Will Artificial Intelligence replace Executive Coaching?

Will Artificial Intelligence replace Executive Coaching?

The latest Chatbot technology called ChatGPT has users all over the world excited and reasonably impressed. A news article describes it as a ‘software application designed to mimic human-like conversation based on user prompts while harnessing the depths of online knowledge and unfathomable computing power to perform written tasks.’

We had to ask ChatGPT the obvious question and hear it from the horse’s mouth.

Will Artificial Intelligence replace Executive Coaching?

This is what it had to say…

“It is unlikely that AI will completely replace executive coaching in the near future. While AI can assist with certain tasks and provide valuable insights, executive coaching is a highly personalized and interactive process that involves working closely with an individual to help them reach their goals and improve their leadership skills. AI may be able to provide some level of support in this process, but it is unlikely to be able to fully replace the human element of executive coaching. Executive coaching is typically focused on helping individuals develop their interpersonal and communication skills, and these are areas where AI is not yet advanced enough to replace human input. Additionally, the ability to build a rapport and establish trust with the person being coached is crucial for the success of executive coaching, and this is something that AI is not capable of.”

There are a couple of things we would like to add.

1.     Empathy is an important characteristic of the coaching relationship. Inspite of the words being used, it is difficult to believe that AI can actually understand what any of us is going through. Validation and encouragement are another set of important characteristics of a coaching engagement. Most executive coaches work to build the strengths of the leader. When the executive coach is also an experienced been-there-done-that-personality, or even someone who has successfully built the element of trust with the leader, the validation that comes from these individuals is far more powerful than anything AI can hand out!

2.     Executive Coaches, many times, work harder than the leaders themselves to ensure that they are equipping their coachees with all the support needed to meet their goals. The efforts of the coach motivate these leaders to work harder on their own goals.

At the end of the day leaders connect authentically to people who have truly understood or experienced the shedding of sweat, blood and tears that they have.

Coaches struggle, they are not perfect, and it is through those imperfections that they sometimes connect to what the coachee is experiencing. We are sure that there are situations where AI can help. However, AI remains a tool that coaches can use. It cannot be an end in itself; atleast not in the near future like ChatGPT itself says.

What do you think?

Note: Just to complete the AI loop, we hopped over to Dall-E (another new AI system that creates realistic images and even art from a text-based description) and put in ‘artificial intelligence cannot replace executive coaches.’ The result? The picture you see above. A human taking that photograph would have known something is wrong with the hand, right away!

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