London Inc. November 2020 - 14

Upfront Human Resources

RETHINKING COACHING

A new tool leverages artificial intelligence to make leadership coaching
more effective and impactful
FOR MANY PEOPLE, the concept of leadership coaching
can be a bit mystifying. Entrenched in the C-Suite, and
often trading in fuzzy human metrics like 'fortitude,' or
'decisiveness,' or 'mindset,' it can be tempting to write it off
to perplexity.
Terry Gillis disagrees. At least, partly.
For Ahria Consulting (www.ahria.ca), the human
resources and leadership firm he leads, coaching and training those at the top of the corporate ladder (or striving for it)
is central to the service they offer, and a new tool, powered
by artificial intelligence (AI) and called PowerCoaching, is
aiming to remove the complexities by creating a centralized
digital channel that helps track the impact leadership
coaching is having on an employee or leader.
Ahria Consulting CEO, Terry Gillis

" We were looking for a solution to bring coaching to more
organizations and more individuals, at a price point that is
not limited to the C-suite, " says Gillis. " That became our
rallying cry. "
Think of it like a tracking app, but for your professional
goals. Working with a coach, a person can track goals and
progress, as well as keep a coaching journal. The technology
can go even further, too - for employees seeking deeper
insights, the service can also employ AI to scan through a
coaching journal to determine what your emotional state
is like.
" Coaching is a very personalized thing, " Gillis explains.
" Our emotional intelligence really dictates how we learn.
Just by picking up on that, it may be enough to get you over
14 | londonincmagazine.ca | NOVEMBER 2020

that hump. "
The technology comes via a partnership between Ahria
and LeaderAmp, a U.S.-based tech firm that created the
technology, and which counts Facebook among its client
base. Gillis says this technology is the first of its kind in
Southwestern Ontario. " We're bringing Silicon Valley to
London, " he says.
For users of the service, the technology promises a deeper
and more effective form of coaching that extends beyond the
confines of the office, helping bridge a perceived gap between
someone's professional and personal states of mind.
" Emotions and learning are very much intertwined, "
writes Dr. Matt Barney, founder of LeaderAmp. " Looking
at the pattern of the client's emotions over time allows a
more holistic and systematic perspective as to whether the client is making
progress or needs more support. "
" It's really about extending that
coaching into the person's daily life,
really for the first time ever, " Gillis
notes. " It's a much more efficient
coaching relationship. "
As leadership coaching has grown as
an industry, the need for it to become
more personalized and flexible has
become apparent. Just as there are different types of learners, workers, managers and teachers, there are different
leaders - and not everyone responds to
a standardized model of coaching, nor
does everyone optimize themselves in
precisely the same way.
At its best, this technology helps
achieve that kind of personalization,
Gillis says. The app does not exist to replace the coach, but
to aid them in their work.
" It really augments the coaching process, " he says. " It
becomes both an accountability tool and a training tool. "
And coming when it does, as the Canadian economy molts
its pre-pandemic skin and figures out what its new one looks
like, Gillis sees a clear value in reaching for technology to
help.
" The reason we embraced this tool was that at its core is
real science, and we pride ourselves on using science in
everything that we do, " Gillis says. " Pre-Covid, a tool like
this made a lot of sense. Post-Covid, people are facing huge
uncertainty and need to solve big problems - exactly where
this tool is focused. " KIERAN DELAMONT


http://www.ahria.ca http://www.londonincmagazine.ca

London Inc. November 2020

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