May 20, 2021

Anatomy of a Bravely session

The heart of Bravely’s work has always been one-on-one confidential coaching. Those conversations are where the magic happens, where an “aha moment” helps people experience the confidence and clarity they came for. Employees leave sessions empowered to take productive action toward their best lives at work — after just one session, over 90% say they have a more positive outlook, and 83% say they’ve gained a new skill. But don’t take our word for it; here’s what one employee had to say after a recent session:

“Amazing experience, I was surprised how fruitful was our session in only 45 minutes. There were actionable things we’ve discovered together, and it definitely helped me to achieve clarity of what needs to be done. I slept better at night because of our session.”

When people have access to Bravely, they’re set up to succeed and engage more deeply than ever with their work. That’s why Rachel Peck, Director of Learning and Development at Harry’s, said:

“Bravely is a multiplier — it fortifies company culture, and makes the support you’ve put in place for your people more effective by an order of magnitude.”

But what happens in a Bravely session? We like to say the best way to find out is to experience one for yourself. The second-best way is to read on.

A moment that matters

Life at work is made up of moments that reverberate throughout our careers and have the potential to make or break our relationships with our job. These range in scale: a seemingly trivial remark by a colleague can undermine one’s confidence just as much as a promotion can boost it. From presenting in a meeting to becoming a manager for the first time, from overcoming a slump to asking for a raise, Bravely supports people through “moments” of all sizes.

While many Bravely users go on to book regularly-scheduled sessions with their Pro, most sessions originate from a single moment in an employee’s work life. This moment might be an opportunity that they want to seize, a challenge they want to tackle, or a situation they want to see from all sides.

Booking a session

After logging into the Bravely app, users select the general theme of their session and write a short description of the “moment” they’re experiencing. Examples include:

Mock-up of the Bravely app, depicting the screen on which users select a main session theme.

The most frequent topics across Bravely sessions are:

  1. Success in current role: 21.9%
  2. Career planning: 15.3%
  3. Stress: 8.2%
  4. Feeling stuck: 5.9%
  5. Performance reviews: 4.8%

Every time someone books a session, they can choose whether to schedule with a Pro they’ve already worked with or try someone new. They also select the language they’d like their session conducted in and a date and time — as soon as later that same day!

Bravely Pros are rigorously vetted, onboarded to our methodology, and evaluated for ongoing performance. Pros have an average of 11 years of coaching experience, 65% have a Master’s Degree or Ph.D. in a relevant field, and 21% have held senior leadership positions in companies across various industries. They work from 18 countries, spread across five continents, and can conduct sessions in 20 different languages.

The session

Mockup of the Bravely app, depicting the screen returning visitors see.

Over the course of a 45-minute conversation, a Pro and an employee will work together to explore a situation together, look at a variety of perspectives, and form a game plan. Broken out into stages, the conversation looks like this:

  1. Discovery: In this step, the employee shares more about what’s going on, including what they need and their desired outcome. The Pro may ask probing questions to help them get more specific and think about their own motivations.
  2. Perspective-taking: Here, the coachee thinks critically about the other viewpoints and forces at play. The Pro may nudge them by pointing out perspectives they haven’t considered.
  3. Mapping: The employee lays out their options, envisioning the paths they can take and what they’ll find at the end of them: “What would happen if I tried X? What about Y?”
  4. Strategy: The employee will develop and agree upon a positive game plan, with as many specifics as possible, including a way to stay accountable. As with the rest of the conversation, the employee is in the driver’s seat. The Pro’s role isn’t to give anyone the answers or tell them what to do; it’s to guide people in finding their own best solutions.
  5. Synthesis: Finally, the employee puts it all together. They may apply new skills in real time (for example, they’ll often roleplay a conversation). The Pro may have them reflect on the strengths and opportunities for support to end the session on a positive note.

Bravely’s Momentum Method incorporates elements of interest-based negotiation, the GROW model, and transformational coaching to give people the tools, confidence, and clarity they need to thrive at work.

Momentum Method

In this model, three key tenets drive a Pro’s approach…

  • Foster empathy. Pros will guide you in taking on different perspectives, seeing a situation from all sides. That includes self-compassion: are you giving yourself the credit you deserve?
  • Challenge and support. Pros thoughtfully balance these two actions, encouraging you to: open up and vent as needed, actively examine the assumptions you may be making, and move toward a deeper understanding of your own situation.
  • Clear the path. Pros don’t give direct advice or prescribe next steps; instead, they open up your view of the options available to you and allow you space to make an informed decision.

…and there are three main outcomes you can expect:

  • Actionable game-planning. You can expect to end any session with specific, clear, and realistic next steps.
  • Perspective shift. Seeing a situation from a new angle can be the key to getting “unstuck.” 
  • Critical skill development. Over time, the tactics and strategies formed in coaching sessions solidify as skills (in communication, leadership, conflict resolution, change management, and more) applicable to a variety of situations.

It doesn’t end there.

The coaching relationship extends beyond the session — besides having additional sessions (which 49% of Bravely users opt to do within a few months of their first), employees can get check-ins from their Pros between sessions. These are an opportunity for employees to report on new developments since the session: progress made on their action plans, unexpected challenges encountered along the way, or wins worth celebrating!

Many employees come to see their Pro as a vital career partner. Here are just a few of the many testimonials to that effect:

Mock-up of a text from a Pro to an employee.
  • Lorna has been one of the most positive influences in my career.
  • Speaking with Hakemia is the highlight of my month.
  • I wish everybody could have a Christine to help them through work situations!
  • Roz has been such a great support in this challenging time and I look forward to continuing my sessions with her.
  • It’s been great to have such an amazing connection with Krista, and she understands my rants and helps me make sense of my own thoughts

The impact

The positive effects of working Bravely go far beyond the person receiving coaching. When entire companies, including people who may not have otherwise had access to a coach, can use Bravely, the resulting boost in confidence, performance, and engagement is felt by everyone their work touches.

A manager works on their communication skills with a Bravely Pro, and life at work improves for all of their direct reports. A new hire uses coaching for help navigating their workplace, and their peers benefit from following their example. Another person alleviates their burnout with support from a Bravely coach, and the impact of their work skyrockets. All of these ripple effects are happening every day in companies working Bravely, and it all starts with a session.

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