What soft skills you need in your toolkit to combat the rise in AI

16 May What soft skills you need in your toolkit to combat the rise in AI

We know the importance of soft skills in the workplace, but why is being in tune with your soft side so critical? With jobs under threat due to the rise of robotics and Artificial Intelligence, there is no better time to improve your soft skills to future-proof your career. Here’s what soft skills you need to harness in the age of machines.

While being creative and innovative are crucial for the modern-day workforce, the rise of AI calls for a renewed focus on soft skills.

According to The World Economic Forum’s 2016 Future of Jobs study, up to 5 million jobs could be disrupted or lost all together within the next few years due to AI, robotics and broader labour market changes.

The rise of this technology is certainly not disappearing. While it is set to fundamentally shake up the workplace, everyone can proactively nurture important skills to combat AI.

Human skills, also known as emotional intelligence or soft skills, are highly valued by employers and are difficult for robots to genuinely replace. So, what are some of the important soft skills you should be developing to help differentiate yourself from a machine?

  • Verbal and non-verbal communication: The ability to communicate effectively is a skill to continuously nurture. Knowing how to communicate with your manager, colleagues and respond to customer needs is a key interpersonal skill that will set you apart from the machines. Good communication should be continually developed as your career progresses.
  • Flexibility: In a fast-moving business world that lacks certainty, employees need to be flexible and adaptable. Being comfortable with change is critical to effectively navigate potentially unforeseen circumstances. Developing flexibility also helps you adapt to emerging technologies to help you keep up with the modern workplace.
  • Empathy: Empathy is an essential soft skill that helps us work with our colleagues. This is a skill that is very unlikely to be replaced by machines and is proven to assist in negotiation and teamwork. Putting aside your point of view to consider the perspectives of your co-workers requires active listening and paying attention to the needs of others.

Robots won’t be able to replace the human components of work duties. By continually developing your soft skills, you will remain one step ahead of the machines and robots in our future workplace.


[1] http://www3.weforum.org/docs/WEF_Future_of_Jobs.pdf