Artificial intelligence (AI) has slowly been entering the African workforce for a while now. But when OpenAI released ChatGPT in November 2022, people started worrying more about AI replacing jobs.
According to a study by Goldman Sachs, AI will have a significant impact on the job market, with about two-thirds of US jobs being affected to some extent, and a quarter of those jobs could be completely replaced.
If you search online, you’ll find that factory workers, customer service agents, legal assistants, and content marketers, among others, are at risk. However, the Goldman Sachs study cautions us not to jump to conclusions. AI is more likely to work alongside these jobs rather than replace them.
Technology is advancing rapidly, and as a result, the workplace is changing. But technology cannot replace skills like creativity, critical thinking, compassion, leadership, and adaptability. These skills are often referred to as “soft skills,” but they should really be called “human skills.”
Here are the top five human skills, also known as soft skills:
1. Management and Leadership Abilities
Machines won’t sit in front of a computer and discuss conflict resolution or make you feel empowered. Leadership skills involve managing conflicts, empowering employees, and showing empathy.
It requires understanding how to handle intense human emotions and effectively interact with diverse teams and personalities. Good managers and leaders work with their teams, not above them.
They plan, communicate, motivate, and build trust by giving employees autonomy, which boosts productivity.
Being able to go with the flow takes on a new meaning as the workplace evolves. Workers need to be willing to do whatever is required and set aside their egos.
Technology advances faster than most workers can keep up with, so employees must continuously adapt to changes. They need to be flexible and open to learning. Adaptable employees are more valuable, happier, and better equipped to tackle problems.
Employers also need to embrace adaptability by promoting collaboration, welcoming new ideas, and fostering connections.
3. Technological Capability
AI is becoming a part of the workplace, so it’s important to accept it and use the tools available to be productive.
Instead of resisting change, employees should be prepared and willing to learn how to use these tools effectively while still bringing their human touch to their work.
4. Analytical Thinking and Problem-solving
AI can perform data analysis faster and more efficiently than humans. However, only humans can put the pieces together to ensure positive customer experiences.
Analytical thinking and problem-solving involve considering data from various sources and understanding cause and effect, including emotional connections and relationships. Developing these skills allows you to stay ahead of the game.
5. Creative and Innovative Thinking
Creative thinking is the process of coming up with innovative solutions to problems. It involves looking at a situation from different perspectives, empathy, brainstorming, visualization, observation, problem-solving, and organization.
It may also involve experimentation. Studies have shown that diverse global teams increase creativity and innovation because of the different perspectives and backgrounds of team members.
Instead of viewing AI as an enemy, think of it as a driving force for reinvention. What unique skills do you bring to the table? How can you collaborate effectively with AI using your human skills?
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