Art: Charter

CEO, Six Seconds

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Even—or perhaps especially—amid the rapid explosion of AI in the workplace, soft skills such as communication and teamwork top the list of in-demand skills, research has found. Freedman is uniquely poised to meet this moment: His organization Six Seconds has taught emotional intelligence skills to leaders at organizations such as Amazon, FedEx, and the United Nations. Through coaching, consulting, and workshops, Freedman demonstrates how emotional intelligence can be key to solving some of the biggest challenges workplaces face today, including improving employee engagement, sustaining high performance, and navigating the shift to hybrid work.

What is your biggest question or curiosity about the future of work?

How will companies foster collaborative cultures in a world where people feel increasingly disconnected and isolated? Loneliness is skyrocketing while trust is crashing. This combines into a workforce where people are distant and doubtful—the opposite of what’s needed for innovation and growth.

What is one problem leaders should be focused on solving in the year ahead?

Work has changed dramatically in the last few years, and is continuing to change rapidly—but managerial competence is lagging further and further behind. It’s time to get hyper-focused on key skills, such as emotional intelligence, that are proven to accelerate managerial effectiveness.

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