Technology Alone Won’t Make You a Better Leader: How to Use Executive Coaching Tools

A quick Google search reveals a wealth of online assessments to help you refine your professional skills and practice responsible leadership. There are so many executive coaching tools that it can be difficult to know where to start. Whether you’re examining your own strengths and weaknesses, considering a leadership position, or exploring your team’s potential, executive coaching tools can provide valuable insight and direction.

Nevertheless, online assessments can only take you so far—and technology alone won’t make you a better leader. Let’s examine the available online tools and determine how to apply the human connection to your findings.


Understanding Online Executive Coaching Tools

When selecting executive coaching tools, you must consider what you hope to learn. Applications, questionnaires, and other online measurement tools examine everything from emotional intelligence and self-awareness to goal-setting strategies, career development, and accepting feedback. The following is just a partial list of the areas covered: 

  • Personality, attitude, and motivation

  • Strengths, SWOT analyses, and skill assessments

  • Leadership competencies and preferred work styles

  • Comfortability with risks, uncertainty, or change

  • Critical thinking, processing, reasoning, and behavioral tendencies

  • Teamwork, roles, and relationships

Technology-based executive coaching tools typically follow a four-step process, but select tools may zero in on a single step. You can expect to engage in one or more of these steps: intake and assessment, goal setting, ongoing coaching and skill development, and evaluation. Below are five of the most popular online coaching tools. 

  • DISC: Measure four aspects of your personality (dominance, influence, steadiness, and conscientiousness).
  • Culture Index Survey: Understand how your employees feel about their jobs and the organization.
  • CliftonStrengths Assessment: Measure the intensity of your talents in thirty-four areas.
  • Myers-Briggs Type Indicator: Assign you to one of sixteen personality types, based on Carl Jung’s theory of personality types.
  • WHY.os: Define your internal personal operating system that drives your decisions and direction.

As you can see, there’s no shortage of online executive coaching tools and techniques available to those looking to engage in self-reflection, build self-awareness, or sharpen leadership skills. However, while some tools are certainly more useful than others, their effectiveness really comes down to how you incorporate what you learn. 


Applying What You Learn from Executive Coaching Tools 

Whether you work with an executive coach over the course of several months or simply complete an online assessment or personality questionnaire, the most important thing is what comes next. The tool is only useful if you apply your knowledge.

Personally, you might adjust the structure of your day to minimize interruptions after gaining new self-awareness around your attention span. Maybe having a better understanding of your extroverted nature leads you to work in person with colleagues instead of spending significant time alone during the workday. 

As a leader, you can also use executive coaching tools with your team. For example, by identifying the strengths and weaknesses on your team, you can ensure your team members are in the right roles. If someone comes back as a “visionary” but you have them in an “implementer” role, they’re going to struggle. Certain personalities match certain roles, so use the information you gather to position your team for success. 


Incorporating the Human Factor

Despite all the online tools available today, nothing can replace real human connection when it comes to leadership development. Technology can only tell you so much; it takes the human factor to make you a better leader. 

Accordingly, the best leadership lessons come directly from other people and real-world experiences. Leadership books and special interest organizations allow you to learn from like-minded people who have been in your shoes. You can also glean lessons from others’ successes and failures.

Don’t underestimate the value of feedback from people who know you best. Talk to colleagues, mentors, bosses, people you admire, and even your family and friends. Solicit feedback from your own employees but be sure you’ve established psychological safety and space for honest feedback. You can even turn to bad bosses for valuable lessons in leadership. 

Your recipe for success combines human connection and real-life experience with the knowledge gained from executive coaching tools and online assessments. They both provide key insight for your leadership development. 


Expanding Your Leadership Development

Remember, online executive coaching tools are only useful if you do something with what you learn. And even with all the technology-based tools available today, nothing can replace the value of human connection. 


Questions to Consider

  1. Have you tried any online assessments or worked with an executive coach? If yes, how have you applied your knowledge in your own self-development? If no, why not?

  2. How can executive coaching tools help you understand and manage your own team?

  3. What do you do with the information that you’ve learned?

I’d love to help you maximize your use of executive coaching tools. Contact me to learn more about leadership advising, coaching services, and additional resources.