Do we really need AI in our coaching businesses? How will it affect our relationship with clients?
Don't get us wrong! We love technology as a tech organization that is all about using tech for good. But lately, we've been observing more content on social media about how AI can be used in coaching. In our view, that's the last industry we would use AI for.
It's not to say that AI is bad or doesn't work well. But when we look at coaching, it's more about human interaction and emotions than anything else. And when it comes to those things, we don't think AI will ever be able to replace a great coach.
We have a great community of coaches we work with and they have been the reason why Delenta exists. And we see every day the impact these coaches create in the world that we live in today. They are amazing human beings and nothing more! They have no superpowers or anything special other than being good at listening, understanding and inspiring others!
If there were any superpowers possessed by these coaches, then it would be their ability to listen closely, understand what you are saying and then use their expertise and experience.
Some of you might be tempted by the idea of AI. Wouldn't it be nice to have an AI bot coaching kids in a developing world while you relax on your couch with some cookies? Maybe someday! But is that really what you want for yourself, for your business, and most importantly, for your clients who trust you so much?
But hold up! Before you jump on the AI bandwagon, let's take a step back and ask ourselves: Do we really need AI in our coaching businesses? How will it affect our relationship with clients? And what about our competitive edge in the market?
Now, here's our take on it.
1. As we navigate this rapidly changing world, as professional coaches you shouldn't let AI distract us from what truly matters—your customers and our businesses. AI might be able to do a lot of things, but it can't replace the human touch. Coaching is all about building trust, rapport, and understanding with our clients. It's about actively listening, asking the right questions, reflecting emotions, and providing support and guidance.
AI just can't replicate those human skills and qualities that make us great coaches. Sure, it can analyze data and generate insights, but it can't empathize with our clients or truly understand their unique needs, goals, and challenges. That's where we have the upper hand—we can create meaningful connections and transformations with our clients that AI simply can't match.
The journal Coaching With Artificial Intelligence: Concepts and Capabilities by Carolin Graßmann and Carsten C. Schermuly offers a new perspective on whether, and how, AI can be employed in coaching as a key HRD tool. It provides a definition of the concept of AI coaching and differentiates it from related concepts. It also challenges the assumption that AI coaching is feasible by challenging its capability to lead through a systematic coaching process and to establish a working alliance to clients. I suggest anyone who wants to build an educated guess around AI for coaching to study recommendations it made for HRD professionals and organisations, coaches, and developers of AI coaching programs on how AI coaching can contribute to enhance coaching practice.
2. But that's not the only thing to consider. AI brings with it ethical and legal issues that we need to be mindful of. As coaches, we have a responsibility to protect our clients' confidentiality and privacy. We have to follow a code of ethics and professional standards.
But AI can pose some real threats to those principles. How can we ensure that the data we collect from our clients remains secure and isn't shared without their consent? How do we prevent biases and discrimination in the algorithms and models that power our AI tools? And what happens if our AI tool gives wrong or even harmful advice to our clients? These are important questions we need to grapple with before diving headfirst into the world of AI.
3. Here's another thing to ponder: AI can distract us from what makes us truly unique and valuable as coaches. Each one of us has our own niche, expertise, approach, style, and personality that attract our ideal clients. But if we rely too heavily on AI tools and platforms, we might lose sight of what sets us apart. We might end up offering cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all services that can be replicated by other coaches or even by AI itself. And we definitely don't want to lose touch with our clients' feedback and preferences, which are vital for improving our coaching practice.
You might be wondering if you are missing out by not paying enough attention to AI for your business. However, if you depend too much on AI tools and platforms, you might forget what makes you unique and valuable as a coach.
You might end up offering generic and standardized services that can be easily replicated by other coaches or even by AI itself. You might also lose touch with your clients' feedback and preferences, which are essential for improving your coaching practice.
Human coaches and AI-based coaches have different strengths that complement each other, making it difficult to replace a real coach with an AI coach. Humans excel in facilitating discussions and understanding complex issues, while AI is adept at analyzing large amounts of data quickly and consistently. For example, an AI-based coach can identify biases in your behavior towards team members based on digital interactions, while a human coach can delve deeper into the underlying issues and propose sustainable solutions. The advantage of an AI-based coach is its closed loop system, where behavior change is measured, evaluated, and used to provide new recommendations. In summary, the combination of human and AI coaching offers a comprehensive solution, leveraging the unique strengths of each to provide a more effective coaching experience.
Let's not get caught up in the AI frenzy. Instead, let's keep our focus on our customers and our businesses. Let's use AI as a tool to enhance our coaching practice, not as a replacement for our human touch. Our unique skills and qualities as coaches are what make us truly effective. And let's not forget about the ethical and legal implications of using AI in our coaching practice. It's important to stay true to our core values and maintain our differentiation in the market.
As a coach, you have the privilege and responsibility of helping your clients achieve their goals and grow as individuals. But how do you ensure that you are delivering the best coaching service possible? How do you keep improving your coaching skills and yourself?
- Find your coaching purpose: What drives you as a coach? Define your goals, beliefs, and values to align your coaching practice with who you are and where you want to go.
- Assess your coaching skills: Take a moment to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses as a coach. Identify areas for improvement and growth to enhance your overall effectiveness.
- Create a personal development plan: Based on your assessment, make a plan with specific actions and timelines to develop yourself further. Figure out the resources you need and set milestones to track your progress.
- Seek feedback and support: Don't go at it alone! Reach out to others for feedback and support. They can provide valuable insights, help you overcome challenges, and expand your network.
- Practice what you learn: Apply your new knowledge and skills in your coaching practice. Find ways to integrate them into your existing methods and adapt to different situations. Practice makes perfect!
- Celebrate your achievements: Take time to reflect on your growth. Acknowledge your accomplishments and learn from any setbacks. By celebrating milestones, you'll stay motivated and ready for the next phase of your development.
Most importantly, Learn from your clients. Sometimes your customers are your best teachers. They can give you valuable feedback, insights, and perspectives that can help you improve your coaching practice. Listen to them attentively, ask them for their opinions and suggestions, and thank them for their input. Also, observe their behaviors, emotions, and reactions during the coaching sessions. What works well for them? What challenges them? What motivates them? Use these observations to tailor your coaching approach to their needs and preferences.
By taking this approach, you can deliver top-notch coaching services that meet your clients' needs and expectations. You can grow your coaching businesses and achieve your goals. The future of coaching isn't about cloning coaching models through emotionless robots—it's about leveraging AI to support sustainable transformation and uplift humanity to new heights.
So let's embrace AI thoughtfully and responsibly, and let's continue to make a positive impact as human coaches. What do you think? Do you agree or disagree with us? Do you use or plan to use AI coaching in your practice? How do you balance the use of AI and human skills in your coaching? We would love to hear your thoughts and opinions on this topic. Connect with us on social media to share your opinions and queries.
Let's have a conversation about AI coaching!