In the July 2023 issue of "Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice," a study explored the pros and cons of using AI-enhanced video feedback after coaching sessions. The research highlighted that such feedback stimulates deep reflection, increases self-awareness, and encourages behavioral adjustments, skill improvement, and enhanced confidence in coaches. Read on to delve deeper into the nuances of the findings and understand the broader implications for the coaching industry.
Adopting a “subjectivist” and “interpretivist empirical approach,” researchers recruited 15 coaches, spanning diverse experience levels, via social media and university networks (Bridgeman & Giraldez-Hayes, 2023). Each participating coach was instructed to “record 4 one-hour sessions over several weeks” and upload the recordings to Ovida, “a web-based software which uses AI to provide data analysis of recorded online coaching conversations.” Ovida shared data analysis regarding the following data points: “share of voice percentage (ratio of client to coach speech), question rate of the coach, open-closed question ratio percentage of questions versus statements, and coach interruption rate.” After a minimum of 3 weeks, participants were individually interviewed in a semi-structured format that examined how coaches felt during the video recorded coaching sessions, their reactions to watching the video recordings, their reactions to the data analysis, how they might use video recordings in supervision, and their overall experience (Bridgeman & Giraldez-Hayes, 2023).
In the research, the tool utilized for AI-enhanced video feedback was Ovida. As dThis software harnesses AI to analyze recorded online coaching dialogues, as described by Bridgeman & Giraldez-Hayes (2023). Essential analytical parameters included the spread of speech, the frequency of questions, the balance between open-ended and closed questions, and moments of interruption. Drawing a parallel to sales experts who study past calls, coaches employed Ovida to look back at their sessions (Bridgeman & Giraldez-Hayes, 2023).
A meta-analysis revealed that video feedback was equally effective for the ongoing personal growth of seasoned practitioners as it was for novices (Hammoud et al., 2012). This research further emphasized that emphasizing strengths in video feedback studies reinforces positive actions and that such feedback can aid in diminishing unfavorable traits (Hammoud et al., 2012).
Studies indicate that video feedback serves as an instrumental tool for self-reflection and self-awareness (Bridgeman & Girzledez-Hayes, 2023). These attributes can significantly enhance an executive coach's proficiency, skill evolution, and overall effectiveness in their role.
The benefits of AI-enhanced video feedback
Self-awareness and client rapport
Researchers state that “all participants found that through reviewing the video and data of their coaching sessions, as part of their reflective practice, they derived insights into their coaching style and how they build rapport with their clients.” When participants used Ovida to observe their own behavior, they were able to “see how they were coming across” to their coaching clients. The video analysis offered an “objective viewpoint” as well as an opportunity to examine how their coaching methods affected their client in real-time (Bridgeman & Giraldez-Hayes, 2023).
Focus on coach development
AI-driven data facilitated targeted skill refinement. Researchers state that all coach participants “reported making specific changes to their coaching skills in sessions following reflective review, resulting from insights derived from reviewing the combined video and data” (Bridgeman & Giraldez-Hayes, 2023). This continual behavioral modification and AI reporting also served as a “useful tool” for coach participants to stay “on-track” with their coaching goals. It also showed them “how the changes [they made] affected their performance and their clients.” Furthermore, the ability to continually monitor progress and see their own development gave coach participants additional confidence in their coaching ability (Bridgeman & Giraldez-Hayes, 2023).
The challenges of AI-enhanced video feedback
Striving for perfection
When using AI-enhanced video feedback, coaches had to monitor their own “inner critic.” Researchers state that “the ‘inner critic’ risk led to participants focusing on negative aspects of their coaching sessions… leading to feelings of share or striving for perfection… Most participants reflected that their own mindset may have had to do with these negative attitudes than the software itself.” Because of this, having a “growth mindset” was identified as a “potential mediator for this sense of judgment.”
A second challenge using AI-enhanced video feedback was that coaches were, at times, uneasy with the new technology. They reported feeling distracted, or nervous, that the session was being recorded. However, researchers note that “despite this anxiety participants and clients pressed on and generally noted relaxing the more they got used to using the technology and recognized its potential.”
Lastly, participants reported that, in some cases, the AI software failed to “understand the context” of their coaching conversation. Bridgeman and Giraldez-Hayes state that “most participants noted that certain elements of the data analysis missed nuance through the software’s inability to recognize the context… others noted a need for the software to differentiate between the coaching skills of questioning and summarizing.” Nonetheless, participants still agreed that AI-enhanced video feedback was a “useful tool” but that “it was up to the human coach, perhaps with peers or a supervisor, to then interpret that data towards development objectives.”
The research underscores the promise of AI-enhanced video feedback in advancing the coaching sector, aiding executive coaches in refining their skills. Bridgeman and Giraldez-Hayes acknowledge that while video review might be a challenging experience, its merits are undeniable. They observed tangible advantages such as “raised self-awareness,” “improved reflective practice,” improved “communication competence,” reinforcement of “positive behaviors,” identifiable “less desirable behaviors,” increased coach confidence, and overall coach development (Bridgeman & Giraldez-Hayes, 2023).
Synergies with sports and sales practices
Building on the discussion in the article and the insights from researchers Bridgeman and Giraldez-Hayes, it's evident that video feedback has long-standing roots in various domains.
According to Bridgeman and Giraldez-Hayes, video feedback has been used in “sports coaching… for decades”—allowing both coaches and athletes to revisit and refine their performance through enhanced self-awareness (Bridgeman & Giraldez-Hayes, 2023 & Wilson, 2008). Beyond sports, Bridgeman and Giraldez-Hayes explain that its applications have expanded to fields like “communication teaching,” “medicine,” and even the training of “therapists and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) practitioners” (Bridgeman & Giraldez-Hayes, 2023 & Wilson, 2008).
Analyzing recorded coaching conversations echoes the evaluation of sales calls and the positive outcomes it offers. In sales, AI-supported analysis of calls has proven to be a highly effective method of increasing profits. According to the Harvard Business Review, Aviso’s “conversational intelligence” program “which captures information from calls, web meetings, and email” to give users “deeper insights into the status of all forecast deals” was responsible for “average yearly improvements” of “$150 million in total estimated revenue” and “more than $1 million in CRM cost savings.” Harvard Business Review also shares that another AI assistant program that analyzed transcripts of “earnings calls” has generated “more than $1 billion in sales over the past two years” (Dickie, Grosberg, Shapiro, & Trailer, 2022).
Platforms such as Chorus and Gong, along with newer tools like Fathom and Otter, have revolutionized the sales sector by providing in-depth insights. These analytical tools, much like video feedback, underscore the potential for refining coaching techniques. They not only offer invaluable feedback but also promote effective supervision, ensuring that coaches consistently deliver their best. If sales teams have harnessed the power of these tools to achieve remarkable results, the coaching industry too stands on the brink of a transformative leap.
The main takeaway
The integration of AI analysis into coaching sessions via video feedback serves as a potent tool for executive coach development. It enhances self-awareness, facilitates targeted skill improvement, and ultimately bolsters coach competence and confidence. Yet, effective supervision and human interpretation remain integral to AI-enhanced video feedback's success (Bridgeman & Giraldez-Hayes, 2023). While technology offers promising advancements, it's essential to remember that the synergy of human expertise and AI innovation is what truly drives transformative outcomes in the coaching realm.
Bridgeman, J., & Giraldez-Hayes, A. (2023). Using artificial intelligence-enhanced video feedback for reflective practice in coach development: benefits and potential drawbacks. Coaching: An International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1080/17521882.2023.2228416.
Dickie, J. (2022, October 17). Can AI Really Help You Sell? Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2022/11/can-ai-really-help-you-sell.
Hammoud, M., Morgan, H. K., Edwards, M. E., Lyon, J. A., & White, C. (2012). Is video review of patient encounters an effective tool for medical student learning? A review of the literature.Advances inMedical Education and Practice,19. https://doi.org/10.2147/AMEP.S20219.
Wilson, B. D. (2008). Development in video technology for coaching.Sports Technology,1(1), 34–40. https://doi.org/10.1080/19346182.2008.9648449.
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