I work to help language students make more effective and efficient progress. Sometimes I work with those who want to learn other skills like coding, or perhaps a more specific productivity issue or project that requires top performance.
But how can you make sure you get the most value out of working with me or another professional coach?
Come with questions and a purpose. Coaching works best when student and coach each show up with things to contribute to the discussion. Two important prerequisites on the part of the student are some sense of their goals as well as a set of questions. (If there weren't any questions, there wouldn't be any need for a coach). The more explicit and engaged these questions and purpose can be, the better the coaching will be.
Ideally you'll keep a notebook where you can gather more specific insights, questions and reactions to the work you're doing. If you don't note them down while you're doing the work, you'll probably forget and miss out on the opportunity to get feedback or suggestions on the particular problem that affected you.
More Feedback, More Communication
As a coach, it's most difficult to help someone when you don't hear much about what they're doing or how they're feeling about it. There probably isn't an upper limit on how much feedback to give. More is better, just so long as it doesn't take you away from your actual language study. This can take the form of a daily email once you've completed your study session for the day, or writing notes in our shared tracking spreadsheet.
Reflection brings perspective. By taking a step back from your coaching and your language studies, you might be able to figure out some broader patterns relating to how you study. Reflection can take any form. I like to write out a problem or a situation using pen/paper, thinking through how I feel things are going. Think of it as a solo version of the coaching sessions themselves which have reflection built-in.
Follow-up During The Week
I welcome email queries during the week. Very few take me up on the offer, though it's an excellent time to get quick answers to any particular question or issue that comes up. If the weekly check-in is the only time we hear from each other, course corrections are much harder to make.
Do The Work
If you're working with someone, you're going to get the most benefit if you follow through with whatever you both agree you'll get done in a particular week. Doing the work will bring up new challenges and questions, and these can feed into the ongoing coaching. In order to decide whether a given path is or isn't working for you, you have to give it a serious try in the first place.
Finally, on a more prosaic note, showing up on time and giving adequate notice if you need to reschedule are always practices I really appreciate in someone I'm working with. I often travel from different parts of the town to make sure I'm ready for a call.
Out of all of this, communication is the key.