Skills Workers Will Need in the Age of Generative AI – Part 2 Soft Skills

Skills Workers Will Need in the Age of Generative AI – Part 2: Soft Skills

Damian Hehire-learning

Skills Workers Will Need in the Age of Generative AI – Part 2: Soft Skills

Soft skills are going to become increasingly important in a world where generative AI is more prevalent. In this blog, we’ll look at the most important soft skills workers will need, i.e., soft skills that will add value to your organisation in ways that generative AI tools cannot.

This is the second part of a two-part blog series looking at the impact of generative AI on skills in the workplace. Part one focused on digital and technical skills.

As already mentioned, we are focusing on soft skills in this blog, including:

  • Communication skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Leadership skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Creativity skills

Communication Skills

Written, verbal, and presentation skills have always been important, but they are going to become even more important now that generative AI is commonplace. This is because skills like communication skills will become more valued as generative AI and other AI technologies take over tasks that have traditionally been completed by humans.

In terms of specifics, workers will need excellent collaboration skills, while presentation skills will be essential for an increasing number of roles. The ability to “communicate” with generative AI tools will also be important.

Critical Thinking Skills

Generative AI technologies can handle a wide range of tasks, but critical thinking is not one of them.

Employees with good critical thinking skills can help drive transformational change, develop new innovations, and identify opportunities. Critical thinking skills are also important in identifying and mitigating risks.

Critical thinking is important in a world where generative AI can take on tasks previously performed by humans, but it is also important when dealing with generative AI tools themselves. Generative AI technologies often produce incorrect, biased, or incomplete responses. Therefore, critical thinking not only gives employees a valuable skillset, but it also improves the ability of workers to maximise the potential of generative AI technologies.

Emotional Intelligence

Generative AI can perform tasks, but it can’t connect with people emotionally and it doesn’t have any emotional intelligence. For example, generative AI can’t tell that a person is stressed or upset by the tone of their voice or their demeanour. This type of ability is the preserve of humans.

Emotional intelligence skills enhance teamwork, collaboration, conflict resolution, and trust in organisations. Managers with good emotional intelligence are also better leaders.

In a world where some skills will become redundant or significantly diminished because of AI technologies, emotional intelligence will grow in importance.

Leadership Skills

Companies and organisations across all sectors are exploring how to leverage the potential of generative AI and other AI technologies. As a result, these technologies are being integrated into an increasing number of operational processes and workstreams. One thing generative AI can’t do, however, is lead – lead individuals, lead teams, or lead organisations.

Therefore, workers will still need to develop leadership skills in the modern workplace where generative AI is a commonly used tool. In some situations, the capabilities of leaders will become even more important as transformational change in organisations accelerates.

Problem-Solving Skills

Generative AI technologies can help workers solve many problems, but the operative word in this sentence is “help”. It is still people who solve problems, whether through analysis, evaluation, critical thinking, or the ability to prompt generative AI technologies in a way that produces the best results.

Problem-solving capabilities are a crucial requirement for organisations in many industries, so this is a skill that workers will need to continue improving.

Creativity Skills

Creativity is one of the big topics of debate in these early days of the widespread availability of generative AI. After all, generative AI technologies can write poems and stories, and they can create images. In the world of business, generative AI can write social media posts, blogs, and ad copy. Is this creativity?

Arguably not for a number of reasons. Firstly, much of the “creative” content produced by generative AI is bland and soulless. Where the content produced by generative AI is regarded as good, the reality is that this content is the result of intelligent prompts inputted by human users – at least with the current capabilities of generative AI.

So, even where generative AI is producing so-called creative content, it is doing so as an assistant to a human. Furthermore, the areas where generative AI can help with creativity are limited.

The result is that creativity is a skill that will still be in high demand, so it is an important skill for workers to have.

Recapping the Skills That Workers Will Need Now that Generative AI is Here

Over this two-part blog series, we have highlighted some of the most important skills for workers to develop in a world where generative AI (and other AI technologies) is a reality. Here is a recap of the digital, technical, and soft skills we have covered:

  • AI prompting skills
  • Verification skills
  • Digital threat awareness
  • Adaptability
  • Communication skills
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Leadership skills
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Creativity skills

The organisations in the UAE and Saudi Arabia that will be successful in this generative AI era will be those that not only maximise the potential of AI technologies, but that also improve the skills of their workforce. This includes skills to properly and safely use generative AI technologies, as well as the skills that AI technologies can’t replace.