How Coaching Works

How Executive Function Coaches Work With Clients

Our executive function coaches work 1:1 with students

Online Video Coaching

At Beyond BookSmart, we do our best to make it easy. Our Executive Function coaches work with clients face-to-face, online through Skype. The frequency of coaching sessions varies with our clients. Some meet once weekly with their coach, while others, who are eager for greater traction in gaining skills, choose more frequent sessions.

While each session is unique to the needs of our clients, the essential structure remains similar. Here’s what to expect from a typical coaching session:

1. Checking in

To reconnect and build rapport, the coach invites the client to briefly discuss what is on his or her mind. This also helps the coach to gauge a client’s frame of mind as they get ready to work.

2. Reviewing the previous week

The coach reviews the previous week’s commitments and gets the client’s perspective on how successful they were with meeting those objectives. Coaches use this as an opportunity to celebrate successes, to frame those successes as choices the client made, and to explore what obstacles prevented them from attaining particular objectives.

3. Prioritizing the session

The coach helps the client, through prompts and review of assignments, to create an agenda for the session. Both the urgency and the importance of tasks are considered, as well as the fit for established coaching priorities.

4. Working on the skills

The coach and client work on the particular challenge, generating ideas, completing work, and reflecting on the process, the tools used, and the skills that were employed. Examples of this work include preparing effectively for an upcoming test or meeting, planning an essay or report, breaking down a large project into smaller segments, and learning how to use a time management app.

5. Establishing weekly commitments

The coach asks the client to commit to completing specific tasks for the following week or until the next session, including when those tasks will be worked on/completed. Examples include reaching out to a teacher for extra support, meeting with a work colleague about a project, completing a study plan for an assessment, and using a new strategy for keeping organized.

6. Follow up

The coach enters progress notes in the online portal. As appropriate, the coach also checks in with the client briefly between sessions to provide encouragement and accountability.

Gaining Skills Toward Independence

We work hard to build a strong, consistent, and supportive relationship with our clients. Because confidence cannot be given to someone, we provide both the push and the encouragement to help clients achieve small, quick successes that build confidence and the willingness to invest greater effort. As they accomplish their initial objectives, we help clients to reflect on what they did to succeed, building upon these achievements, so they feel ready to tackle the next challenge with greater confidence and independence. Over time, with repetition of this process, they take ownership of the tools and strategies we have taught them. We gradually fade support during the coaching process to promote independence. Typically, clients work with our coaches for anywhere from 8-18 months so that these tools and strategies become part of their work repertoire and new habits become second nature.

Partnerships with You

At Beyond BookSmart, we also believe that it’s important to have a partnership with you. For our student clients, we regularly communicate with parents about your child’s progress. In addition, we have created an exclusive portal for clients, so you can track that progress month to month. Clients over 18 years old are provided the option of sharing portal access with their parents.

Our approach brings results we take pride in. Find out more about how we help clients become more effective and confident.

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