Until they believe they can, they can’t
Friday, May 20, 2011 22 Comments
by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
An ADD Coach’s single most important task is
the facilitation of THE most essential client shift:
from “Expectations of Failure”
TO “Expectations of SUCCESS”
Don’t you ever doubt it!
Everything else you do is secondary. Throw your “tough love” in the garbage where it belongs.
As the coach, your most important shift is from
DOING “good coaching” to BEING a good coach.
It’s not about YOU, it’s about THEM!
Any ADD Coach worthy of the name must be prepared to move as slowly as they must to allow their ADDers to experience success — ENOUGH “evidence of success” to counteract years of “evidence of failure.”
That means baby steps to begin with, not “challenges.”
- It makes no difference how little an ADD client accomplishes, or
- How little they seem to be able to articulate their thoughts when you inadvertently
shut down their pre-frontal cortex (each time you put them on the spot with one of
those “powerful questions” of the flavor that most vanilla coaches have been trained to use) . . .
- No matter how slowly they progress at the beginning, you must be prepared to move as slowly as you must for as long as you must for your ADD clients to amass enough experience of success to feel successful
- ENOUGH “evidence of success” to counteract years of “evidence of failure.”
The name of the game
Any coach’s job – the name of the game – with ANY type of client is to make sure those clients have what they need for ongoing accomplishment — NOT to insist that they do their homework, call on time, or stay on track without help.
Those last tasks have a name in the coaching world: in order to’s. Not good, right?
- While follow-through and time management are important steps along the path to goals actuation, skills that can be – and need to be – acquired, those tasks are more than a simple a matter of motivation with ADD clients (“wanting to badly enough” or understanding the importance).
- BELIEVE ME, they already know it’s important! They are frustrated beyond belief that they can’t “get it together.”
- Coach “lectures” are considered inappropriate with ANY client, but with an ADD client, they’re deadly.
- Unless you are a comprehensively trained, brain-based ADD COACH, you probably don’t even consider what you say “lecturing.” (Your ADD clients, however, DO. And it’s harmful – it shuts them down, whether you intend harm or not — don’t ask them, you won’t get the truth from most of them because they won’t want to hurt your feelings!)
- Your ADD clients may NEVER be able to do the “stay on track to completion” dance without a bit of outside assistance: NOT because they don’t want to, but because the area of the brain in charge of focus and follow-through is part of what isn’t working well in the ADD BRAIN.
EF deficits DEFINE ADD!
ADDers need their coaches to help them compensate for kludgy executive functioning.
THAT’s why they hired you, whether either of you are aware of it consciously or not.blank line
IMPLICATIONS OF THE INFORMATION
A Coach’s job with any ADD Client is to:
a) provide focusing assistance during the session
b) to make sure their client knows how to get focusing assistance
once the coaching relationship ends
c) and to make sure their clients fully understand what will happen
if they don’t reach out for it [ADD Coaching Hint: not much!]
Repeating the words imprinted on the graphic that began this article:
Lacking power impairs thinking
Writing in Psychological Science, Smith et. al. (2008) report that when randomly assigned participants are made to feel powerless they become worse at keeping on top of changing information, filtering out irrelevant stuff and planning ahead to get the task done.
If you’d like some one-on-one (or group) coaching help with anything that came up while you were reading this article (either for your own life, that of a loved one, or as coaching skills development), click the E-me link <—here (or on the menubar at the top of every page) and I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)
Related Articles on THIS site
(will open in a new window/tab – close THAT window/tab to come back here)
- Naming the Game
- The Art and Science of the ADD Question
- Brain-based Coaching Paradigms
- Distinctions: Coaching vs.Therapy
- The ADD-ADHD Coachablity Index™
- About Activation
Check out my article on Brain-based coaching on Dr. Charles Parker’s CorePsych blog
Coaching, out where the ADHD rubber meets the road of reality
Related articles around the web
(will open in new window/tab)
- The Left Brain answer to “What is coaching?” (next up.. right brain.. WAY more fun) (musingalong.wordpress.com)
- Sometimes … You just aren’t ready (healthwellnessandsuccess.wordpress.com)
- Don’t Let Your Strengths Become Your Weakness (psychologytoday.com)
- How to Develop a Success Mindset from the Inside Out (powerhomebiz.com)
- Traits of a Successful Person (patricialifecoach.wordpress.com)
BY THE WAY: I revisit all my content periodically to update links — when you link back, like, follow or comment, you STAY on the page. When you do not, you run a high risk of getting replaced by a site with a more generous come-from.