Frequently Asked Questions for Leaders

Below is a list of common questions and answers for those using the LeaderAmp app to develop skills and receive coaching. If you need help or have technical questions, please see our Technical Support page.

Who is this for?

LeaderAmp is for anyone who wants to develop his/her leadership skills and potential, no matter his/her position. This list of frequently asked questions is for anyone participating in leader development using the LeaderAmp mobile platform. 

What will I be expected to do as part of this program?

Depending on how your organization has structured the engagement, Leaders may..

  • Complete self-assessments measuring their standing on several dimensions known to predict effective leadership

  • Get others (managers, peers, etc.) to complete 360-degree assessments of additional leadership dimensions

  • Choose development goals

  • Practice their leadership skills in response to “eCoaching” prompts from the LeaderAmp mobile system

  • Reflect on their practice by completing journal entries inside of the app

  • Potentially, receive additional coaching from a leader development coach, both through the mobile app and in person

For more details, watch a short video explaining the Leader role.

What is “eCoaching”?

LeaderAmp's software includes "eCoaching" that is tailored to your goals and proficiency levels. On the days you choose to practice, a mobile push notification will be sent to your phone with suggestions. These suggestions may ask you to reflect on your behavior throughout the day. Or they could include some new behaviors you should do your best to apply to real situations. They could also include suggestions on how you can leverage support from your stakeholders. In each case, these eCoaching suggestions will take you only a moment to read in the mornings. Throughout your day, you should try to apply this coaching to your real work. And at the end of your day, LeaderAmp will remind you to journal about your reflections on how that practice went. What did you do well? What mistakes can you avoid next time? This process of attempting to apply coaching and journaling is what we mean by practicing your leadership skills and behaviors.

Why should I journal?

Journaling is critical because research shows that reflecting on practice activities is important for learning and improving skills. Journaling also creates a record that you can look back on, add to, and use to reflect upon the progress you’ve made. Also, your coach (if you have one) needs the journal. These entries will be a critical tool for understanding what you’re doing so that he/she can coach you on how to do it better or to keep up the great work. 

What is a “Nurture Note”?

Nurture Notes are personalized words of encouragement, wisdom, and advice from whoever the leader nominates --coworkers, supervisors, mentors, or even friends and family. They are delivered right through the LeaderAmp mobile app. These notes amplify motivation and improve adherence to the coaching program.

What will be expected from my coach?

If your organization has assigned you a human coach to augment your leader development, he/she will fulfill several important roles. Your journal entries and assessments will be confidentially shared with your coach. Your coach will then use the app’s chat system to send you encouragement, feedback, recommendations, and other communications throughout the week. 

Depending on how the coaching program is set up, coaches may also meet with you for live coaching sessions on whatever schedule you both agree to. These sessions may be in-person, via phone, or via video conferencing. All of your eCoaching, journaling, and other practice activities will then be available to the coach and can be used in his/her discussion with you. Again, everything is based on what’s in the app: your assessment results, your goals, your eCoaching activities, and your journal.

Why does LeaderAmp use the leadership dimensions it does and not others?

The team at LeaderAmp has applied its deep expertise in organizational psychology, HR, coaching, mobile application development, and AI research to the task of optimizing leadership development. The dimensions measured by the platform are those that research has repeatedly shown to be most related to effective leadership behaviors across a variety of organizations and industries. Improving in these areas pays off.

LeaderAmp also has the ability to tailor its leadership development approach and measures to further support a client organization’s specific objectives and needs. 

How can I find out more about the science behind LeaderAmp?

There are references within the LeaderAmp app itself that give an overview of the science behind it. Free white papers and eBooks with even more details are available here: http://www.leaderamp.com/downloads/

How long will this program last? When will I get to see if I’ve improved?

Program length is set by the client organization but is typically at least one quarter (three months). This gives adequate time and opportunity for most leaders to practice their skills and live up to their leader development commitments. 

What information does LeaderAmp or 3rd party companies collect? How does LeaderAmp protect my privacy?

LeaderAmp protects your privacy and takes it very seriously. Please see LeaderAmp’s complete privacy policy here: http://www.leaderamp.com/privacy

Why do the calibration exercise before assessments?

Before completing an assessment, users go through a brief calibration process where they read an account of a fictional employee and make ratings about him/her. This gives the system behind LeaderAmp’s assessments a chance to see how users interpret questions and use the rating scales. This calibration also allows the system to appropriately combine the ratings of multiple stakeholders in the 360-degree assessment by taking into account how each one interprets and uses the rating scales.

The one-time calibration process is part of what makes the system so fast and accurate at measuring leaders’ traits and dialing in the right level of challenge for the eCoaching activities.

Why do some assessment questions seem a little extreme?

LeaderAmp’s computer-adaptive measurement system asks questions and then uses sophisticated algorithms and adaptive testing techniques to adjust itself to the rater’s responses. The system uses each response to narrow down its choice of subsequent items and pinpoint its measurements more quickly and accurately than other assessments. 

As a result of this approach, you will come across items with words like "among the best in the world" or "better than anyone." Even if this is a bit jarring, it's by design and part of makes LeaderAmp better. Such highly skilled people actually do take these assessments, so we ask everyone if they’re at that point on the “ruler.” So if you’re not “among the best in the world” then just give that question a “Disagree” rating or whatever else you think is appropriate.

Why are some assessment items similar to each other?

You may notice similar wording used in multiple assessment questions. This is by design, as the items will measure slightly different attributes, contexts, or levels of the skill or trait in question. The items may seem identical, but the slight differences are important for pinpointing accurate measurements.

How often should I commit to getting eCoaching prompts and journaling?

As frequently as you can. The more you practice, the better your chances of development.  LeaderAmp requires you to practice at least once per week.

Note that no matter what schedule you set for the notifications, you are free to journal as often as you like --multiple times per day, even. If you have a productive week full of opportunities to practice and journal about your development, you will only benefit from extra journal entries.

Who should I nominate as a stakeholder for 360 assessments?

Anyone who is familiar enough with you to gauge your leadership skills and answer the assessment questions (which are similar to the self-assessment questions). Typical stakeholders include managers, mentors, peers, team members, direct reports, or other business partners.

Also, you can’t have too many stakeholders as long as each one has had an opportunity to observe you.

Are stakeholder responses anonymous?

Yes, no one will ever see their specific responses. Leaders will only see the measurements that are aggregated across stakeholders. Because multiple stakeholders provide ratings and use sophisticated bias adjustment corrections, they should feel free to be transparent without worrying about whether or not that leader will see specific responses. 

Using the App for Mobile Coaching

What are “Time Trials” and “Leaderboards”?

Time Trials are events that organizations may elect to use in order to determine which leaders are dedicated and diligent enough to participate in a full leader development program with LeaderAmp.

In a typical Time Trial, many leaders are invited to install the LeaderAmp mobile app, complete the assessments, choose development goals, and complete eCoaching and journaling activities for a few weeks. Those who are conscientious and consistent enough in their practice and journaling climb leaderboards (visible from the app main menu). Winners are ultimately chosen to continue the program to its conclusion and, potentially, receive additional help from a human coach.

Note that not all organizations use Time Trials.

What am I supposed to do in response to eCoaching suggestions?

Take the eCoaching suggestions at face value. They were written to be appropriate to someone at your current standing on the leadership dimensions you are practicing. You should consider each one and find an opportunity in the next day or two to follow it. Sometimes this will involve reflection, sometimes it will involve talking to someone, sometimes it will require you to read an article or watch a video. Other times it may ask you to seek out a specific work activity or situation. 

After following the eCoaching suggestion, it’s critical that you think about it and write a journal entry within the LeaderAmp app. Ideally, this would be before the next eCoaching prompt appears, but it’s better to be late than to miss an entry entirely. Reflecting and journaling help you learn and retain lessons. Also, if you are also working with a human coach these entries will help him/her coach you.

How do I make a journal entry?

The default Timeline page in the LeaderAmp app lets you easily start entries. Just tap the “Make a journal entry…” field at the bottom of the screen.

Note that you can tap the ^ icon in this field at any time to expand or collapse the text entry field for easier use. 

If your phone allows speech-to-text dictation you can use it to complete journal entries or chat messages. Many find this more convenient than typing.

When you’re done with your entry, just tap the send icon and you’re done. Thought of more to say? Simply start a new entry at any time.

What happens if I miss my journaling commitment or get behind?

Every leader has busy weeks or vacation weeks where he/she is unable to complete every journal entry. That said, you should strive to meet as many journaling commitments as possible since reflecting on and writing about your practice activities is critical to your development. Also, if you are also working with a human coach he/she uses your journal entries as a window to your practice and will want to discuss them with you.

But if you get behind --even by days or weeks-- don’t get discouraged or let it become an excuse to drop out of the program entirely. There is absolutely no reason why you can’t simply pick up today and continue on as if you had never missed a beat.

Why do I sometimes get similar eCoaching suggestions? Do I have to do anything or journal about them when this happens?

Variations in context, target, or scope across eCoaching suggestions may be subtle, but they are important for encouraging users to repeatedly practice their skills in a variety of ways. Leaders who elect to receive frequent eCoaching prompts may receive identical items over time, but again these should be taken as opportunities to repeat valuable practice activities, perhaps with a fresh perspective or made to build on the previous practice. Simply because the eCoaching prompts are repeated does not mean the practice activities they inspire cannot be new. 

How will I know if I’ve improved on the dimensions I’ve been practicing?

When the program is complete you will repeat assessments (both self and 360) on the dimensions you have been practicing. You will then receive a new report showing changes in your scores. 

Working With a Coach

What can my coach see?

Your coach can see all of your assessment results, the eCoaching suggestions you’ve received, your journal entries, and of course the chat messages that you send to him/her. Coaches can also see the names of those you have nominated to complete the 360-degree assessments and whether or not they have completed those assessments. 

Finally, coaches can see how often you have committed to eCoaching and journaling, plus how often you have kept those commitments.

How do I send a message to my coach?

On the default Timeline screen, tap “Chat” near the upper right corner of the screen. Then tap in the “Type a message for your Coach” field near the bottom of the screen to begin composing a message.

Will I only interact with my coach through the app?

It depends on how your program is set up. Some organizations and coaches elect to have live coaching sessions outside of the app via face-to-face meetings, phone calls, or video conferencing. If this is the case, you and your coach will coordinate these meetings.