Key Takeaways from NYU Coaching and Technology Summit

Key Takeaways from NYU Coaching and Technology Summit

June 14, 2024

The third-annual NYU Coaching and Technology Summit recently brought together leaders in digital coaching and human development technology for an outstanding two-day conference exploring the dynamic evolution of the coaching field. As always, the event was buzzing with innovation and excitement. And, given the incredible advances in artificial intelligence we’ve experienced over the past year, it was no surprise that much of the excitement centered around AI. While some of these ideas hold tremendous promise, others are perilous to the industry and its future. Here are three key takeaways from the conference:

Using AI to Augment Human Coaching

AI holds incredible promise as a way to enhance human coaching and enrich the coaching experience. AIIR Consulting already leverages an AI coaching assistant, Aiiron, to keep leaders focused on their development between coaching sessions. The framework on which Aiiron was built is proven to make leaders 31% more likely to reach their development goals.

Coaches are leveraging AI to make them more effective, from scheduling and note taking, to analyzing 360º feedback to track a leader’s progress and identify patterns, then tailoring their sessions with precision. Over the coming months and years, it’s easy to imagine how else AI can enhance the coaching experience.

Additionally, some panelists raised how AI can play a supervisory role, observing coaching sessions and providing feedback to help coaches refine their skills. This symbiotic relationship between AI and human coaches has the potential to elevate the impact coaching can have for our clients.

A New Spin on a Bad Idea

In their quest to democratize coaching, providers have shifted their focus from quality to quantity. Coaching has been commoditized. And, so have coaches. AI, these panelists pointed out, is inexpensive and infinitely scalable. And while the technology doesn’t provide anywhere near the impact of an executive coach, a number of companies are willing to go all in on AI coaching for those reasons. One panelist even predicted that within three years AI will be the predominant way leaders receive coaching.

At AIIR, we believe that coaches are essential to the coaching process. We know that change is hard. And, we know that the unmatched experience and expertise that our coaches bring to the table is essential to creating lasting behavior change that creates better leaders, better teams, and better organizations. Companies looking for a magic bullet for their development needs will continue to be disappointed with the results.

The Bottom Line

It’s clear that as we move into the future, AI will become integral to the executive coaching industry — from how coaches are trained and supervised to coach selection to, potentially, AI coaches.

What’s needed is intentionality. The coaching industry must refocus on the fundamental question: “What do we need coaching to do?” Without a clear purpose, we risk missing out on the potential benefits AI has to offer the coaching industry, and the profound impact executive coaching can have on your leaders and your organization.

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