the next man is coming from when you understand his problems, that is when you can help him and that is when you can put yourself in a better position to persuade him.

Persuasion in a simpler term is getting someone to do things that benefit both parties not just yourself and you can’t have a successful persuasion without emotional intelligence.

If you find yourself being book smart and lacking these two skills or characteristics of the street smart then you might not be cut out for the everyday interaction of business that deals with humans and need the understanding of human nature to survive.

To be a wielder of both powers you need to possess these characteristics of a person with street smart powers and blend them with your books skills too.

About the Author

Samuel Madu Coolcatinvite
Samuel Madu

Madu Samuel is a writer and owner of the blog Which discusses self-development and understanding human nature. He writes a weekly newsletter and teaches a community that focuses on conquering their doubt, fear, and indecisiveness. 
Twitter: @Madusamuel_

I would like to thank Samuel once again for helping us with his clear explanations of the concepts of book smart and street smart! Sometimes (as is the case with me) you just figure out the street smartness on the spot as you get started with your career, it is really experience that builds this. Tell me, do you find yourself to be book or street smart? How are you growing your street smartness?

If like Samuel you wish to collaborate for guest posting or sponsored posts please do not hesitate to reach out by e-mail and of course, for everyone, do follow us on social media as well for more great content, check our FacebookInstagramTwitter, and join our e-mail list. I would love to connect with you!

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