The Role of Emotional Intelligence in the Future
Not All Jobs Will Be Taken Over by Artificial Intelligence
Recently, I have shared with you the findings of my research on the future of work. Various workplace experts report that artificial intelligence will replace many of today’s jobs. And yet, there are many positions and skills that artificial intelligence simply can’t replace.
Today, I want to shed light on why emotional intelligence will be more important than ever in the future, and how you can make it part of your professional toolkit.
That translates to the ability to listen with empathy, understand the needs of co-workers and customers, and manage conflict calmly and effectively. Nearly every job, at every level of an organization, includes the need for such skills.
In his book, Working with Emotional Intelligence, Daniel Goleman lists five key traits that comprise emotional intelligence. Those include: Self-Awareness, Self-Regulation, Motivation, Empathy, and People Skills.
Emotional intelligence is defined as the capacity to recognize,
understand, and manage your own emotions.
It is also the ability to recognize, understand, and
influence the emotions of others.
(Source: Institute for Health and Human Potential)
Emotional Intelligence Still Matters
Nearly every career coaching or business coaching client I work with has reported difficulties with other colleagues who struggle with these traits. Here are some of the common scenarios we have navigated:
• Coping with a manager who takes credit for your work and is able to hide that from her boss
• Addressing a direct report who lacks the skill to complete his job accurately, while also dealing with a human resources manager who avoids such conflict, and
• Managing the insubordinate individual who thinks he should have gotten the promotion you received.
In each of these cases, these individuals lack the self-awareness to understand the impact of their behavior on others, the self-regulation to manage inappropriate impulses or both.
Artificial intelligence and automation are surely changing the landscape of work and disrupting the content of daily work. Nevertheless, I believe there are many situations that simply can’t be handled effectively by machines. This includes jobs requiring skills in leadership, creativity, problem-solving, innovation, empathy, care-taking, and negotiation, to name a few.
So let’s assume not all jobs will be taken over by the machines. What can you do to foster your emotional intelligence? Look to increase your awareness of the emotions you experience at work. Endeavor to manage how you express those emotions more proactively.
Check back for future blog posts as we explore resources and tools to continue building your emotional intelligence.