A Bunch of Words about FIT – Part 1

I Don’t Tweet, Don’t Ask Me

© By Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, A.C.T., MCC, SCAC
The first article in the 5-part Coaching Fit Series

You can’t Tweet a novel.

Neither can you expand on a concept effectively when you are limited to a handful of characters barely greater than the number of tiles you might draw in the average game of Scrabble!

Since “profound relating” is at the very top of my personal list of Core Values, I find “Twitter expectations” more than a little unsettling — especially when they are shoved down my throat as THE way to reach your clients (or anyone else!)

I have been accused of a lot of things in my life,
but “brief” was never one of them.

As a result, most of MY students and clients are more likely to appreciate something with a little meat on its bones than to extol the virtues of “The Cliff Notes approach to idea dissemination.”

Some of us LIKE words.  Most of us who like words really don’t care much for “brief.”  It’s a matter of perspective and personal preference, not an addendum to Robert’s Rules of Order.  So when I hear apologies for the length of a post on blog after blog, I want to weep.

For those of us in love with language, LESS is simply … well, less!

It’s a matter of FIT.  And whether you are coach, client, or both, the concept of FIT is probably THE single most important coaching concept underlying coaching success.

FIT-based Coaching

There is a concept in ADD Coaching – all coaching, actually – that stands conventional “marketing” on its ear: the concept of FIT.  Given relatively commensurate skills, client/coach FIT is the single most important predictor of success.  If a coach doesn’t match your needs, it matters not how skilled they are.

Said another way, when you’re looking for a brick layer,
don’t expect a stone mason to really do it for you.

What IS Fit?

“Fit” is that seemingly intangible quality that results in a feeling of affinity for one person where another (perhaps with equal qualifications) leaves you feeling that something is not quite right.

Your first “best friend” was undoubtedly a choice based on fit, as is a choice of a good life-partner

A wife might have trouble explaining exactly what made her decide to marry her husband instead of some other man, one who was interesting enough to date for a while, perhaps, but not someone with whom she wanted to grow old.

She may well be able to make up a detailed list of what was “right” with one and “wrong” with the other but, chemistry aside, more than likely it was simply because the “fit” was right with the man she chose.

It’s easier to describe LACK of FIT.

Even if you are speaking to the most knowledgeable coaches in the history of coaching, if they make YOU feel uneasy, ashamed or stupid, the fit is CLEARLY off.

On a seemingly subtler level, if you find yourself reluctant to tell some coaches the whole truth because you just aren’t sure if they can hear it, be willing to work with you, and stay on your side instead of beating you up with a stick fashioned from their values, keep looking — BAD FIT!

So, even though almost all potential clients are a LITTLE reticent at first, the right coach for you will respond to your “test disclosures” in a way that makes YOU feel increasingly more comfortable, even if you feel a little foolish sharing some of your experiences or questions.

Although some coaches will be better at it than others (true in any field with any skill), all comprehensively-trained coaches have experience listening for signs of reticence or discomfort, and have studied listening and languaging techniques designed to make clients feel SAFE exposing themselves and their lives.

Still, you will find some coaches just work better for YOU.  You want to work with one of those!

That’s FIT! 

  • It’s a bit hard to explain, but relatively easy to recognize once you find it.
  • I drafted this series, however, because there’s a lot more to fit than “warm fuzzies,” so stay tuned!

But here’s the kicker:
FIT is an equal opportunity concept it works in both directions

In point of fact, whenever coaches pretzel themselves in an attempt to be all coaches to all clients, nothing good comes from it.  The first person who MUST make sure the fit is not off for them is the coach.

Said another way, the customer is RARELY EVER RIGHT
if they’re the wrong customer.

(FIT is *just* as important, by the way, between coach and training as between client and coach, so expand your frame to be able to apply the content and concepts of this series to your training decisions.)

Because this series has been written primarily for potential clients looking at potential ADD Coaches, FOR NOW, that’s all I’m going to say about FIT from the coach’s point of view.

Check back for an article in the Mentor Series of Posts for the articles that will unpack the concept for ADD Professionals and ADD Coaches.

As always, client or colleague, if you want notification of new articles in this series – or any new posts on this blog – give your email address to the nice form on the top of the skinny column to the right. (You only have to do this once, so if you’ve already asked for notification about a prior series, you’re covered for this one too) STRICT No Spam Policy

If you’d like some one-on-one (or group) coaching help with anything that came up while you were reading this Series (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!)

You can also click on the Brain-Based Coaching and Mentor Coaching links (here or below). You’ll find a list of articles you might find helpful, and a contact form at the bottom of each one.

Related articles on ADDandSoMuchMore:

From the Coaching FIT series:

Exploring Coaching with me:

A few related Coaching Articles:


AGAIN — If you are one of the many ADDers who struggle staying tracked when you read, print this so you can highlight for focus or ask someone to read it TO you.  Sometimes it works to read into a tape recorder and listen back, IF you can do this without making yourself wrong for not reading like your favorite actor.  The POINT is to intake the information so that you can get on with living a GREAT life!

(c) 2001 Madelyn Griffith-Haynie

The content for the entire FIT series has been “expanded ” from concepts and content that used to be part of my e-brochure ensemble — my attempt to help the many who emailed me in deep rumination over the process of interviewing and hiring a coach, especially since so many were unclear about what coaching DOES in the first place.

This version is on the way to the inclusion of the material in a chapter of a book I’m writing about ADD coaching — so please honor my copyright — if you share, be SURE to include my information as the source.  Thanks!

About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

And what do YOU think? I'm interested.

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