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Using Prompt Engineering to Better Communicate with People

We should choose our words as wisely with people as we do with generative AI. In this article, the author offers six guidelines to consider when initiating discussions with stakeholders, whether they’re customers, partners, or employees: 1) Structure your prompts the right way. 2) Utilize reflective and thoughtful probing. 3) Convey empathetic language and humility. 4) Harness humor, playfulness, and emotions. 5) Acknowledge key challenges. 6) Be a good (and patient) listener.


It seems like everyone knows, or wants to know, how to produce the best possible prompts for generative AI. Having the right prompts can, in theory, allow managers to gather important information in a matter of seconds. But, among the buzz and promise of masterful prompt engineering, there is an emerging risk that managers will view generative AI as a one-stop-shop for gathering information. In doing so, they may neglect their most valuable information resources: employees, partners, and customers. These stakeholders offer contextual information and tacit knowledge that is beyond the capability of any generative AI tool. As we get better at speaking to robots, we should remember how to most effectively speak to our colleagues and customers, too.

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