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Is Emotional Intelligence taking the lead?

Author: Harm Custers – Head of Marketing at Takii Europe B.V.

Disruptive technological developments like artificial intelligence (AI) are both exciting and scary. AI will change markets and workforces, but what about human being? It is good to realize that we will remain relevant. Many leaders start to realize the importance of emotional intelligence (EI). Read below some of my personal experiences and my view on this.

My son recently had to select his secondary school, so we have visited a couple of schools together. He made various analysis to come to the conclusion, but he was still doubting. Until he told me: “I know where I want to go. I cannot tell you why, but this school feels the best”. I was proud as it was his own choice. Which was emotionally based – his gut feeling.

I work in Agribusiness, which traditionally is a “mans’ world”. However, decisions on the purchase of the final product (vegetables or flowers) are mostly made by women. This contradistinction sometimes leads to wrong assumptions. The (male) grower communicates about the (rational) benefits of his product and does not understand why it is not sold. It is because the ladies’ purchase decisions are largely emotional, not logical! Fortunately, more and more women enter our industry, bringing in more sensitivity, creativity and care.

It’s these kinds of skills that will become more relevant when technology is taking over a part of our jobs. Empathy, social understanding and persuasion are becoming differentiators. These human-oriented skills for a long time have been viewed as a second priority. Only recently they have become more valued.

With new technologies like AI the importance of human interactions increases. That is why Emotional Intelligence is more important than ever. It comes down to recognize, understanding and manage emotions. Which should lead to good relationships and achieving joint goals.

What distinguishes leaders is often their level of emotional intelligence. How to connect to all people around them; how to reach them in the heart and how to involve them to act together – as a team.

So the more AI is being used, the more EI is taking the lead on the human side!

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