Teresa Ramos's picture Submitted by Teresa Ramos June 26, 2023 - 5:58pm


Unlocking Potential: How Artificial Intelligence Can Help In Executive Coaching

Gone are the days when artificial intelligence (AI) was just a fascination for tech enthusiasts (AI: 15 key moments in the story of artificial intelligence, n.d.). In recent times, we've seen AI make a massive impact on the world, revolutionising the way businesses operate. Everyone is eager to see what's coming next in this dynamic field.

There's been much debate (and panic) around AI potentially taking over our jobs. As executive coaches, we may wonder if algorithms will attract our clients away from us, thus rendering us jobless. However, what if AI and coaching could work together in perfect harmony? If this were the case, how might we benefit from incorporating this technology? 

Continue reading to discover how the power of AI could help take our coaching practice to the next level of excellence. 

What Is AI and how does it work?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an exciting field of computer science that emerged in the United States during the 1950s. (Anyoha, 2017; BBC, 2023; Javapoint, n.d.; Roser 2022).

The purpose of AI technology is to create machines that can perform tasks requiring human intelligence like understanding language, recognizing patterns, making decisions, and learning from data sets (Biswal, 2023; Brookings Institution, 2018; Daley 2023; European Parliament, 2023). AI uses algorithms, data, and computer programs to mimic intelligent behaviour and provide solutions to complex problems. These powerful capabilities are utilised in a wide variety of applications such as speech recognition in virtual assistants like Siri, facial recognition on smartphones, medical diagnosis, self-driving cars, and personalised recommendations on platforms like Amazon and Netflix. AI technology is an amazing tool that has revolutionised how we live, work, and play.

How does AI work?

In traditional programming, programmers provide machines with detailed step-by-step instructions that guide them toward a specific action (European Parliament, 2023). The programmer already knows how to solve the problem and provides this knowledge to them in the form of rules and steps, which are called an "algorithm". The machine receives these detailed rules from the programmer and, following them, provides solutions to any problems it is given.

In contrast, in artificial intelligence (AI), the programmer does not give the machine the rules and steps necessary to solve the problem (Gkionaki, 2021). Instead, the algorithms involve giving the machine a goal and some examples to use as a reference. The AI machine then explores various solutions until it discovers the processes and rules to achieve the desired result.

An example of this is image recognition, a task that AI can perform better than a "traditional" program. To achieve this, a programmer can provide AI with a set of example images of what they want, along with a set of images of things they don't want. Then, the AI can learn to recognize the desired images based on these examples. For instance, imagine we want a program to recognize images of cats. It would be impossible to write all the rules and steps needed for the machine to recognize cats in different positions, colours, breeds, lighting conditions, etc. Instead, we can provide examples of images of cats in different positions, colours, breeds, and, additionally, examples of dogs, horses, and other similar animals. The machine then uses these examples to produce its rules for recognizing cats.

Integrating AI Into Executive Coaching Practices

There are some fields where AI is already providing great benefits, which could be extended to coaching (Anyoha, 2017; Biswal, 2023; European Parliament, 2023):

  • Automate Coaching Sessions: From scheduling appointments, transcribing notes from meetings, sharing resources, tracking progress in between sessions, AI can do the work to free up time for coaches to focus on more high-value tasks (Biswal, 2023; European Parliament, 2023).
  • Assessments: AI can provide initial assessments of skills and competencies in a fraction of the time. Later in the coaching process, AI can also help identify skill gaps in clients and offer personalised development plans, suggesting upskilling opportunities in areas that may not have been apparent in the initial assessment (Biswal, 2023; European Parliament, 2023).
  • Tracking: AI can help coaches measure results to enable successful tracking of progress and outcomes. This is a helpful way to measure the effectiveness of the coaching process (Anyoha, 2017). 
  • Facilitate Client Growth: AI has the capability to produce simulations that allow clients to experiment in realistic ways with various solutions without making costly mistakes in real-life situations. Simulated settings provide an opportunity for clients to learn and grow without any risk or detriment, creating a safe and secure environment in which to explore and stimulate thinking (Anyoha, 2017).
  • Customization & Personalization: AI helps personalise content for each client based on their individual needs and goals, making recommendations for resources, or connecting them with other experts in their field that could help support their growth (Biswal, 2023).
  • Democratising Access to Coaching: AI can make coaching more accessible for all types of leaders. Whilst no artificial intelligence can be a substitute for the human connection and expertise, AI-based platforms can help democratise access to executive coaching and benefit a wider range of individuals (Anyoha, 2017; European Parliament, 2023).

Benefits of AI in Executive Coaching

AI can truly revolutionise executive coaching by empowering coaches to provide their clients with even more outstanding support. Here are four key advantages AI offers when it comes to executive coaching (Anyoha, 2017; Biswal, 2023):

  1. It can boost customer experience for both coaches and clients. 
  2. It can generate data-driven insights, providing coaches with valuable information to assist their clients and HR departments with a better understanding of the impact of coaching.
  3. It can improve workflows by automating administrative tasks, freeing up time for coaches to focus on their clients' needs and build more engaging relationships.
  4. It can enhance productivity by analysing vast amounts of data to identify trends and help coaches develop more effective strategies for their clients.

When used properly, AI is not just a valuable tool but an ally, helping coaches provide better support for our clients.

Consequences of AI in coaching

While the integration of AI into executive coaching brings exciting possibilities, it's important to consider some unintended consequences that may arise (Anyoha, 2017; Biswal, 2023). 

One potential consequence is the risk of relying too heavily on AI tools and platforms, which could reduce the human connection between coaches and clients. We must remember that coaching is a personal and empathetic practice that thrives on human interaction (Anyoha, 2017). 

Another consequence to be mindful of is the ethical implications surrounding data privacy and security. As AI collects and analyses vast amounts of data, it's crucial for coaches to prioritise the protection and confidentiality of their clients' information (Biswal, 2023).

Additionally, there might be concerns about job displacement for coaches as AI automates certain tasks (Anyoha, 2017). However, it's essential to highlight that AI is meant to enhance coaching, not replace human coaches entirely. 

Striking the right balance between leveraging AI's capabilities and preserving the unique value of human coaching expertise will be key to successfully navigating these unintended consequences.


AI is an emerging technology that has the potential to revolutionise executive coaching. To fully maximise its benefits, it's essential to make ourselves familiar with it through the freely available tools and resources (Anyoha, 2017; Biswal, 2023). 

This article has explored how executive coaching can benefit from incorporating the power of artificial intelligence. It's important to note that while AI can enhance the human touch, it's not intended to replace it. Rather, by leveraging AI, we can take our coaching practices to new heights of excellence for our clients and ourselves. 

Embracing the potential of AI in coaching opens up new opportunities for growth and success for ourselves and our clients. If you want to take your executive coaching to the next level, leveraging AI's power can help.


AI: 15 key moments in the story of artificial intelligence. (n.d.). BBC. Retrieved June 1, 2023, from https://www.bbc.co.uk/teach/ai-15-key-moments-in-the-story-of-artificial-intelligence/zh77cqt
Anyoha, R. (2017, August 28). The History of Artificial Intelligence. Science in the News. Retrieved June 1, 2023, from https://sitn.hms.harvard.edu/flash/2017/history-artificial-intelligence/
Biswal, A. (2023, April 4). Top 18 Artificial Intelligence (AI) Applications in 2023. Simplilearn. Retrieved June 1, 2023, from https://www.simplilearn.com/tutorials/artificial-intelligence-tutorial/artificial-intelligence-applications
Daley, S. (n.d.). 36 Artificial Intelligence Examples to Know for 2023. Built In. Retrieved June 1, 2023, from https://builtin.com/artificial-intelligence/examples-ai-in-industry
Gkionaki, M. (2021, January 14). How does Artificial Intelligence work? European Investment Bank. Retrieved June 1, 2023, from https://www.eib.org/en/stories/how-does-artificial-intelligence-work
History of Artificial Intelligence. (n.d.). Javatpoint. Retrieved June 1, 2023, from https://www.javatpoint.com/history-of-artificial-intelligence
How artificial intelligence is transforming the world. (2018, April 24). Brookings Institution. Retrieved June 1, 2023, from https://www.brookings.edu/research/how-artificial-intelligence-is-transforming-the-world/
Roser, M. (2022, December 6). The brief history of artificial intelligence: The world has changed fast – what might be next? Our World in Data. Retrieved June 1, 2023, from https://ourworldindata.org/brief-history-of-ai
What is artificial intelligence and how is it used? | News. (2020, September 4). European Parliament. Retrieved June 1, 2023, from https://www.europarl.europa.eu/news/en/headlines/society/20200827STO85804/what-is-artificial-intelligence-and-how-is-it-use


Very well written with profound insights for all of us - it will be important to note that we will reap the benefits of AI mostly if we approach it with a growth mindset. Many thanks, Teresa, for this piece!

This is a very comprehensive and positive insight about AI for executive coaching. It gave me a well-balanced and the most updated overview on this topic. Moreover, this article reminds me of Prof. Luciano Floridi's seminal work on the ethics of information. Drawing on the works by a prominent futurist, Alvin Toffler, Floridi reframed the recent human intellectual history from the viewpoint of our self-conceptualizaion. His proposition is, in my understanding, that digital technologies such as ICT, among other scientific discoveries and technological innovation, has disclosed human's limits and displaced us from the center of the universe. This perception of ourselves should be taken into consideration when we reflect coaching as our profession. Thank you so much for your thought-provoking article, Teresa.

Appreciate how well-balanced your article, is Teresa.  And agree we need to stay up to date. 

Staying up to date involves asking about what clients already have access to via their employers, e.g., Microsoft VIVA and Teams, which track clients' interactions, networks, and productivity. Clients in large organizations will usually have access to at least 1 library of content. However, some clients aren't familiar with or using the resources they already have. Or they are already overloaded with digital tools and platforms.  Their employers are keen to boost utilization of their investment in these digital resources.

So we need to ask what they already have and how it might be used. As coaches learn more about options, we can also recommend new digital tools that are a good fit for the client.  But we will need to be aware of the employer's policies on employee data.  The common shortcut here is for clients to use a non-work email. 

I'd like to see more exchanges between those managing coaching inside organizations and the coaches they work with (internal and external) on ways to use what is already available, and new tools that enrich coaching.

Great reading, Teresa. Thank you for your insights. There's a lot still for us to understand and be ready, truly ready, to embrace AI and make it work for us. I believe that there's still a mix of lack of understanding and fear of the unknown lingering. I see AI as part of the new reality we need to adapt to; I see all the advantages but also, some of the risks also. All in all, I feel grateful to be able to witness this transformation in our lives. 

Are there specific tools you are using in your practice successfully that you would like to share? Examples we use include Gamma and Perplexity (no client information is shared):

Gamma uses powerful AI to generate working presentations, documents, or web pages that users can customize and refine in under a minute. Users simply start writing in Gamma, and it handles turning text into beautifully designed content.

Perplexity AI is an AI-powered search engine and chatbot that utilizes advanced technologies such as natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning to provide accurate and comprehensive answers to user queries. It is designed to search the web in real time and offer up-to-date information on various topics. Perplexity AI is a powerful tool with an intuitive user interface that can help users find information on a wide range of topics. In this blog, we will discuss what Perplexity AI is and how to use it.