How the Arrival of AI-Enabled Coaching is Changing Learning and Development

By Cindy Chen and Kalyna Miletic

January 2nd, 2021

Chiefly - How AI-Enabled coaching is changing learning and development
Artificial intelligence (AI) has ingrained itself into our daily lives. From self-driving cars to streaming music, AI can be found anywhere. In today's digitalized world, it comes as no surprise that AI is being used in the coaching space.

What is AI?

Before we jump into Artificial Intelligence (AI) in coaching, let's talk about what AI is. 

AI is the science of using machines to perform human tasks. 

In other words, we use AI to essentially replace "repetitive" jobs-- tasks that could be automated with robots and machines. This automation frees employees from having to perform tedious tasks that are part of their overall responsibilities, giving them further time to work on more challenging and rewarding projects.  

How AI is being used in the leadership development space

So how exactly is AI being used in leadership coaching?

These are the top three ways companies are using AI to improve the leadership development experience:  

1. Professionals and their coaches are receiving more accurate insights

The AI driven model collects real time data from the user. With the data, the model can provide actionable learning insights for the user and share further information about why certain results may be occurring. For example, low engagement, high productivity or high absenteeism can be flagged by models and brought to the attention of the individual’s manager or Head of Employee Effectiveness.

When L&D leaders receive these insights, they obtain a holistic understanding of their overall learning progress and retention, as well as pinpointing wins and opportunities for improvement.

2. Personalization at scale by automating coaching itself 

Given how fast technology is advancing, many coaching companies are working on replacing the need to meet with a coach altogether. When people have access to apps that allow the user to receive personalized guidance in leadership development or goal setting, it is tempting to try to automate the process to lower professional development costs per employee.

Generally, users of these apps briefly answer a few questions pertaining to their overarching goals. Then, the AI models generates action items in which the users will need to complete in order to achieve said goals. Users are sent nudges and notifications via their app to ensure accountability. As a result, AI models send the user progress reports, customize their metrics based on the organization’s goals, and change the way learning content is delivered.

This is no doubt a controversial use case of AI to replace the human, rather than improve the human’s effectiveness in their role (as coach in this instance). It’s important to note that using technologies like this does potentially risk losing engagement from the users since they know they are in discussion with a bot rather than a human. Often, interacting with a bot lowers accountability and engagement. This is a risky space when considering adoption rates, especially the more senior and experienced the individual using the software.

3. Mitigate human bias

There is no doubt that a coach’s expert support is limited by their experience and coaching framework. No matter how much expertise the coach has, even the most experienced and validated approaches can seem subjective.

That is where AI can mitigate this human bias.

Opinions will always feel slightly objective, but when backed up by data, the impact is increasingly credible. A coach can tell a person that they made improvements on their goal, but with an AI driven system, the coach can show and explain their progress over time in more detail.  

How other leadership coaching platforms are using AI

BetterUp launched their IdentifyAI platform in 2020. This platform is a customized program that utilizes data to identify and assess individual strengths and goals to create personalized learning content for the long term. Their AI algorithm analyzes the user's answers gathered in the setup stage to pair the user to a coach that is best suited for their development needs.

Chiefly launched their platform in 2021 using Feedback AI™ technology to deliver new insights to leaders. Our web app utilizes behavioral science and deep learning to give leaders feedback in real time about how to improve their effectiveness in meetings with their team members or clients. We show leaders and their company's insights about how they’re developing as a leader over time with a progress dashboard. Chiefly's AI model automatically extracts insights that would otherwise be hard to see during any online meeting conducted. Insights include engagement scores, core emotions during the call, and key themes discussed during the meeting. We do this using tone of voice, emotion, facial expression, and keyword analysis with natural language processes (NLP). The data extracted is used to provide actionable analytics for the users. We link their machine learning insights to company and individual Objectives and Key Results in order to demonstrate a clear ROI to the company’s goals.

Rocky AI utilizes an AI chatbot to hold a daily AI guided coaching conversation. The Rocky app uses AI to recommend skills and generate new intentions and goals. With over 10,000 coaching questions, the AI chatbot helps the user reflect on their learning, identify strengths and weaknesses, and facilitate the implementation of soft skills.

LeaderAmp is a digital coaching platform that uses AI chatbots to communicate with the user in a convenient, goal-related, and unbiased way. Through daily journaling, the LeaderAmp’s EmotionMetric AI immediately analyzes and spots the emotion of the coaching client. AutoRasch, LeaderAmp’s automated measurement engine is applied to the AI algorithm to ensure the data is unbiased, accurate, and precise for the coaching client.

LeadX uses behavioural science and AI to improve leadership behaviours, employee engagement, and drive productivity. LeadX’s Coach Amanda is an HR chatbot that gives personalized leadership content from over 200 micro lessons after analyzing your personality. Using their AI system, Coach Amanda can report on progress with the user’s goals.  

Uplevel your leader's effectiveness every day:

Schedule a call with our team and let's discuss how we can help set your leadership development program up for success. 

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