Trusting YOUR Instincts about FIT – Part 4

You CAN Trust Your Instincts

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
The fourth article in the 5-part Coaching Fit Series

Listen with an Open Heart and an Open Mind

Listen to the coaches you interview with an open mind.  Expect them each to have certain procedures and standards you will be requested  to agree to follow if you coach with them.

A coach for whom “anything goes” will probably not be the best coach for you in the long run.  Listen to why they feel their procedures are important and what they are designed to accomplish.

THEN listen to your heart and instincts. 

Although NO relationship with another will ever be “perfect,” keep looking until you find a situation you can relax into, *especially* if you get the sense that you are being talked into something you’re not sure you want.

Don’t forget that you don’t have to be *right* about your instincts to keep looking. 

It’s enough that you don’t *feel* right.  Part of the process of coaching involves getting in touch with the truth of the fact that you CAN trust your instincts and that you CAN trust another to listen to some of the “dumb” things you do without making you feel, well, DUMB.

Nowhere is trusting your instincts more important than in the process of selecting a coach you will be trusting with your LIFE! 

Take Care of YOU!

Hiring a coach is a *personal* decision that says nothing about the coach’s competence beyond whether or not they are a good fit for YOU.

Don’t feel bad if your ultimate decision about a particular coach is “Thanks, but no thanks.”  Experienced coaches know that NO coach is a good fit for EVERYONE, no matter how good they are!

You don’t have to worry about taking care of a prospective coach’s feelings or coming up with “logical”  reasons why you aren’t going to hire them.  It’s enough to be relatively polite and considerate as you speak your truth, thanking them for taking the time to help you move forward in your decision-making process.

The best coaches each want you to be excited about your coaching and eager to participate, and will be happy to assist you in the process of getting truly comfortable before you say yes, even as they watch for “shoppers disease.” So don’t be afraid to voice your concerns, or to give feedback about their responses.  The more information you share, the quicker you will find a GREAT coach for you — and the sooner you will find yourself moving toward a life you LOVE instead of one you tolerate!

The right fit will make all the difference.

Finding an ADD Coach with the right FIT for YOU

As I said in the first article of this series, A Bunch of Words about 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 with a feeling that something is not quite right.

  • Article Three, Coaches, Dentists, & FIT, explains a bit more about fit, and discusses a list of Eight Things to Listen FOR in your interview, to help you determine your fit with each coach

So now what?  It’s time to make SURE you check out policies about ending the relationship.


Some ADDers stay with ADD Coaching for years — because it is an accountability stucture that keeps them on track and moving forward.  HOWEVER,  coaching is not designed to be “’til death do us part.”

Questions about ending the relationship are appropriate.

  • How and when does it happen?  
  • Who decides?  
  • What are we looking at to tell us when it is time?

Every coach works a little differently, so don’t expect every coach to to give you the same answers about ending the process.

In my practice, for example, I have various “levels of engagement,” from one-shot informational consultations, to Group Coaching, to a small number of sliding-scale time-slots (whenever I can possibly squeeze them in without unbalancing the rest of what I do.)

For those who want my full service, I won’t work without a six-month commitment. 

I know that coaching is not a quick fix and I want my coaching policies to line up with that fact.  My full-fee clients actually sign an agreement outlining expectations we talk about specifically, including the agreement to give coaching at least six months initially.

Coaching is a developmental process, fundamentally different from a consultation.

Development takes TIMEinformation is only a small part of the picture.

If a client expects to “fix” everything in a few quick months or – even worse – sessions, I know that the pressure of that expectation won’t allow them to take advantage of much that I can share with them, even in the few sessions we might have together.

If I don’t sense that a client is at least as committed to his or her own coaching as I am, they need to work with some other coach.

Job satisfaction is a biggie for me: I don’t work with ANYONE I can’t help.  If clients bale out when the going gets tough, I can’t help them move beyond it: no job satisfaction!

I make sure that potential clients are aware that the commitment is to themselves and the coaching process, however, not to coaching with ME specifically. 

After twenty-plus years, I have been coaching long enough that I’m seldom wrong about fit, but if I were to discover after a month or so that I had misjudged it (or if the client felt they weren’t getting what they needed from me and we couldn’t work that out in a session or two), I would help that client find a coach who is a better fit.

I STILL expect them to honor the original commitment to themselves by staying with the process for at least six months, even though they would be spending that time with another coach.

Don’t forget that the interview process goes both ways

When I interview clients, in addition to FIT, I am listening for their commitment to their own growth.  How they feel about committing to six months is a huge clue to their resolve. 

If a prospective client is afraid to “obligate” themselves by signing an agreement, I also wonder if there is sufficient trust between the two of us for the relationship to work, and I explore that question with them. 

Unless I get a real sense of comfort and trust, I suggest that they keep looking, NOT that they jump in to sign something they aren’t comfortable signing, or sign on for a process that will not be enjoyable for either of us. That’s what you need to listen for with any coach you interview: LACK of “sign-up now” pressure!

Concluding this series:

There is only ONE more item to discuss about the interview process, which I will tackle in the New Year: talking about money!  So stay tuned.  If you sign up for notification (upper right – skinny column), you won’t even have to keep checking back.  No worries – no spam!

(c) 2001 – 2011, Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CMC, SCAC, MCC — all rights reserved

If you’d like to work with me . . .

If you are interested in exploring coaching or mentoring with me personally, jump up to the darker, top line of the menu just under the site-banner, and click the link to the e-Me form.  Within a few days, I will give you a quick call to set up a mutually convenient time for an initial interview where we can speak at greater length (20-30 minutes, no charge).

BE SURE to click at least one of choices before you hit send,
or it won’t “file” in the right place and I will NEVER see it!

Meanwhile, click around on this blogsite to get a feel for my coaching philosophy, my ADD information-base, and a bit about how I train ADD coaches   (most articles related to coaching can be found under the Coaching With MGH choice on the bottom, lighter-grey menubar at the top of the page.)

Related articles on THIS site:

From the FIT series:

Related Coaching Articles:

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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