Do you love communicating with bots?
There’s a saying that the future is here. Well, it’s not—not even close. We don’t have a crystal ball, and the future will have stuff that hasn’t even been invented yet. So, how do we prepare our kids for their future careers when we don’t know what jobs will look like, what skills they will need, or what sort of challenges they’ll face that we haven’t even considered?
Here’s what’s happening: We’re so enamored with technology that we forget: People do business with people, not with bots. That means we must be able to have conversations with people. And therein lies the problem for future workers.
You’ve probably heard me say that you can’t automate relationships and that technology only takes us so far. That’s just as true for children as it is for salespeople.
As kids prepare to head back to school, they’ll brush up on their reading, writing, and arithmetic. But what about their conversation skills?
Young people today are learning to communicate with truncated text messages. You might argue that they’ll mostly be interacting with people from the same generation, and text messages will be fine. (I sure hope that’s not the future.)
Perhaps we shouldn’t ask our kids what they want to be when they grow up. Instead, we should be asking what they’re going to do to change the world, and then helping them learn the “people skills” they’ll need to do it.
Greg Satell sums it up brilliantly in his article, “These Are the Skills That Your Kids Will Need for the Future (Hint: It’s Not Coding).” He argues that kids must learn to think differently, to solve problems, recognize patterns, put pieces of a puzzle together, solve conflicts, and demonstrate empathy. Communication and collaboration are non-negotiable.
Here’s how he puts it:
An education is supposed to prepare you for the future. Traditionally, that meant learning certain facts and skills, like when Columbus discovered America or how to do multiplication and long division. Today, curriculums have shifted to focus on a more global and digital world, like cultural history, basic computer skills, and writing code.
Yet the challenges that our kids will face will be much different from those we faced growing up and many of the things a typical student learns in school today will no longer be relevant by the time he or she graduates college. In fact, a study at the University of Oxford found that 47 percent of today’s jobs will be eliminated over the next 20 years.
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