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AI-powered tools can elevate personalized coach training and skills development to the next level

New AI technologies are transforming coach skills development, enhancing training, and fostering growth through personalized coach training.


Coaches often face limited opportunities to pinpoint their learning needs to guide skills development and continued training


Emerging technology can support coach development through personalized coach training


Personalization helps coaches gain greater insight into their strengths and areas for continued growth

Wisdom Weavers

Emerging technology allows coaching platforms to offer personalized coach training

The coaching field is entering a golden era of continued training and skills development due to recent tech innovations. Presently, coaching platforms are using technology in inventive ways to support coaches along their professional growth journeys. These platforms can measure coaching impact to reflect a company’s ROI. They can also provide continuing education for coaches seeking to stay current in the field. By analyzing coaching outcomes, platforms are beginning to discern which coaching skills are most successful for a specific need or context.

have access to large data sets that allow them to explore the impact of coaching engagements. This data can be used to validate coaching competencies and explore what skills or tools work best for a specific need or context. Algorithms are now able to analyze coaching conversations with both coach and client consent and identify missed opportunities or areas of improvement, such as time talking and listening, eye contact, and presence. With an eye to the future, this data has the potential to go beyond post-session reflection. As AI advances, algorithms will reveal areas for growth and create customized plans for continued training and development. Rapid data analysis will also help AI provide feedback and support during coaching conversations, thus streamlining coach development and providing personalized coach training.

By providing real-time feedback for coaches on the efficacy of their coaching practices, emerging technologies can streamline personalized coach training, cutting costs and time spent. Wisdom Weaver and Professor of Coaching and Behavioural Change at Henley Business School Jonathan Passmore explains the value of virtual coaching platforms in providing continued skills development. “The ability of platforms to collect and share insights back to coaches on their performance — like coach quality scores and anonymized qualitative comments from coachees — encourages ongoing self-reflection and development.” As the Senior VP of EZRA, a virtual coaching provider, Jonathan explains that along with EZRA’s focus on supporting reflective practice, coaches can obtain ongoing coach development through special programs, events, conferences, and supervision for the EZRA coach community. As these types of AI coaching resources continue to be refined, coaches will benefit from the immediacy and personalization of education and skills development these resources offer.

Coaching platforms can now provide helpful feedback on coaching competencies and skills using AI algorithms

As coaching researchers use data to understand the impact of coaching competencies and skills, researchers will be able to train AI to recognize a coach’s proficiency in different domains. Wisdom Weaver Nicky Terblanche, senior lecturer and coaching expert, works with Ovida on algorithms that can analyze conversations. He elaborates, “Based on the theory of what a good coaching conversation entails, this technology can find moments in the coaching conversation where something happened that could use improvement.” Nicky explains that this technology can also calculate metrics to help coaches advance by asking questions that prompt improvement: How many open questions have been asked; what is the talk time ratio from coach to client; and how many times has the coach interrupted? In this way, AI can highlight room for improvement while prompting coaches to reflect on their own performance.

For coach trainees and new coaches, these technologies can strengthen skills development by providing objective information about a new coach’s strengths and coaching presence. Wisdom Weaver Joel DiGirolamo, VP of Research and Data Science for the International Coaching Federation, explains AI technologies’ value in supporting training and development. “AI will help coaches as they’re training and engaging in ongoing professional development. It will help them to identify more quickly places in their coaching sessions where they could have done better. Or they can look and see, ‘Oh, this is my style. My style is — for instance — the collective eclectic, but it’s flowing; it’s very fluid.’”

“We’re aiming for personalized development at its best, where technology can help coaches grow in their skill set and elevate their craft in ways they could never have before.”

Dr. Jacinta Jiménez

For Joel, the exciting component of these technologies is their ability to look at a coach’s strengths and observe their weaknesses. Ovida’s technology specifically is more than just a video of the session — it offers moment-by-moment analysis to reveal areas for growth. Seeing this progress and receiving clarity on how to proceed adds to a coach’s motivation to improve their efforts and widen the breadth of their coaching proficiency. These technologies are also being applied to adult learning and skills development to address the limited time and resources professionals have for continued education. Similarly, coaches can use these tools to grow in their professional development with purpose and meaning.

AI helps streamline coaching professional development to provide personalized support

As AI continues to evolve, these technologies will transform coaching professional development by offering customized support for coaches as they engage in skills training. The question these technologies can engage is: “What coaching skills provide the greatest impact in digital spaces?” and “How can AI support coaches in developing their virtual coaching skills?” The result is more effective coaches, who constantly receive feedback to grow and see their own progress and development. With instant feedback, the entire profession can deliver greater impact for clients.

Jacinta probes, “Understanding what makes a great coaching journey: What are the ingredients that lead to transformation in people’s lives? Those are kind of the questions we seek to answer, especially alongside ICF.” Second to that, for Jacinta, is craft elevation. Now that technology provides data-driven insights, the coaching field can thoroughly personalize coach development. Jacinta explains, “We can receive quality insights on how coaches are coaching and then provide them with corresponding developmental opportunities so they can keep growing in various areas of coaching competencies.”

Looking ahead, Joel casts a vision for how AI will continue to evolve in coach training realms. “Coaching education programs can use these as tools, as an adjunct to the human training or education they’re doing now as an asynchronous approach. As we advance, I believe there will be synchronous or real-time applications of AI where the AI system will bring up prompts to the coach. For example, the AI system will list questions the coach could ask the client in real time that the coach hadn’t considered. These large language models have the capacity to understand similar patterns they have seen in the past.” Joel explains that the technologies have the potential to know what is effective, if calibrated properly. Much of their function revolves around probabilities, helping in identifying optimal questions or conversational routes. Such questions could be recommended to the coach in real time on their screen. The AI system may also offer different paths for a coach to take, for instance, a focus on relationships or emotions. In the future, the system might pick up on these cues and offer the coach alternatives they otherwise might not have considered.

Wisdom Weaver Alex Haitoglou, co-founder of Ovida, an AI-empowered software platform that gives coaches feedback on their sessions as an extension of coaching supervision, casts a new vision for continued education. “With AI, we will move away from the model where hours equals competence. It’s not about how many hours I’ve done something. It’s about how much I’m self-reflecting, getting data, being with an expert, learning supervision, mentoring at these different levels, and doing deliberate practice.” Alex believes we will see an elevation in the level of coaching overall. These platforms provide the added benefit of collecting more robust data about the ROI of coaching, specific behavioral changes, and skills improvement. Moving forward, coaching experts may need to rethink the role of the current ACC/PCC/MCC coaching accreditation system in light of AI’s emerging ability to innovate in personalized coach training.

A Call to Action for Coaches

As AI-driven innovations reshape the landscape of personalized coach training, the field needs to recognize the potential implications this cutting-edge technology might have on coaching accreditation in the future. Rather than rushing into widescale industry changes, coaching researchers and accreditation bodies such as ICF and EMCC can channel their efforts towards validating competencies, measuring the differential impact of in-person versus online coaching, and upskilling coaches through training programs that include digital literacy.

This evolution towards digital literacy upskilling parallels the transformation happening in the healthcare sector. Adapting to limit disease transmission and support communities during the initial Covid outbreak, healthcare officials taught staff how to use emerging technologies to provide remote care. This training was also integrated into university and professional-level education. As a result, digital literacy is now a priority at every level of the healthcare system. Similarly, coaching is undergoing a parallel shift, requiring a comparable level of upskilling to meet the demands of the industry’s changing landscape.

Two coaching platforms at the helm of technological innovation — BetterUp and CoachHub — are already working to measure the impact of coaching competencies and skills, adding to the growing body of coaching research. Looking to the future, the long-term goal remains to strengthen coaching accreditation. Meanwhile, coaches can proactively collaborate with professional bodies on how to measure coaching competencies effectively using empirical data.

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