Executive function (EF) skills are the connection between our potential and what we are capable of achieving. They enable us to plan, focus attention, remember instructions, and juggle multiple tasks successfully. We use them to set goals, strategize ways to achieve those goals, evaluate our progress to achieving those goals, regulate our emotions if we feel overwhelmed, and modify or tweak our plans when necessary along the way.
What exactly is
The following are some of the key functions of an executive functioning coach:
Assessing Executive Functioning Skills: An executive functioning coach will start by assessing the individual’s current executive functioning skills. This may involve a formal assessment, such as a standardized test, or an informal assessment, such as an interview or observation. The coach will use this information to develop a personalized plan to improve the individual’s executive functioning skills.
Developing Strategies: Based on the assessment, the coach will work with the individual to develop specific strategies and tools to improve their executive functioning skills using their strengths and interests. These strategies may include techniques for improving planning and organization, task initiation, time management, working memory, and cognitive flexibility.
Goal Setting: The coach will work with the individual to identify specific goals related to their executive functioning skills. These goals may be related to academic or work performance, or to personal goals such as managing household tasks or self-care. Once goals are identified, the coach and client work together to break down each goal into reasonable tasks and expectations called an Action Plan that they will work on outside of coaching sessions to work towards their goal.
Monitoring: The coach will regularly check in with the client to see how the Action Plan is progressing and see if any part of the plan needs to be tweaked. This may involve regular check-ins, parent calls, progress reports, or other methods of tracking progress.
Providing Accountability: The coach will hold the client accountable for following through on their Action Plan and overall goals. This may involve setting deadlines or benchmarks and positive reinforcement to support the individual to try their best to stay on track.
Providing Emotional Support: In addition to providing practical support and strategies, an executive functioning coach may also provide emotional support to help the individual work towards social or emotional challenges they are facing or may face. This may involve tools to self-regulate, and enhance cognitive flexibility and problem-solving skills.