A few days ago, in a blog post, I showed a robotic Nicholas Copernicus, who, if equipped with a sense of activities, could be your boss. Can you imagine having just such a boss – you walk into your manager’s office and there sits Nicholas Copernicus, as if he were alive. He’s talking to you about the previous week’s tasks, you’re planning the development of the project in the following months, until suddenly….
A teammate calls you and tells you that her boss, John Lennon, has passed on for you to do a quote together for a client. Right away, first of all, she’s on your project, and you have the same boss… Secondly, she lives at the other end of Poland and only sees her boss online. You’re just sitting in a room with Nicolaus Copernicus, and she’s chatting via MS Teams with Johnen Lennon, who is also Nicolaus Copernicus… Your head starts spinning about what your artificial manager can do….
Such development of your artificial boss was suggested to me by an acquaintance who heard my prediction that her boss could also one day be a robot. So what would your dream boss be like not only in appearance, but in character?
There is a lot of research in the field of social psychology on how a person’s appearance and character affect the authority he or she possesses, and how much other people are influenced by people with distinctive appearance and character. Each of us interacts with them in some way, sometimes better and sometimes worse. Which character and at the same time adequate appearance would you choose for your robot boss?
The types of bosses you could choose in your artificial manager, I took from: https://www.beyond-associes.com/en/leadership-by-faces
First, the authoritarian artificial manager. Such a boss would be irresistible to your arguments, and his facial expressions would cause you constant fear of expressing opposition. You would be expected to follow only his orders, not to show any initiative. There would be complete discipline, no exceptions to the rule and cold calculation.
Second, the artificial manager the artist. An artist is always willing to experiment and be creative, but the chaos he causes does not suit many people. He does not control his employees too much, works well with others, but requires a lot of independence from his subordinates.
Third, the artificial manager teacher. Like a teacher – he is detail-oriented and control-oriented. He argues logically, makes decisions slowly but prudently, especially when dealing with new topics. He clearly defines the rules of cooperation and builds trust on these rules. Cool and unavailable.
Fourth, the artificial manager poker face. He applies leadership by controlling his emotions. His face is impassive and you can never discern what he is really thinking and feeling. A typical robot! Cold, logical, expressionless. His body language will tell you nothing, only words have meaning.
Fifth, the artificial manager is enthusiastic. He creates a positive attitude towards work, is always optimistic and claims that everything will work out. He is eager to give feedback, although constructive feedback is not the norm, and difficult personnel decisions are not made in a timely manner. He often overlooks difficulties and obstacles and sets unrealistic goals.
Sixth, the artificial manager sows fear. He is explosive and keeps everyone in suspense. You have to spend a lot of time and nerves anticipating the needs of the boss to avoid his outbursts. This creates a tendency to hide bad news. Everyone blames everyone and hides their mistakes.
Seventh, the artificial manager is timid. He makes decisions very slowly, and predictability and stability are always prioritized over change. On the one hand, he sees all options for events, even the worst, and on the other hand, his ability to adapt and react quickly is limited. It bases its actions on trusted advisors – would you like to be such an advisor to a robot manager?
Eighth, the artificial manager that stimulates action. Its basic characteristic is that it challenges proven methods of operation. He is ambitious and sets demanding goals. He takes a long time to make decisions, wants to improve everything and make it perfect. And you work constantly, with no satisfaction, because he still doesn’t get enough.
Ninth, the artificial manager is a visionary. He can look far into the future and develop a compelling presentation of where the company needs to go. He creates a high level of engagement and is inspiring. However, when it comes to day-to-day work – he creates chaos, lacks a plan of action, and no one knows what to do.
Now imagine having 9 different “your boss” buttons every morning – which one do you press on Friday and which one on Monday?
If you think these 9 faces of the robot are a distant future, see a report on some of the most human-like robots in existence today: