Boosting Leadership Coaching with Digital Role Play

More often than not, I am contacted by executive coaches who are exploring the possibility of integrating their strategy with top-of-the-line digital technology. In other cases, I meet coaches who still don’t know whether or not to try the “digital way,” but are scared by some of the rumors and trends that the coaching world is living in these days. I dedicate this article to all of them, to explore challenges, trends and opportunities of adopting a Digital Role Play solution like SkillGym to upgrade their current strategy for the better.
Andrea Laus
SkillGym CEO
5 min read


Three clear trends are emerging in the domain of executive and leadership coaching and they are destined to reshape the competitive landscape forever.


ONE – Digitalization of coaching
Coaches will differentiate themselves in the future by connecting through platforms and being able to meet almost anywhere and anytime regardless of their physical location.
Coaches will engage clients through micro-learning sessions, gamification and will add value by providing clients access to content beyond their individual counsel.


As our culture changes, so will the delivery methods of coaches to clientele. The days of in-person coaching are dwindling.

Webinars, online training, and digital coaching delivery methods for clients will become the norm.
Professionals will want coaching that is easily accessible and fits into their schedules.

Be prepared to diversify in order to remain valuable and relevant.


TWO – Ability to show measurable results
What will set successful executive coaches apart from others in the coming years is their ability to demonstrate measurable results.
Savvy clients will only choose executive coaching organizations that can clearly demonstrate how they helped their coachees move the needle.

Pre- and post-360 interviews, smart metrics, structured feedback and other tools will be used to quantify and qualify results.


THREE – Foster the gathering of experience in interpersonal skills
Experience is the best teacher. In the future, executive coaching will move from just explaining to supporting experiences. People will desire to learn in a format that is memorable and fun.

Breakthrough thinking and new information will be driven by executive individualization based on what experience the executive needs in order to achieve new patterns of action.
Since organizations will be placing a premium on those skills, it’s very likely that executive coaching will be in high demand and focus even more on those types of skills than today.


If the three aforementioned points have not sufficiently scared those who still avoid these subjects…prepare for the next unpleasant truth…


You are not there when it matters!

When things happen, when your leaders engage in the most critical conversations with their teams, when skills turn into words and words into decisions—you are not there.

You don’t know what really happened. All you have is a biased story told by one of the parties: the leader you coach, sitting in front of you, maybe a week later.
It’s not easy to help, when you miss the action.


In this article, you will learn how role plays can evolve thanks to technology based on artificial intelligence (A.I.).

You will read about how you can extend your coaching experience through remote and augmented coaching and why the best coaches around the world have already integrated SkillGym into their coaching strategy.


SkillGym is by far the most innovative and advanced collection of simulated critical conversations for leaders.

Thanks to the perfect blend of artificial intelligence, augmented reality, interactive video, storytelling, automation and metrics, SkillGym is the best companion for executive and leadership coaches when it comes to helping leaders gain confidence in critical conversations and boosting their performance through actionable practice.


SkillGym can become your time machine: Assign simulated life-like role plays and review the entire conversation, shadowing the situations that matter with the help of augmented reality, artificial intelligence and interactive video.

You can sit side by side with your coachees and dive deep into the most specific behaviors and then move on to how that specific approach influences their inner feelings and emotions.


You can deliver best-in-class powerful coaching questions based on the review of real action witnessed in front of you.

You can embrace a totally new way of conceiving leadership coaching sessions, where you can deliver extra value through discussion while truly impacting your coachees’ confidence and performance through consistent post-session practice.


How SkillGym supports Leadership Coaching

SkillGym offers executives and leadership coaches all the tools to engage their clients directly in conversations. It allows you to transform your traditional support into evidence-based coaching.


Astonishing Stories
SkillGym’s comprehensive curriculum covers all the elements that are required to master Conversational Leadership and defines the most typical situations worth practicing.

Our professional storytellers are capable of turning those situations into authentic, engaging and life-like stories by bringing the daily leadership challenges into actionable exercises.



Thanks to the perfect blend of training methodology and interactive technology, SkillGym brings these stories to life, ready for consistent practice-based leadership training.

SkillGym is an interactive video—no puppets, no avatars.
Human beings come alive in a seamless experience, where you are totally immersed in the situation. You can feel their emotions, see their hesitations, hear their whispers.

Actors each have their own personality and a story carefully designed to make you feel like they are one of your people.


The simulation is played in real time with no pauses or freezes. Everything that happens is entirely influenced by the way you play.
Twelve A.I. algorithms deliver an authentic and immersive Digital Role Play experience through dynamic flow of emotions and the evolution of the interactions.


Augmented Replay
Augmented Replay is one of SkillGym’s specific tools that allows you to select any past critical conversation played and review it step by step to see what happened and how the user behaviors influenced the outcome.

It is as if the coach was there with the coachee while they played the critical conversation, however without the psychological pressure of being actually there in real time, which allows the coachee to express their own natural approach without inhibitions.



Augmented Replay allows users to move along the conversation and stop on the most significant steps, allowing for a general overview of the ongoing quality of the conversation. This allows the coach to choose what to focus on: What was done correctly, the low-performance areas or the ups and downs of specific turbulent conversations.

At each step, it details what happened and why, showing which behavior generated which reactions in the counterpart. Additionally, the option of showing or hiding the augmented reality opens the possibility of a push or pull discussion.


There are several aids in the augmented replay: It is possible to understand where objectives are placed throughout the conversation and to assess if each objective was achieved or not and why.

The performance curve then allows you to identify where it may be interesting to focus your attention. Steps that are highlighted in blue draw attention to something interesting that happened there.

This allows you to focus on the individual step to facilitate understanding the action-reaction connection between behavior and engagement including detailed aspects of the conversation.


Meaningful Metrics

SkillGym helps you measure and track over time the two key metrics that underpin the efficient development of all skills related to leadership:

  • CONFIDENCE: It can be defined as “the feeling or belief that one can have faith in or rely on someone or something.” When referring to the world of leadership conversations, confidence becomes the degree of courage, determination, fearlessness and self-perceived experience with which leaders approach a conversation, particularly a “critical” conversation, with another person.
  • SELF-AWARENESS: We simply ask the trainees to rate the quality of their performance and we compare these self-evaluations with the scores provided by the simulation’s algorithms (i.e., confronting the self-perception with the real outcome). The closer the two scores are, the higher the trainee’s self-awareness.


In addition, we measure and trace over 50 specific skills along with their associated observable behaviors, which are connected to conversational abilities. Most importantly, we connect them to every single element of the dialogues that take place within the simulation.


What’s next

What else can I add? If you are looking around to find the Digital Role Play solution that suits your needs, please look around our website. There is plenty of inspiring content including pre-recorded webinars and articles. Of course, we would be delighted to continue this conversation with you; simply book a free call with us..

Enjoy the rest of your day.

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