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Mention AI to most people, and their reaction is likely to include fear for their jobs. Yet, most people don’t realize that AI has been around for a long time, and that most people use it daily. When you conduct an online search and the results are personalized to your preferences – that’s AI. When Amazon recommends products to you – that’s AI. When you use the power of Alexa or Siri – that’s AI.
People who use AI technology now often don’t realize that they are using AI. These technologies are making people’s lives easier and more fulfilled. In the organizational context, one area in which AI is likely to have a positive effect – and which many people may not have considered – is communication.
In this article, we consider how organizations that embrace AI may choose it to enhance their organizational communication.
One way in which AI is helping organizations is by analyzing data and predicting human behaviors based on this data. For example, we train machines to identify what behavior is associated with a range of different online attributes (such as different wording, images, and calls to action) to improve ecommerce sales.
What if we could use AI technology to understand what makes a person or an audience react the way they do when they are addressed by another? If we could teach machines to associate intonation of voice, use of nonverbal language, and even the words we use to measure reactions such as listening, laughing, smiling, etc.?
If we could use AI to measure these reactions, we could shape our organizational communications to be more effective. Each communication you make would become more potent. Your messages would be received more positively, and drive motivation across the organization.
When you communicate as an organization, the aim is to influence behavior, whether this is the behavior of your employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders, etc. As you plan communications, the concern is whether they will transmit the message you wish to transmit, and whether that message will influence the behavior that you wish to influence.
To test such communication, organizations traditionally use strategies that might include focus groups, social media and surveys. Time-consuming and costly.
AI could be used to gather data about audience reactions, and analyze that data and the results used to influence how we communicate. It could be used to determine the words you use, the pace of delivery, and even the body language that leaders use when they deliver addresses to an audience.
We often think about data driving what we say; for example, when a sales manager talks to their team and discusses sales, revenues and targets. AI can help managers make better sense out of such data. But AI can also take data about the effectiveness of communication styles to help managers shape how they communicate.
AI can highlight strengths and weaknesses in individual communication styles, and help leaders personalize their approach, in a similar way to how Amazon personalizes its recommendations.
Another application in which AI could be utilized is to recreate audiences for rehearsal. Combining the findings of AI technology with virtual reality technology, it may be possible to recreate a real audience that ‘acts’ in ways that have been learned from data collected by AI.
AI technology is likely to empower public speaking, enabling leaders and managers to become more conscious of how they communicate as well as what they communicate – and this is likely to improve the way in which organizational communication influences the recipients of that communication.
Contact us today, and discover how we could help your leaders and managers improve their communication practices and strategies.
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