Even Late Night Comedy Professes the Importance of Social Intelligence

According to John Oliver, the key to staying competitive in the job market is through Social Intelligence training

Social Intelligence became a hot topic on an episode of “Last Week Tonight” with John Oliver as he discussed automation and the impacts it has on jobs. Regardless of how you feel about John Oliver and his political viewpoints, there’s no denying that automation has been changing our lives – and that it will continue to do so at an expedited pace as technological advancements continue to expand. So how can you ensure your job will not be replaced by a robot? How can you infuse your staff, your peers, and even your kids with a competitive advantage that cannot be duped by automation? (Ahem, did our title give it away?) Yep – you guessed it… the secret sauce to staying relevant and competitive is through Social Intelligence.

In the automation episode, the fervent British host interviews children to discuss their vocational aspirations and imparts some foreboding wisdom that one day their jobs might become obsolete.

Feeling slightly defeated one kid asks “So what CAN I do [when I grow up?]”.

Oliver’s answer: “You can do a series of non-routine tasks, that require Social Intelligence, complex critical thinking, and creative problem solving… That’s what you’re going to do in the future.”

Oliver continues to emphasize the importance of Social Intelligence by having the kids repeat this back to him.


So how can Social Intelligence be a valuable asset for professionals of all ages and trades?

Social Intelligence drives personal and professional success in all areas of people’s lives, but it is especially crucial in workplace performance. Of course, the earlier we start practicing any skill the more time there is for improvement, but as neuroscience continues to find new revelations about the brain, we’ve learned that the brain is much more malleable and adaptive than once believed. We now know that intelligence is not fixed and that our brains are constantly rewiring and forming new connections. (That’s pretty encouraging, eh?)

Individuals and companies that build a Socially Intelligent culture observe their teams being more collaborative, influential, innovative, engaged and productive – at all levels. By holistically addressing the major components of Social Intelligence including our mindset, behavioral style, and emotional intelligence, we can address and mitigate our cognitive biases to improve how we Think, Act and React in social and workplace situations. This is critical at all levels of an organization, which is why many of our trainings incorporate a bottom-up approach that is inclusive of all employees, in all roles of an organization. And as the pace of change continues to hasten, demand for adaptable, critical thinkers and communicators in any role or department is imperative for success.

Maximizing the qualities that make us human

Automation is not just a future problem. Game-changing advancements like self-driving trucks are already here. As technology accelerates, soft skills are in high demand to fuel people and drive business growth.  In successful organizations soft skills are more important than ever.

Automation is not just a recent problem. Jobs have been replaced by automation since the industrial revolution. Throughout history, it is the companies and people who have demonstrated an ability to be agile, innovative, and resilient as changes occur that continue to propel towards success. The companies that support their people and value the qualities that make us human, like empathy, listening, and adapting our interactions to the needs of others… like automation, these qualities are also game-changers, and they are the essence of Social Intelligence.