More companies participate in executive coaching due to its effectiveness in helping leaders fulfill their potential.
Coaching can help a good leader become an exemplary leader.
The importance of top leadership to organizational culture and the organization’s ability to meet the challenges of doing business in the twenty-first century has made executive coaching a go-to tool for companies that want to support excellence in their top tier of leadership. But not every executive can participate in coaching.
For one thing, coaching is a significant investment of time and money. For another, finding the right coach and booking them for executive coaching can be difficult due to scheduling issues. One way that companies are starting to bring coaching to more leaders is through the use of technology. And coaches themselves are learning the value of technology in helping them deliver their services to more people who need them. Here are some of the ways that technology can improve executive coaching.
Apps That Reinforce Coaching
It’s almost a running joke that there’s an app for everything. While there’s not an app that can perform the functions that the experienced executive coach can, there are apps that reinforce coaching principles. These apps can also be used by people who don’t have coaches so they can engage in “self-coaching” in order to develop habits of thought and activity that improve their performance.
PocketConfidant is an app that uses machine learning and natural language processing to conversationally help users clarify situations and perceptions so they can learn better and make better decisions. Boost is an app for managers designed to help them improve their leadership by engaging more effectively with their teams. Expect more apps to show up in app stores as we move through the 2020s.
Video Conferencing to Strengthen Communication
No longer must people be in the same room to have a face-to-face conversation.
There are some conversations that really can’t be replaced with videoconferencing. But there are many that can be. In-person coaching can be expensive and challenging to schedule. Fortunately, professionals are used to video conversation apps and programs and frequently use them for face-to-face interaction with others who are located far away.
There’s nothing wrong with traditional phone calls (or with email or SMS conversations). But seeing the person you’re talking to can be more effective due to the greater amount of focused attention required and due to the fact that conversation participants can pick up facial expression and body language cues. When videoconferencing can replace long-distance travel, it can make executive coaching more affordable and hence available to more people.
Possible Future Uses of Technology in Coaching
Will an app ever replace the real, human executive coach? Probably not. But technology tools will undoubtedly be used increasingly to facilitate the coach-client relationship. Self-coaching apps can help clients stay on track between coaching appointments, and quick video calls can be used for check-ins when travel isn’t practical.
Someday you might even see virtual reality headsets that let coaching clients experience opportunities to virtually practice new skills. VR is already being used to assist with focus and mindfulness – other skills that are necessary for leadership excellence.
Executive coaching is an intensely personal type of professional relationship. But that doesn’t mean coaches or clients should fear using technology to supplement that relationship. Neither apps nor virtual reality can ever replace the insights, goal setting, and road mapping that a motivated executive coach and client can achieve together. But if technology can help more people enjoy the benefits of executive coaching, business leaders will benefit greatly. If you’re exploring the idea of executive coaching in 2020, I encourage you to check out my leadership coaching services.