EI, not AI, is The Greatest Threat To Christian Radio in 2024
1 in 5 Americans have a mental illness in the United States.
The suicide rate for young people ages 10 to 24, which was statically stable from 2000-2007, rose nearly 60 percent between 2008 and 2018. That was pre-pandemic.
And half of adults aged 18-24 reported symptoms of anxiety and depression in 2023.
People are craving hope and connection more than ever before.
Christian radio was created for such a time as this …
When the first iPhone was released in 2007, Steve Jobs called it a “revolutionary product that changes everything.” Was that change for the better? Only time will tell. It’s up to us humans to use iPhones, AI, and all emerging technology to share hope and create connection.
AI is an incredible tool for generating copy, ideas, and complex math equations.
Christian radio is an incredible tool for generating hope, encouragement, and offering nourishment of the soul.
AI can’t love people. It can’t pray with someone. Or raise money and awareness to help widows and orphans in our communities.
Christian radio can.
AI, algorithms, and automation make creating professional-sounding audio and video content fast and easy. Fast and easy, however, does not equate to making a meaningful impact. That requires doing the hard work of staying in integrity. As researcher Brene Brown puts it, “Integrity is choosing courage over comfort; choosing what is right over what is fun, fast, or easy; and choosing to practice our values rather than simply professing them.”
To be in integrity, we must practice our values. That can’t be outsourced to AI or anyone else.
The unique calling of the people who work in Christian radio stations is to do what AI and the algorithms of Spotify, Apple Music, and YouTube can’t and that is to be spiritually healthy and have high emotional intelligence (EI) so that we can be in integrity when we proclaim the Good News!
Psychologist Daniel Goleman identified the four components of emotional intelligence:
3. Social awareness
4. Relational Management
At the core of EI is self-awareness, a person understands their strengths and weaknesses and recognizes how their emotions affect themselves and others. If you are like 95% of people, you probably think you have a good sense of yourself. However, according to research by organizational psychologist Tasha Eurich, only 10-15% of us actually do.
The key to improving self-awareness is a commitment to increase it. One way for a leadership team to gain self-awareness is by utilizing a 360 Review or other assessment tool.
Janet Cherry, former Chief Operating Officer at K-LOVE and Air1, and now principal at JC Leadership Group, said: “One thing I know for sure is that high-functioning leaders have high emotional intelligence. Just like other leadership skills, emotional intelligence isn’t fixed, it can be learned. With the right tools, coaching, and a little work, emotional intelligence can be developed over time. One of the best tools I’ve used is TTI’s EQ Assessment. It provides a road map for further development and is a must in every leader’s toolbox.”
Another tool for entire teams, facilitated by Vidare Creative, is The PRINT® Survey. The WHY of YOU® report that is generated after the PRINT® Survey is completed, explains what drives, fulfills, and triggers each person, and reveals with great accuracy why people sometimes act in their Best Self, making positive and productive choices and decisions while other times they may make less constructive choices, allowing their Shadow side to break through.
Once you are aware of your underlying motivations, and what triggers you or other members of your team to be emotionally unhealthy, you can develop self-management strategies to stay in your Best Self and remain socially aware of how to help others do the same.
In the past, these people skills were called “soft skills”. They are not. This is the hard stuff. As it turns out, this isn’t new. That’s why Jesus didn’t suggest but commanded his followers to “Love each other as I have loved you”. That’s a high bar and one we called to in Christian radio. It starts inside our teams.
Commit to creating an emotionally intelligent culture in 2024 and I believe, you’ll see your impact on and off-air grow exponentially and not lose audience to AI, streams, or stations on autopilot.
Paul Goldsmith is the Chief Business Officer at Vidare Creative, a PRINT 8-3, and a certified PRINT® coach and facilitator. You can reach out to him at Paul@VidareCreative.com