With the advancement of automation in certain job sectors and offshore outsourcing, you might be left wondering about the impact on your career path. Rapid development in Artificial Intelligence technology further questions this direction. The answer: computers cannot replace soft skills; specifically, emotional intelligence.


What is Emotional Intelligence?

Think of it as the connective bridge between logic and feelings. Having developed emotional intellect helps you to understand people and navigate socially. Also referred to as EQ, it is as much a predictor of success as IQ. In fact, having a high-level EQ may take you farther than high IQ with low EQ. Emotional intelligence is defined by four characteristics.

  1. Self-awareness, or being able to read and understand feelings and behaviours.
  2. Self-management: the ability to regulate your own behaviour.
  3. Social awareness. Knowing yourself helps you to be better at reading others.
  4. Relationship management. Understanding yourself and others helps you to build stronger relationships.

As Artificial Intelligence grows, so does the market need for leaders with well-developed Emotional Intelligence. It is uncoincidental that with this need there is a rise of women in leadership positions, proportionately being natural nurturers and social connectors. #Metoo, global populism, and Sheryl Sandberg’s advice to Lean In are advancing the growth.


How should we use EQ professionally?

Positive reinforcement is the key. If EQ is a connective bridge, then building more connective bridges is the answer. Help your team to develop their own EQ and independence by asking questions to encourage critical thought rather than telling people how something works. They’ll come up with different solutions that add to your collective problem-solving techniques. This, in turn, fosters increased professional self-awareness.

Help to develop self-management through understanding and encourage forward failure. An invested team member making a mistake is quite different than a mistake made through negligent apathy. There is no try. Do, and learn from being hands-on. This step towards mastery breeds intrinsic motivation through the sense of empowerment.

Ultimately, interpersonal communication cannot be learned and replicated.

AI can make data-driven tasks simpler but you are irreplaceable. Everything you do contributes to your future self: your empathic, inner leader. People will continue to want your feedback. Give your colleagues praise and guide them through your unique expertise. This is something AI will never replace.