In November, I had the honor of speaking at the UCCSLead Leadership Conference held at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. This annual conference brings together current and aspiring leaders to discuss new opportunities and innovations in leadership. The theme of the conference was “Emerging Trends in Leadership”.
In my presentation, I spoke about the increasing importance of relational leadership skills as AI and automation reshape our workplaces.
While AI tools can provide quick answers and solutions, they can’t replicate human relationships. I called on the future leaders in the audience to focus on storytelling, empathy and deep listening as ways to connect with (and motivate) the people they lead.
Here are a few of the key themes I covered in my talk:
- The age of AI calls for more human and relational leadership. AI can’t relate to people — that’s a job only humans can do.
- More than ever, empathy is now one of the most important leadership skills. Greater empathy can be created through storytelling and deep listening.
- Relational leadership as a framework builds trust, respect and collaboration through ongoing communication and dialogue.
- Storytelling helps leaders connect and relate to those they lead. I recommended that leaders share stories from their own experiences.
- Leaders should ask questions to encourage two-way communication, not just top-down transmitting.
- Deep, active listening creates understanding, so leaders can more effectively find solutions that work for everyone.
Building connection in the age of AI
I’m grateful I had the chance to speak at this outstanding event, and I look forward to staying involved in the conversations that are preparing leaders for the future.
Need a speaker to address these critical “soft skills” at your next leadership event? Let’s start a conversation.