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Personality Coaching and Generative AI: A powerful tool for leaders?
Dave Winsborough
Created on
July 11, 2023

Every team is unique, woven together by a tapestry of personalities that shapes its collective strengths, weaknesses, and working dynamics.

The good news is that if leaders successfully harness team diversity they can build super high-performing teams.

The bad news is that guiding a group of individuals, each with their distinct modes of thinking, relational styles, and motivations, can prove to be a very challenging task.

The journey of a team - Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing - present unique challenges if the team and its members are to thrive.  Anyone who has had to lead a team knows the three fundamental hurdles a team must surmount.

  1. What are we here to achieve?
  2. How will we organize to do it?
  3. Can we get along well enough to do those two things effectively?

While there are tools available to help (think team surveys, engagement surveys, personality questionnaires, and a coach to make sense of all the data) the bottom line is this: effective leadership demands a deep understanding of oneself, the individuals within the team, and the team dynamics.

However, for most managers the pressure of delivery means the work of team building becomes TLDR.

At Deeper Signals our primary mission has always been to provide every employee with the gift of self-awareness. That means every team gets to see the messy reality of its people and dynamics laid out simply and clearly, allowing for a genuine understanding underlying interpersonal relationships. With the recent advancements in GenAI, we have started to explore how the use of AI can bring team leaders even more insights into their teams in real time.

A quick primer.

Generative AI, or GenAI, is a subfield of artificial intelligence focused on generating new content using AI. It uses machine learning algorithms to generate data similar to the one it's been trained on. ChatGPT, to name one you may have heard of, has been trained on mountains of data on the internet. When applied to the work Deeper Signals is engaged in means ChatGPT can quickly synthesize vast amounts of personality feedback, team insights, research, and team psychology which could be like tapping into the wisdom of thousands of experts who have penned millions of words on personality types and team challenges, at will.

That said, we get that the technology isn’t proven yet and we recognize the need for a balanced approach. In our view, generative AI technology would be designed to complement, not replace, the critical role of human expertise in the coaching process. At the heart of our research and development is our belief that feedback is a deeply personal and complex process and people will always play a crucial role in crafting bespoke team solutions.

We are also trying to avoid the ubiquitous chatbot-like tools which come across as sterile and dystopian. Our user research reveals a clear preference among individuals and managers for human interaction while discussing their uniquely human challenges. Users preferred to use of AI to generate a personalized playbook or specifically tailored tips to address the issues they are grappling with. Managers also express interest in generating a list of coaching questions, or interview questions, personalized for their employees and job candidates.

Our vision is for a manager to present a team challenge to our GenAI tool. The Deeper Signals GenAI will then generate an evidenced based solution, tailored to the unique personalities and values of each individual on their team and providing a personalized playbook to solve the team challenge in real time.

We're all about disrupting ourselves and we're genuinely excited about the potential of GenAI. Imagine this: the collective insights of thousands of scientists, psychologists, and coaches, a virtual treasure trove of knowledge, all available at a manager's fingertips, to supercharge their team-building efforts. Now, that's an opportunity we can't pass up!

We’ve made progress but we’re not quite there yet. As we gear up to invest more in this space we're keen to learn how other professionals are thinking about the potential GenAI technology in individual and team development, and how they think it will impact our industry.

How useful could GenAI be in synthesizing team personalities and providing key team insights or team solutions to managers? Could AI-powered in-the-moment playbooks help managers deal with the complicated dynamics of interpersonal conflict, task management, or meeting deadlines? How can we ensure the insights are appropriate and reliable? Might such a technology one day make the Deeper Signals Team report obsolete? How might GenAI change the way managers collect feedback and develop their teams?

This much is obvious: our field will not remain untouched by the GenAI revolution happening all around us.We strongly suspect the future of personality assessment, employee and team development, is  AI-enabled. We also think (and hope) that a Deeper Signals generative AI tool can be a pioneering step in shaping how GenAI helps teams interact, communicate, and solve problems together.

As we move into this exciting new frontier, we are committed to learning, sharing, iterating, and ensuring our AI-powered solutions bring meaningful value to managers and their teams.

We’d love to hear from you.

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