My brother Frank had a favorite restaurant in Seattle called Pasta Freska, which closed a few years ago when the owner retired. The chefs served up a wide variety of yummy Italian appetizers, main dishes, and desserts, and I’m sad that I’ll never eat there again.

Pasta Freska had two distinct characteristics that made its dining experience quite different from most restaurants:

  1. There were no menus!
  2. Because there were no menus, there were no advertised prices!

When you showed up at Pasta Freska, you didn’t fully know what you were in for. You just had to take a seat at the table, be open to the unknown, and accept the fact that this experience was going to require some investments of time, money, and, to be sure, calories.

The “no menus” dynamic of AI

Sitting at the table with deep openness and curiosity will help each of us gain clarity and confidence, regarding a complex and nuanced problem that’s not quite as important as eating well but is still ubiquitous: more fully understanding AI and how we can thrive through partnering with it.

As each of us confronts (willingly or unwillingly) a specific complex and nuanced problem, a real-time mindset is revealed. Although our mindsets usually exist along a continuum, and aren’t always in the same place on this continuum from one moment to another, in general we are typically leaning toward being either:

  1. Less open to coaching, or
  2. More open to coaching

I wrote this article about being less open to coaching in the face of AI. The rest of this current piece explores what more openness can look like.

When a person’s mindset is more open to coaching in the context of AI, they are more likely to exhibit some degree of mindfulness, which is the practice of giving full attention to what’s happening within and around you, without judging yourself or others.

Mindfulness regarding AI, then, fuels more emotional intelligence, which is an enhanced and practiced ability to perceive, evaluate, express, and control emotions.

Building upon this foundation of higher self-awareness and empathy, an individual grappling with all-things AI is more apt to push themselves to embrace learning agility—the practice of regularly seeking new experiences, applying feedback, and reflecting on lessons learned, to keep growing professionally and personally.

People strong in learning agility are less afraid of change and uncomfortable situations, and often seek them out. They’re willing to eat without first seeing the menu!

This self-awareness, empathy, and learning agility fosters constant growth and positive interactions with others, setting the stage for each of us—rather than worrying about whether we still have value to offer in the age of AI—to more fully and confidently laser-focus on skills we want to continue to build.

Prioritizing skill-building increases our odds of flourishing amid finding meaningful and sustainable work, helping us to have even more to contribute from our place at the table.

Authentic human leadership in the age of AI

Everyone I know is trying to “figure out” AI. When others observe this type of open mindset in an individual, the person is likely to be viewed as demonstrating authentic human leadership. Day over day, such a remarkable person tends to embody:

  • Coaching skills
  • Storytelling
  • Immersive empathy
  • Open dialogue
  • Design thinking approaches

The frequent outcome of authentic human leadership in the age of AI? Teams and individuals begin to find creative, unexpected ways to collaborate with AI and flourish like never before because of their human abilities and not in spite of them.

What can you do today to become a little more AI conversant and less prone to assumptions or unfounded fears?

Let’s connect

I’m an ICF and Hogan certified coach, equipping professionals to develop their authentic human leadership capabilities in the age of AI. My customers are internal HR or L&D professionals seeking coaching for their business clients, as well as business leaders looking to connect directly with a coach for themselves or their team members. Use this link to schedule a call with me to discuss potential coaching services. You can also email me or message me on LinkedIn.