6 soft skills IT leaders need in the AI age

6 soft skills IT leaders need in the AI age

AI will cause big change inside your organization - and with change comes fear. Work on these soft skills as you lead teams in the AI era

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4. Consistent, clear, and constant communication

There can be a great deal of fear, uncertainty, and doubt about the short- and long-term impacts of machine learning and AI capabilities on the IT function and the business overall. IT leaders need to “be able to communicate over and over again, in both rational and inspirational terms, a clear and compelling vision for [their] team and for the company,” Myers says. “People need to understand and want to follow where you are leading – sometimes on faith.”

It will be particularly important to connect the vision and strategy to team and individual roles to foster engagement.

[ Do you make thoughtful decisions? Read also: 4 styles of decision-making: A leader's guide. ]

5. Active listening

Active listening is one of the most valuable skills any leader can have,” says Don Rheem, author of Thrive By Design: The Neuroscience that Drives High-Performance Cultures and CEO of E3 Solutions, a provider of employee workplace metrics and manager training. It’s particularly important at a time when individuals in the organization have concerns about AI-induced change. For more on this skill, read How to be a better listener: 5 steps.

6. Poise

“Increase your composure,” advises Myers. “Make sure you are able to lower the temperature in the room so that when people are being wound up or unsettled by the change that AI is driving, they are able to keep focused on what matters and not get derailed.” Here are four practical tips for remaining calm in high-pressure situations.

[ Check out our quick-scan primer on 10 key artificial intelligence terms for IT and business leaders: Cheat sheet: AI glossary. ]

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