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Why being emotional is a good thing as a manager


Instead of assuming that you’ll just never be able to understand the latent needs and insights of your team, think again.

Artificial intelligence (AI) may be able to do many things, but one thing’s clear: You won’t find empathy in any AI tools. It might be able to recognize patterns and make predictions, but AI can’t reflect on subjective emotional responses. It can’t blend humanity into the mix. (This isn’t just my opinion; a peer who’s heading up Google’s DeepMind project agrees that empathy is the last human trait that can be programmed.)

However, to underscore the importance of empathy, let’s talk about one very special robot called WALL-E. During the opening scenes of the eponymously titled Pixar movie, WALL-E is watching a television show. He sees two people holding hands. Instantly, his eyes reveal how much he wants to feel that kind of love.

As audiences, we empathize. We get it. All of a sudden, our right and left brain sides merge. Intuition morphs with logical reasoning, and we move beyond thinking into a realm of feeling, creativity, imagination, and compassion. It’s a place where gut instinct aligns with facts. And it fosters a sense of real connectivity between us and the world at large.

This place is what managers should look to cultivate during working hours. Young professionals are seeking a unique occupational experience that transcends raw productivity rates and moves into purposeful, meaningful individual and group efforts.

This belies the bigger question: How do you get to the point where you can masterfully think past the given data and understand the nuances of human behavior based on intuition rather than just logical reasoning?

Read the entire article on Fast Company to find out the answers.

Photo Credit: Katcha/Adobe Stock/Fast Company

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