Artifical Intelligence (AI) is transforming our lives already and is set to radically transform the way we work in the future.
There are now 1.8 million people who use Amazon’s Alexa to control the lights in their homes, unlock their car and receive news updates. In the workplace, artificial intelligence is evolving into an intelligent assistant to help organisations streamline processes and increase efficiency. Chatbots are being used to stimulate human conversations and answer customer service queries, answer internal HR questions or personalise learning experiences. In retail, AI is personalising our online shopping experience. Manufacturing is being transformed by robotic production lines.
With the growth of AI happening so rapidly, the debate is moving from which jobs will become obsolete to what skills are needed in the future to work with AI.
Skills for the Future
According to Virgin’s Future Visions series, which examines six experts predictions on the future of work, Artificial Intelligence will “change the type of skills we need, with great importance being placed on stereotypical ‘female’ attributes such as emotional intelligence”.
This is echoed in a Harvard business Review article – The Rise of AI Makes Emotional Intelligence More Important. The article notes that “those that want to stay relevant in their professions will need to focus on skills and capabilities that artificial intelligence has trouble replicating — understanding, motivating, and interacting with human beings. A smart machine might be able to diagnose an illness and even recommend treatment better than a doctor. It takes a person, however, to sit with a patient, understand their life situation (finances, family, quality of life, etc.), and help determine what treatment plan is optimal.”
As AI and computer algorithms take over more and more tasks, organisations will value those leaders that possess emotional intelligence.
Emotional Intelligence (EQ or EI) is a term created by two researchers – Peter Salavoy and John Mayer – and popularized by Dan Goleman in his 1996 book of the same name. We define EI as the ability to: Recognize, understand and manage our own emotions. Recognize, understand and influence the emotions of others.
Technical skills, IQ and EQ are all recognised as the ingredients for good leadership. However, Daniel Goleman highlighted that EI proved to be twice as important as the others at all levels.
Having an EI Edge
Goleman found in his research that 90% of the difference between star performers and average performers in senior leadership positions can be attributed to Emotional Intelligence.
He found that companies worldwide ‘routinely look through the lens of EI in hiring, promoting and developing their employees’. Goleman refers to Johnson and Johnson, who found that employees identified at mid-career as having high leadership potential had better EI competencies than that of their less-promising peers.
EI was considered a key differentiator amongst good leaders in the late 90’s. It’s now an essential skill of the future with the rise of artificial intelligence.
How competent are you?
The good news for all of us is that EI can be learned and developed.
Examine your ability to relate, empathise and understand others. It might be time to consider investing in your EI development if you want to stay relevant in your field and succeed.