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December 18, 2023

How business professionals can get started on ChatGPT

Over the past year, I've immersed myself in ChatGPT, experimenting with its capabilities, sharing insights with clients, and presenting its potential to diverse groups. Many of them share they are aware of ChatGPT but not familiar with it or comfortable using it.

Cary Weston, Sutherland Weston

Because of this, I’ve found using those experiences to develop foundational truths and guiding principles helpful. These have helped many initially tentative about ChatGPT become more comfortable with using it.

I share some of these principles below in hopes that might help you to become more comfortable finding value using Chat GPT in your daily work as well.

Demystifying ChatGPT

Because ChatGPT is a form of AI or artificial intelligence, it can feel intimidating. To counter this, I prefer to shift the meaning of AI to an amazing instrument. This simple rephrasing can help transform something that feels distant and complex into a practical, approachable tool — a helpful assistant that, with your input, can work wonders and enhance your daily work.

The essential human element

While ChatGPT is a powerful tool, it's important to remember that it's just that — a tool. The true value of ChatGPT comes from how people use it. It enhances and extends our capabilities, but it doesn't replace the need for human insight, creativity, and decision-making. Think of ChatGPT as a co-pilot: it can take on a significant amount of work, provide suggestions, and even automate some tasks, but at the end of the day, the direction and final decisions rest with a human — you. 

This partnership between humans and AI makes ChatGPT so powerful in a business context. 

Harnessing ChatGPT in business 

We can break ChatGPT into two big buckets: creating and learning. Thanks to its remarkable ability to understand context, it’s an excellent tool for creating content like articles, reports, and social media posts. 

Simultaneously, it serves as an interactive tool for learning, providing detailed insights on industry trends, analyzing data, and simplifying complex concepts. 

To get started, I recommend using Chat GPT as a learning tool. This helps provide an intuitive way for newcomers to understand how ChatGPT processes inquiries, become familiar with ChatGPT's response patterns and learn its interaction style. 

Many find it easier to begin with simple, relevant questions, preparing you for more advanced applications.

Conversations, not commands

Transitioning from familiar ways of interacting with technology, such as Google, to conversing with ChatGPT can take some getting used to. But the results can be amazing. 

Instead of thinking in terms of issuing commands or simple search phrases, as we do with Google, view your interaction with ChatGPT as a conversation. 

The more context and detail you provide, the more nuanced and accurate its responses, and the more engaging and productive your work with ChatGPT will be. Be yourself with it and talk as you would with another. You’ll be amazed at how it can respond to your needs.

Privacy and discretion 

However, has you’re having those conversations, remember that ChatGPT is a public tool. It's essential to be mindful of the information you share. Avoid providing sensitive data such as financial details, personal or medical information, or confidential business strategies. Think of your interactions with ChatGPT as speaking in a public forum. This precaution protects your privacy and ensures the integrity of the advice you receive.

Curiosity and practice

Embracing curiosity and a willingness to experiment is vital. This evolving technology offers endless learning opportunities; we are all experimenters in this domain. 

The more you practice, the more natural it will feel to integrate ChatGPT into your business operations, enhancing your workflow and assisting with your decision-making. 

Start with small steps, let your questions be guided by curiosity, and steadily build your confidence. ChatGPT is a tool that evolves with you and contains enormous potential to simplify and enrich your business tasks as you become more familiar with it.

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