Remember the time when we were kids and used to watch movies like ‘The Matrix’ and wonder ‘if only machines could be more like humans, they would be our friends! That would be so totally awesome!’

Of course, ‘Transformers’ did make us a little sceptical about all this for a while, but who cares?

Well, machines are finally more like us humans. And, as it turns out, it is not that cool after all.

Trust me, unlike us, they don’t crib, don’t complain, don’t procrastinate and our bosses WILL hire them. (Granted, it’s not Transformers-level bad but still!)

As scary as this can be, there is a way to deal with this and prepare for it.

What Are Feeling Tasks?

According to professors at the University of Maryland and National Taiwan University, listening, interacting, compassion, and emotional intelligence will soon become more important job skills than analysis or “thinking tasks”.

This study, published in California Management Review, suggested that ‘thinking economy’ is quickly changing into a ‘feeling economy’.

This is because of the rise in artificial intelligence and automation handling of complex data drives and calculations.

The study noted, for example, that biochemists’ feeling skills accounted for 25.5% of the importance of the job in 2016 as compared to its 8% importance back in 2006. This is because, with changing times, they were expected to train and teach others as well.


Also Read: With Robots In Hotels & Amazon’s Plans For A Cashierless Supermarket, Are Human Jobs In Service Being Taken Over?


The researchers wrote, “By 2036, most professions will put more importance on “feeling tasks” like building work relationships and coordinating with colleagues, than “thinking tasks” like processing or data evaluation”.

The fields where feeling tasks hold more significance than other fields “are high-touch services and are intensive in social interaction, emotion, and communication”, as per the report.

These fields include social services, sales, personal care and service, managers, food preparation, education, health care, protective services, business and financial operations.

Businesses, for instance, have always needed people who can ‘read the room’ and ‘read people’ so that they can smartly close a deal: tasks that cannot be performed by AI as of now.

But, if you are a shy person and giving presentations in a room full of people is your worst nightmare, then you must be freaking out about these ‘feeling tasks’. There is absolutely nothing to worry about. You can always train yourself.

“It just requires a different education than we are used to”, said Roland Rust, a University of Maryland marketing professor and one of the study’s authors.

How To Prepare For Feeling Tasks?

  • Build a strong vocabulary:

In order to understand how others are feeling, you must first be able to acknowledge how you are feeling. Start by learning how to fluently articulate your feelings and express yourself. Read, read, read!

  • Talk to people:

And by talking to people, I mean, actually ‘talk’ to them: face-to-face and not just Facetime or Facebook. This will help you read people better, analyse their body language, and maintain eye contact.

We’ve got to be more open to connecting, and connecting is the gateway to influence,” said Mark Fenner, a Dallas, Texas-based business strategist helping small and mid-sized health-care and technology companies.

You can have the greatest idea in the world, but if you can’t get other people to act on those ideas, then the worth of those ideas is zero. It’s nothing”, he said.

  • Get a second opinion:

Ask your friends and family to take a look at how well you communicate. Take suggestions on how you can further improve your communications. They can see if you are in touch with your feelings or not. Emotional intelligence is key. This is a trait that employers value a lot and its value will only surge in the future.

These are just the initial steps in preparing for a ‘feeling economy’. But, we have to start with the basics to get this right.

Are you ready for this transformation? Let us know in the comments below!


Image Sources: Google Images, Amazon

Sources: Marketwatch, Forbes +more

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