Is AI capable of developing real insights?

Have you experimented with ChatGPT yet? If not, you may want to consider how AI could augment (or even diminish) your future professional identity.


Illustration: generating content

To see what ChatGPT was capable of, I made this request: “Write me a 1000 word article with tips on how to develop your professional insights”.  This is what I got back.  I’ve changed nothing—not even spelling or grammar:


Developing your professional insights is an ongoing process that requires continuous learning and development. It involves expanding your knowledge, skills, and expertise in your chosen field or occupation, as well as gaining a deeper understanding of industry trends, best practices, and emerging technologies. Here are some tips to help you develop your professional insights and stay ahead of the curve:

1. Stay informed about industry news and trends

One of the best ways to develop your professional insights is to stay informed about industry news and trends. This can involve subscribing to relevant publications, attending industry conferences and events, and following thought leaders and influencers in your field on social media. By staying up-to-date on the latest developments and trends, you can gain valuable insights into emerging technologies, best practices, and opportunities for innovation.

2. Seek out mentorship and guidance

Another key strategy for developing your professional insights is to seek out mentorship and guidance from experienced professionals in your field. This can involve connecting with mentors through professional associations, networking events, or online communities. By learning from the experiences and perspectives of others, you can gain valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities of your chosen profession, as well as practical strategies for overcoming obstacles and achieving your goals.

3. Participate in professional development programs

Professional development programs can be an excellent way to develop your professional insights and skills. These can include formal training programs, online courses, webinars, and workshops. By investing in your own education and skills development, you can enhance your expertise and stay up-to-date on the latest practices and trends in your field.

4. Collaborate with others in your industry

Collaborating with others in your industry can be a great way to develop your professional insights and stay abreast of the latest trends and best practices. This can involve participating in industry associations, attending networking events, or working on collaborative projects with colleagues in your field. By working with others, you can gain new perspectives, insights, and knowledge, as well as build valuable relationships and connections that can help advance your career.

5. Embrace a growth mindset

Developing your professional insights requires a growth mindset – a belief that your abilities and intelligence can be developed through hard work and dedication. By embracing a growth mindset, you can approach challenges and setbacks as opportunities for learning and growth, rather than as obstacles to be overcome. This can help you develop resilience, perseverance, and a willingness to take risks and try new things, all of which are essential for developing your professional insights and advancing your career.

6.Engage in reflective practice

Reflective practice involves regularly reflecting on your experiences, learning, and growth, and using this information to inform your future actions and decisions. This can involve journaling, self-assessment, or seeking feedback from others. By engaging in reflective practice, you can gain valuable insights into your strengths and weaknesses, as well as identify areas for improvement and development. This can help you develop your professional insights and enhance your performance and effectiveness in your chosen field.

7. Develop a learning plan

Finally, developing your professional insights requires a deliberate and strategic approach to learning and development. This can involve developing a learning plan that identifies your learning goals, strategies, and resources, as well as the metrics you will use to evaluate your progress and success. By developing a learning plan, you can ensure that your learning and development efforts are focused, purposeful, and aligned with your career aspirations and goals.

In conclusion, developing your professional insights is an ongoing process that requires a commitment to continuous learning, growth, and development. By staying informed about industry news and trends, seeking out mentorship and guidance, participating in professional development programs, collaborating with others, embracing a growth mindset, engaging in reflective practice, and developing a learning plan, you can enhance your expertise, advance your career, and achieve your professional.


And there it stopped, for some reason!

What do you think?  Not bad, eh? 



There is no doubt that ChatGPT can turn in a good essay: well written to a standard that many professionals may well struggle to match. (Copywriters and bloggers: watch out!)  I was particularly impressed with the inclusion of the reflective practice and the learning plan (items 6 and 7 above). I’ve certainly read many blogs and posts where the “content stew” was considerably thinner. 

The second thing that strikes me is that AI can be a great help in developing ideas. For anyone who struggles with a blank page, this can be a useful boost. At the same time, if your professional identity depends on bringing people new ideas, AI could be a real threat to your value.  We can envisage many searches in the years ahead starting with “Give me 10 new ideas to…”  Over time, we can imagine that these ideas will not just be the sum of our own experience but also the experience of other people.

In turn, these ideas will bring encouragement and inspiration.  Coaches and mentors: Watch out! In the future, when people hit an energy slump, or feel stuck in a rut; why not turn to AI for inspiration, ideas and fresh thinking? In this respect, AI is much more than a mere search engine. We can use it to augment our capacity to think creatively, an active partner in inspiration and creativity.


We can already foresee that many professionals will need to realign their services.  This is not entirely new; over the past 20 years, we have already seen a significant shift in professional life from providing information to providing intelligence. The next shift will probably be from providing intelligence to providing insight.

If it’s just a matter of regurgitating and tailoring information and/or collective intelligence, AI will eventually win. Even if we’re not there yet (for example, ChatGPT currently doesn’t have up-to-date trends beyond 2021), we can imagine that AI will get there in time. It will also conquer the challenge of tailoring: of knowing enough about your context to give you specific answers that are relevant to you.

But I see three challenges that AI is unlikely to overcome:  talents that many experienced coaches and other professionals use every day.


A: Creative Insight: the ability to reframe a problem rather than just answer a defined question. For example, much of my work is about reframing career challenges rather than regurgitating tips or advice. What insights do you provide, that reframe the challenges faced by your clients?  How can AI do that? 

B: Deep compassionate listening: the ability to be present and acknowledge the pain of a person experiencing overwhelm, boredom, stress, anxiety and a host of other emotional experiences. While a chatbot can simulate the “oh dear” “tell me more…” responses, I cannot believe that we will ever feel truly heard by an algorithm. Even if I did once wish a customer service bot a Happy Christmas!

C: Intuition such as listening for the unspoken. Whether you are a coach, a lawyer or a financial advisor, there is a high probability that some of your best questions were asked based on a hunch. Sure, some coaches may do formulaic cliché-coaching much as some painters may colour using “paint by numbers”. And there is no doubt that AI can replicate that and do it better. But intuition plays a huge role in the lives of most professionals, just as it does for artists. You have a gut feeling that something else is going on, and you direct your questions accordingly. Good luck to any algorithm trying to replicate that!


Summing up

Reflecting on all of this, AI will certainly challenge us to bring new awareness and better/deeper insights. For a professional to be of real value, we need to do more than replicate the ideas and the responses that a chat bot can do. It will not be enough to regurgitate the same old tips and generic advice. It will be essential to bring tailored fresh perspective in every interaction. In a bizarre way, perhaps it’s AI that will help us to be better at being human. 

Further Resources

For more about sharpening insights (written by this human, not a chat bot!) see here

You can download the first chapter of the book “The Self-Worth Safari” here: how to clarify and deepen self-worth, particularly when going through transition. 

Webinars on self-worth and professional identity: here

Book a call with me: here to discuss individual professional identity challenges, to explore in-house programs for your team, or to develop as a Professional Identity Facilitator.


© John Niland, March 2023. For enquiries about John as coach or speaker, on topics of self-worth and professional identity, see or email 


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