Home Artificial Intelligence A Futurist’s Guide To Curing AI Anxiety

A Futurist’s Guide To Curing AI Anxiety

Does anyone else feel like we’re playing a high-stakes game of catch-up when it comes to staying on top of AI in the workplace? A study from the American Psychological Association found that close to two out of five workers reported worrying about AI taking some or all of their job duties. Our job isn’t staying ahead of AI, but instead learning how to leverage the things that it can’t– and likely won’t– be able to replicate.

Job-specific skills are important, but to truly shine in the workplace, power skills are essential (by the way, who still calls them soft skills?). Power skills make us human: curiosity, agility, resilience, nuanced feedback, and creative problem-solving. AI can quickly analyze data, improve processes and perform tasks; but humans take it further by applying the nuance, cultural context, and timing to make it work better.

To alleviate anxiety about AI taking our jobs, our effort should lie in sharpening the skills that make us inherently human. There may be a day when an AI coworker can read social context just as quickly and sift through a catalog of comebacks. But until then, the future belongs to those who can navigate complexity by communicating effectively, leveraging creativity, and staying curious.

A call for communication

AI can process data faster, but can it charm a client with a killer presentation or recognize a tense situation and defuse it with a well-timed joke? Human communication is nuanced, primarily rooted in emotional intelligence and reading subtle changes in body language and facial expressions. Try these key tactics to improve workplace communication:

  • Engage in enlightening conversation. Carving out time to have candid discussions is beneficial to strategize solutions and connect as individuals. Being able to relate to one another personally is important to be open enough to share ideas and feel a stronger sense of culture.
  • Cultivate the art of storytelling. Fostering a culture of storytelling can lay the foundation for powerful communication across departments. From conveying marketing messages to connecting with clients, storytelling is a superpower to emotionally resonate with an audience.

Leveraging our creativity

While AI might be great at crunching numbers and following instructions, it’s got nothing on our boundless imagination. Whether we’re dreaming up a groundbreaking marketing campaign or brainstorming the next big product innovation, our ability to think outside the box is what keeps us one step ahead of the machines. How do we get comfortable with thinking outside of the box? Try these strategies.

  • Value smart risk-taking. We make room for groundbreaking ideas by challenging assumptions and doing things differently but taking risks requires a supportive environment. The goal is to create an atmosphere where everyone feels empowered to speak their mind, fail, and try again.
  • Explore alternative perspectives. Consider inviting team members from other departments into discussions for a new outlook, or ask for examples of someone’s experience about how they dealt with a similar situation at a different organization. We know the value of experience, and to find creative ways to innovate we should explore alternative perspectives.

Staying curious

Our yearning to find a solution and seek something new isn’t to be downplayed in this age of AI anxiety. This is our edge, while AI requires input to create an output. As we navigate the complexities of the digital age, let’s remember that our curiosity and creativity are our greatest assets. Ignite curiosity by trying these methods:

  • Envision the future. As a team, discuss an imagined version of what a year from now looks like. This opens up a dialogue about potential outcomes, alternative scenarios, and what can be done to navigate the days, weeks, and months ahead.
  • Ask Killer Questions. Ask a provocative, open-ended question with a positive or negative spin. For example, instead of asking “How are we going to increase sales?” ask “If a million dollars were on the line for the next pitch, what would you say to close the deal?”

Let’s proceed with ease

Here’s the bottom line: AI will automate processes and change the workplace. However, our power skills belong to us. By communicating effectively, finding creative solutions, and staying curious, we can strengthen the parts of us that are hard to replicate. That’s where the magic happens: breakthroughs, a-ha moments, creative collaboration, and finding a strategic goldmine by thinking outside the box. Our path forward to stay relevant in an AI future isn’t linear. Like us, it’s messy and funny, silly and engaging. We are never going to be machines, and isn’t that wonderful?

 

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