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AI doesn't just code, it coaches! How is transforming leadership development

What AIcoach does uses artificial intelligence to provide users with non- directive coaching conversations. Through good practice coaching philosophy and process, and features that prompt sustainable behaviour change, it aims to facilitate self-reflection and catalyse change at scale in a personalised and cost-effective way.

The Current Landscape

Coaching has historically only been available to the most senior leaders in organisations, described by one coaching thought leader as “expensive personal development for the already highly privileged”. Technology has played a role over the past decade in a dramatic shift in the global attitude. Digital coaching providers, such as BetterUp, CoachHub and EZRA, have taken a step in democratizing coaching through pools of coaches numbering in the thousands, but the price remains too high for most to justify.

The emerging adoption of generative AI has led to coaches around the world starting to experiment. Professor Nicky Terblanche led the world in researching the topic with papers published in 2020, Sam Isaacson wrote about it in 2021 and the big coaching professional bodies have all featured it at coaching conferences.

Company Birth Story

Sam Isaacson, a coaching thought leader and founder of the Coachtech Collective, a global community of coaches, had started to experiment with his own philosophy for how an AI coach should act. He stumbled across a simple coaching conversation tool that had been created by Boas Loeb, a psychologist and product developer. The two of them combined forces to develop a more advanced, coach-like experience and was born.

Their purpose was clear from the outset. Loeb and Isaacson wanted to create a product that is demonstrably helpful, ethically designed and user-friendly. They wanted it to be accessible to all – ideally for free, made sustainable by client revenue rather than generating profit for profit’s sake.

The Solution

On the surface, the setup of is relatively simple. Users open the platform and are invited to have a conversation with their AI coach, which in most cases will ask a series of highly responsive, relevant, empowering and thought-provoking open questions to support them. The AI coach is primed with positive psychology, believing wholeheartedly in the capability of the user to come up with solutions to their own problems. It also has access to a suite of coaching processes and techniques, enabling it to respond dynamically to the user, regardless of their personal context.

Outside of the coaching conversations the user can track their goals and actions, as well as reflect on moments of insight they have gained.

Deploying within an organisation unlocks even greater power. The AI coach can understand the context within which a user is accessing the tool, such as the organisation’s strategy or values statements. It knows that they are accessing it as part of a leadership development program, a culture change initiative or a drive for wellbeing or DEI.

It also offers advanced insights reporting, without breaking coach- client confidentiality. One organisation is using to understand which elements of a leadership framework employees are seeking non-directive support on, to shape future leadership development plans.

A Customer Story was deployed in an initial trial with the National Health Service (NHS) in England and in just one month demonstrated gains in goal attainment and self-efficacy. The pilot has since entered a second phase and is expected to grow further.

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1 Comment

Alan Reed
Alan Reed
Jun 14

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