Shaping Thinking Behavior Through Coaching Conversations

CEUs: 2 Supervision BACB®
Presenter(s): Abbey Mix, BCBA


Effectively coaching staff to implement evidence-based practices with fidelity often requires more than instruction, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback. In order for staff to embrace a new intervention and learn to administer with mastery, they will need to understand how it aligns with their values, be part of the decision-making process for intervention selection, and be motivated for the work and potential outcomes. Getting staff there can be done through coaching conversations that emphasize listening to understand, pausing for reflection, and posing questions that invite thinking. While thoughts are private events, coaching conversations can turn those private events into observable behaviors which can then be shaped.  An effective leader guides the conversation partner to collaboratively discover the idea rather than reacting with quick answers. This proactive thought work can shape the thinking behavior of staff from “I can’t do this” to “I’m not sure how to do this” to “I’m willing to try”. In addition, this session will explore how coaching conversations can support productive venting, validate the coaching partner’s experience, and help reduce burnout. Attendees will leave with practical strategies and resources to implement with their colleagues that support powerful coaching conversations.

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will identify and operationally define values
  • Participants will explain the relationship between coaching conversations and Behavior Skills Training.
  • Participants will identify components of mediative questions (questions that invite thinking).
  •  Participants will practice paraphrasing, pausing, and posing questions that invite thinking.
  • Participants will explain how coaching conversations can validate staff experiences and reduce burn-out.
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About Abbey Mix

Abbey Mix is the Supervisor of Specialized Programming and Instructional Supports at Kent ISD. She is a licensed social worker and Board Certified Behavior Analyst who joined the Special Education Coaching team in 2019. Her previous experience includes the work of an Autism Consultant, Behavior Consultant, ESY Autism classroom teacher, and Autism Department Supervisor. Abbey is passionate about continuous learning and always striving to #dobetter in support of students and families. As she works closely with local district and regional teams through coaching, consultation, and professional development, she aims to implement behavior analytic interventions with a compassionate and student-centered approach and places values of dignity, safety, and rapport above rigid instructional procedures.

Additional information

CEU Type


CEU Amount


Product Type

Single On-Demand

Course Presenter

Abbey Mix, BCBA, LMSW


Paid, Included with Trail Blazers