The (Human) Future Of Work

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As I think about the future of work, automation and artificial intelligence come to mind.  I think of a future where machines play an increasingly important role.  It is a future where the human context seems to focus on jobs.  What jobs are being displaced?  Will there be enough work for everyone?

These are major concerns and it was refreshing reading Deloitte’s recent article ‘What is the future of work?’  Here are a couple of quotes that caught my eye:

“Our understanding of work is shifting from task completion to problem solving and managing human relationships.”


“The jobs of the future are expected to be more machine-powered and data-driven than in the past, but they will also likely require human skills in areas such as problem-solving, communication, listening, interpretation, and design.”

The future of human interaction

Deloitte describes a machine oriented future.  It is also one where human interaction is more important than ever.  This is a refreshing perspective.  I see these trends every day in my work.  Technical skills are important.  The skills of human interactions are equally or more so important, especially as you become more senior.  As the saying goes, ‘we get hired for our technical skills and fired for our people skills.’

Human interaction skills most often hold us back from achieving our goals

The skills of human interaction are the ones I see most often holding my clients back from advancing their careers and creating more value.  Here are some examples:

  • Saying no to requests while maintaining positive relationships.
  • Embracing conflict in a team as a means for innovation and excellence.
  • Holding a peer accountable to deliver on their promise

As you look to the future, what human interactive skills do you need to hone?  Which ones are holding you back?  Which ones are you great at?  These are the questions we should be asking ourselves instead of worrying what the future holds.