Interpersonal Intelligence Is Critical for Artificial Intelligence

Interpersonal intelligence unites all aspects of soft skills, emotional intelligence and human differences so that artificial intelligence can serve its purpose with greater competence and conviction.

Jacob Lund/

In a world that is racing toward artificial intelligence, we should ensure that we do not compromise the fundamental characteristics of being human toward human beings in the workplace (and every place). Artificial intelligence needs interpersonal intelligence in order to be truly effective.

Interpersonal intelligence is the ability to humanly decode how we work across real, digital and virtual platforms. Its purpose is to enhance the awareness and impact of the touch and pain points of human interaction in the workplace, ensuring the dignity of the human spirit is maintained.

Interpersonal intelligence unites all aspects of soft skills, emotional intelligence and human differences so that artificial intelligence can serve its purpose with greater competence and conviction. This results in improved workplace culture, longer employee retention, greater performance and a boost to the bottom line.

Who Is Interpersonal Intelligence For?

Every organization and department that involves a human touchpoint should study interpersonal intelligence. Research has shown that emotional intelligence is responsible for 58% of professional success; that 90% of top performers score high in emotional intelligence; and that people with high emotional intelligence earn, on average, nearly $30,000 more per year.

Why Is Interpersonal Intelligence Necessary?

• It's a moral and ethical requirement. Every human being should master the art of being human to others, in and out of the workplace.

• There is a greater need to intelligently apply interpersonal skills to interact effectively across virtual and in-person workplaces.

• Interpersonal intelligence is critical for machine learning.

What's the Goal?

Futurist leaders and teams need to master interpersonal intelligence because new interest groups will undoubtedly form in the future and interpersonal intelligence prepares them with core skills that can be applied to all aspects of human differences.

Here are six questions leaders with high interpersonal intelligence ask themselves:

• How does my team welcome a new and 'ordinary' member?

• How does my team welcome a new and 'unique' member?

• What does 'justice' look like in the event of team conflict?

• If I were to introduce interpersonal intelligence to my team, how would they respond?

• Are my team and I able to respond to cases of bias, mental health, etc., effectively?

• I might know what my team is doing, but do I really know what they're thinking?

10 Ways to Master Interpersonal Intelligence in Today's Workplace

1. Real, digital, virtual: Be aware of how the hybrid workplace arrangement impacts your messaging and communication across all stakeholders. Each platform has its own strengths and weaknesses.

2. Collaboration: How do you bring your team's ideas, experiences, skills and opinions into alignment in pursuit of a common goal? Is everyone given the same opportunity to contribute?

3. Communication: Understand how employees exchange information, opinions and ideas.

4. DEI: Ensure each employee is involved, understands and is committed to DEI efforts that promote a safe and respectful workplace.

5. Anxiety, burnout, confusion, depression: Be able to identify each of these in your team.

6. Hybrid team building: Understand how to maintain optimum productivity in a distributed workforce with flexible workers. Build a team that is agile and able and willing to delegate. Reassign and cross-perform as required.

7. Social skills: Display essential human skills that create a respectful, comfortable and safe environment.

8. Time management: Manage expectations, responsibilities and communication with compassion, especially when time-sensitive tasks impact multiple time zones.

9. Work ethic: Help employees govern themselves through accountability, a positive attitude and professionalism.

10. Ageism: Ensure the workplace does not tolerate age discrimination.

Interpersonal intelligence recognizes the modern-day matrix way of work and its impact on the human workforce. It respects, appreciates and incorporates initiatives that dignify the human spirit in today's workplace by recognizing the high correlation between work culture and productivity. Both these feed into machine learning, which impacts the way artificial intelligence will work for society.

The Newsweek Expert Forum is an invitation-only network of influential leaders, experts, executives, and entrepreneurs who share their insights with our audience.
What's this?
Content labeled as the Expert Forum is produced and managed by Newsweek Expert Forum, a fee based, invitation only membership community. The opinions expressed in this content do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Newsweek or the Newsweek Expert Forum.