If you follow even basic marketing practices you can clearly see how much businesses rely on technology and artificial intelligence (AI). From automation, to technology replacing cashiers, waitresses, and even bank tellers, technology is leading the way businesses operate. None of us want to return to the stone ages but one must wonder if the need for humanistic skills and the human touch are gone? Do we need both a technological savvy employee who also has a genuine smile, provides personal, exceptional customer service experiences, and is a sound and strategic critical thinker?
Yes. I believe in balance. As leaders we absolutely should always be on the helm of new technology. A company who does not use technological advances can not be a competitor in their field. However, the human touch is still coveted. There is not a software that will comprehend your vision, goals, and client objectives better than a brilliant and dedicated employee or business partner. People solve problems. People build. People serve. Technology just helps people do it better.
The following human skills must still be held by our current team members and prospective candidates. When our team collectively masters the following, reaching desired results are inevitable.
Natural Problem Solving
One of the benefits that professionals with strong critical thinking skills have is that they become natural problem solvers. Their ability to reason, empathize, strategize, and develop clear solutions to problems and challenges at work makes them a great resource. Sure, technology and data is useful for analyzing and accurate analyzation will aid in our decision making and solution providing. But only through the human touch you can expect:
• Objectivity • Teamwork and team building • Memorable lessons
The Ability to Persuade
The art of persuasion is crucial to your sales plan. Traditional selling can be overbearing. As consumers we are constantly told what to buy. Artificial intelligence can tell us what type of demographic shops with us the most and list the best ways of getting in front of them. That type of selling takes time. We rarely buy a product or service we were introduced to just one time. However, through referrals and persuasion the ability to connect with a potential buyer or supporter happens much faster. Selling asks and suggests potential clients to buy whereas persuasion compels them to buy on their own by presenting the facts and the the level of experience offered. This is only accomplished though the skill of connecting. Genuine connecting gives us the ability to meet someone and quickly learn what they need and how we can best serve them. Lastly, painting a colorful picture of their life elevated through your offerings versus a traditional sales pitch will seal the deal faster every time!
Hearing What Was Not Said
When it comes to team building, growing other leaders, and sales, the ability to interpret and read between the lines is a humanistic skill that requires empathy, awareness, and seeing the bigger picture. In business every deal, plan, or opportunity is not simply black or white. If we want our team to work well with others, and smoothly court new business they must be able to read between the lines. Picking up on social cues, body language, etc may seem like a common sense ability but because we are trained to run like machines this is an ability many of us are not using. When we strengthen our ability to learn and meet people’s unspoken expectation we will gain their loyalty, trust, and returning business and or partnership.
Solid critical thinking protects and builds brands and organizations of any size. The human touch, getting personal, allows you and your colleagues to pull from your own experiences and your own abilities to empathize and turn these tangible human emotions into strategic capabilities that develop real time solutions. We as professionals and as a culture, do not spend enough time sharpening our humanistic skills. That’s our fault. We are not machines, technology makes us work better but it can’t personally connect better than we can and therefore; technology cannot outwork us. Our humanistic abilities matter. We need critical thinking. We need problem solving. We need empathy. If you are a leader, influencer, or decision maker don’t let your team neglect their humanistic skills. Skills that are not used become dull. If you want to thrive at work embrace the human touch.!
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