A Shih Tzu’s take on Brain-based Coaching


April is Counseling Awareness Month!
and I can tell you all about how great coaching works

Guest blogger: TinkerToy

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Coaching Series

People coaches and dog coaches have a lot in common

And so do their clients! We all like treats and fun and attaboys — and we all hate the nasty voice!

Some coaches do that tough-love thing, but Mom doesn’t believe that the nasty voice ever works.  It just makes us too scared to keep trying.  She doesn’t even do the nasty voice when she tells me no.

And we all LOVE it when we can suddenly do something we never could before — it’s just that the things that 4-legses and 2-legses figure out how to do are different.

Mom coaches over the phone and I hang out in her office and listen in. She says the only reason I’m allowed to stay around and eavesdrop is because I can’t tell anybody except other dogs.  They don’t care anyway – they don’t even know these 2-legses.

But I’ve learned a LOT about 2-legs coaching that way, and Mom decided to let me tell you some of her coaching secrets (besides fun and laughing – there’s always a lot of that when she coaches).

FIRST you have to be ready, willing and able

Even the coaches who don’t know the first thing about how the brain works say that, but I don’t know why any coaches put it that way – kinda’ dumb if you ask me. What makes more sense is able first, then ready, and willing last of all!

When I was hardly bigger than my mom’s two fists I wasn’t able to do a lot of things I can do now easy-peasey.

Even once I got a little bigger, my tiny brain was still learning about things like eating crunchy food and running.

It took a while for my brain to be ready before it could even think about being willing to learn to do more – like where it was okay to go to the bathroom, and tricks for treats.

Not that babies are looking for coaching – that would be silly – but when grown up two-legses are sick, or in the middle of something they don’t need help with, or recovering from an operation, they might not be ABLE to add coaching to what they have to manage right then.

My Mom wants me to be sure to add that anybody who’s an active addict will never be able until they are clean and sober for at least a year and working a program. 

She says that first they have to be available for change, with a mind that’s not cloudy or thinking about drugs and stuff.

Next you have to be ready

The time has to be right and you have to make room in your days.

  • I’m never ready when I’m really sleepy, for example, not even to play some of my favorite games.
  • I’m not ready when other dogs are around either.  We all  have to have private time with our coach to be able concentrate on what were up to.
  • And I’m never ever gonna’ to be ready to cut back on my time with my fans at my Cheers bar (where everybody knows my name), even for all the best treats in the world!

Some of my mom’s earliest clients didn’t seem to be ready to make room in their schedules at all — not even for all of their appointments over the phone.

They kept missing them over and over – or calling to say that something had come up, like it was the very first time instead of mostly.

They kept themselves too busy to have time to even think about coaching tricks during the week, or do even the simplest coaching homework – like making a list of their challenges or something – and they weren’t ready to say no to something old  to make room for something new.

They just weren’t ready period, no matter how much they said they wanted their lives to be easier and better.

Poor Mom had to tell them to come back when they were ready. Even when she first started out and really needed the money, she never kept coaching anybody she couldn’t help.

Like CATS, for example – most cats don’t want to be ready.
They practically dare you to try to make a difference with them.

Different Rates

Mom does whatever she can to make coaching affordable for most anybody who really wants it, but she gives me the family discount (meaning free, since I don’t have any way to get money anyhow I barter with kisses).

But sometimes 2-legses haven’t made room in their budgets for their coaching fees – or else they spent the money they set aside on something they suddenly decided they simply had to have.

That meant they couldn’t keep coaching long enough for things to turn around in their lives (even for group coaching, which doesn’t cost as much as coaching with Mom privately).

That’s another way you have to be ready – for about six months for most 2-legses, according to Mom – which sounds long but really isn’t when you consider that your whole life can be more fun after you pick up a few new tricks.

Anyway, you can keep coaching for as long as you want once you know the basic tricks – even years for some of her clients.  There’s always more to learn, and she really helps 2-legses get things done from week to week, so life moves forward easier and faster.

Last but not least you have to be willing

Mom says that mostly means it has to be your own idea.  It won’t work if you’re doing it because somebody else decided it would be good for you, for example – or threatened you into it.  You probably wouldn’t let it work – like those cats.

Dog clients don’t have to worry about the next part, but 2 legses also have to be willing to tell the truth to their coach, even if that means they have to be willing to feel a little embarrassed sometimes (like when I get caught tearing up paper, for example – whenever it tempts me the room is covered in confetti before I can stop myself).

And you have to be willing to keep getting back on the horse – even though I don’t know if you have to actually be able to ride a horse to be able to get a coach.

I don’t think so, but I’m not really sure about that part.  You can ask my mom before you sign up for it, anyway.

The fun starts once you decide you are able, ready and willing!

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The Wisdom of Compensating for Deficits


Brain-Change vs. Compensation
TIME is of the Essence

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from the Self-Help Series – Part I

Arguing with YouTube

I have been watching a lot of brain-based TED Talks of late – talks from notables like the following:

I added links to those videos above so you can click to watch them too.

Their Advice for Us

Each of them hopes to direct the focus of the world to healing the problem rather than working at the level of symptoms.

That makes A LOT of sense, right?
I LIKE these experts, and applaud their efforts.
I have known about the things they espouse for many years now,
and I think each is a great idea.

HOWEVER, something about each of their talks left me with a sense that something was off, or missing — or that, in the way they came up with their advised solutions, they devalued or overlooked a point of view that was important.

It took me a bit of noodling, but I finally figured out what was bugging me.

Three things:

  1. The advice was presented in an either/or, better/worse, black and white fashion that, in some subtle manner, left me with an uneasy feeling. I was left with an impression that they each believed that their way of working was the best way for ALL individuals to proceed — and that we would be somehow foolish to approach finding a solution to compensate for our challenges instead of “fixing” the root cause.
  2. They seemed oblivious to the reality that, for a great many of us, some of their solutions are absolutely out of reach financially (Do you have any idea how much it costs to get a brain scan for diagnostic purposes, for example?)
  3. They left out the TIME factor altogether – and didn’t quite explain who was going to support us while we set about changing our brains by getting more sleep, changing our diets for optimal brain health and healing, or working through exercises that will improve short term memory (for example).

Few of us can afford to take a year or more OFF while we take advantage of the miracle of neuroplasticity to give our brains a fighting chance at “normalizing.”

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Downloadable ADD-ADHD/EFD Coachablity Index™


ABOUT ADD/EFD Coachability

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

In early 1994, to better suit the needs and reflect the brain-based realities of individuals with Attention Deficit Disorders, Madelyn Griffith-Haynie requested and received permission from Thomas J. Leonard to adapt the Coachability Index© that he developed for Coach-U.

The language of The ADDCoach Coachability Index™ reflects the impact of the challenges of Executive Functioning Disorders on learning and accomplishment: brain-based struggles with short-term memory deficits, focus & decision-making, planning & follow-through, sequencing & prioritizing; activation & motivation, mood lability, time-sense & transition-facility chief among them.

© Don’t forget: Adaptions and/or duplication must credit both parties

How Coachable are YOU?

Although it’s been referred to as “ADD Coaching” since I developed and delivered the world’s first ADD-specific coaching curriculum several decades ago, it’s much broader in scope.

This is a particular type of brain-based coaching that works best for anyone dealing with Executive Functioning challenges and attentional difficulties: TBI, ABI, EFD, PTSD, OCD, ODD, SPD, ASD, PDA, PDD, MDD, MS, APD, and MORE.

While the magic of ADD/EFD Coaching is a product of the coaching relationship and it’s ability to compensate for unreliable executive functioning, it only works if and when clients are ready, willing and able.

Are you READY and WILLING:

  • to take the actions that will be necessary?
  • to make the changes that will be necessary?
  • to step, with power and ownership, into the life you were destined to live?

Heck yeah! Seriously, who says no to that?
Certainly not those of us who are struggling!
We’re always ready (for that last one, anyway)

It’s that “able” part that’s the kicker!

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Brain-based Symptoms Mandate Brain-based Training



ACO Conference Binder 2012 –
Blog expanded Speaker Content

“Too many people don’t care what happens
so long as it doesn’t happen to them.”
~ William Howard Taft

“Always do right; this will gratify some people
and astonish the rest.”
~ Mark Twain

Throwing down the Gauntlet:
a challenge to ADD professionals

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Brain-based Coaches for Brain-based Symptoms

As we learned in an earlier article in this series, TBI Part I, neuropsychological impairments caused by brain injury may be characterized in terms of three functional systems, foundational in the Challenges of ADD Spectrum dysregulations as well as those of the community of those who have experienced Traumatic Brain Injuries of various sorts.

(1) intellect, which is the information-handling aspect of behavior;
(2) emotionality, which concerns feelings and motivations;  and
(3) control, which has to do with how behavior is expressed.
Source: Neuropsychological Assessment, 3nd  Ed., 1995,  by Muriel D. Lezak

Remember also that, according to the
Brain Wellness and BioFeedback Center of Washington, D.C.
there is substantial overlap in the symptoms that are diagnostic
for both MTBI* and ADD.

“Overlap” commonly includes trouble with some or all of the following: 

  • attention
  • concentration
  • distraction hypersensitivity
  • short-term memory
  • organizing
  • prioritizing
  • impulsiveness
  • multi-tasking

 — and occasionally —

  • impaired social skills, and
  • mood swings

These observations are supported by quantitative data from brain imaging studies with children and adults diagnosed with ADD/ADHD.  Single photon emission computed tomography [SPECT] and positron emission tomography [PET] scan studies show decreased metabolism in many areas of the brain that are involved in various cognitive processes including attentional, inhibitory, and decision making behaviors.

—————————————-
*MTB – “Mild Traumatic Brain Injury,”  a term that has fallen into disfavor because there is nothing mild about it’s cognitive after-effects. Research has shown that even a “mild” case of TBI can result in long-lasting neurological issues that include slowing of cognitive processes, confusion, chronic headache, post traumatic stress disorder and depression.

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Does the Fee FIT? – Part 5


Do you REALLY “get what you pay for?”

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

Courtesy of Phillip Martin - artist/educator

Courtesy of Phillip Martin – artist/educator

Figuring out the fee

It’s finally time to wrap up the articles about determining coaching “fit.”  I saved the best for last – the question on everybody’s lips.

How much can you expect to pay for ADD Coaching?

Well, that’s a bit like asking how much you might expect to pay for a car.  It depends on what’s available, as well as what you’re looking for.  But I’ll do my best.

As in any other field, fees tend to correlate with the experience of the service provider. Brand new graduates generally charge the least, and the coaches with the most experience generally charge at the top of the range.

Fees also depend on how much time you spend with your coach — once a week, two or three times a month, monthly check-in coaching?  How long is each session? Services will be priced to compensate the coach for his or her time as well as his or her expertise.

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Vision, Mission & Purpose – anchors in an uncertain world


Developing a Personal Vision, Purpose & Mission

© Developing by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CMC, MCC, SCAC
– part of the What Kind of World Series
and the DreamCatcher™ Program

roadmapDesigning a roadmap for your BEing through the development of a personal Vision, Purpose & Mission is a HUGE Game to play with your life.

Human Resource Manager promptings to the contrary, not everyone will reach a point where they are ready to work on their Vision, Mission and Purpose — at least not in a manner where it can fulfill its promise as a transformative insight into Identity that will forever alter the steps of your life.

Creating truly authentic Vision, Purpose & Mission statements that will call your life into being usually takes considerably more time and internal focus than most people are prepared to dedicate.

It is a process more globally encompassing than the work and business objectives that are the focus of most of what you will find discussed on the internet.

It’s a Stretch

It’s not an easy process, and is decidedly not for the faint of heart. If you’re not at least a tiny bit frightened or overwhelmed, you’re probably not playing a big enough Game. Embarking on this process calls for nothing less than stepping up and owning your personal power.

You are entering the domain of pure creation.

It may feel a bit like jumping into the deep end of the pool for the very first time.  It helps to have a kindred spirit in the water, arms outstretched – it’s as tough to do in an isolated pool as it is dangerous to attempt in a shark-infested tank.

I am in the process of creating mySelf anew, and I invite anyone who is up to it to join me here on this blog during the year I have given myself to focus on re-creation.

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Participating in Online Communities for Mutual Support


Digital Literacies Peacock

Why a “Digital Literacy” Introduction?

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
See UPDATE 4/27 below

I recently received an invitation from Hazel Owen, a woman introducing herself to me for the first time after her first visit to ADDandSoMuchMore.com.

She became aware of me only because I had “liked” an article written by her (hold that thought – it will relate to unwritten “reciprocity norms” when you read the upcoming article).

Hazel is an education advocate who hosts an online community from New Zealand (which explains some differences in slang and spelling you will find in articles written by her).

I found her voice, her background and her community impressive and fascinating, so I accepted her invitation to blog occasionally on her platform.

In THIS article, she is “returning the favor,” offering us some information I believe our entire community sorely needs — a beginners’ explanation of some of the “rules” of this whole “internet communities” thing! In other words, an introduction to the concept of Digital Literacy (dialogue with her in the comments section if you have questions – this lady KNOWs!)

Internet Alzheimer’s 🙂

Regular readers of ADDandSoMuchMore.com are most likely aware of my own technical challenges and frustrations. Most days I feel like a dolt who used to be on top of things.

Although I was once a computer professional myself, it was MANY years ago – decades that might as well be centuries in internet time.  The computer world moves rapidly, so practically nothing from those years offers me any help what-so-ever!!

In fact, after almost four years “off-line” as the result of some personal and health challenges, it seems now that my first instincts about how to do practically anything online are almost always wrong-wrong-wrong.

To make matters even worse, the people I asked (even paid!) for help didn’t seem to get it that I was unable to understand even their explanations, such was the depth of my cluelessness.

  • I had no IDEA how to “work” the software they suggested I download
    to “help.”
  • Other than “scroll” and a few other basic words that meant exactly
    what they used to mean, I was almost totally unfamiliar with the
    vocabulary they employed as they endeavored to enlighten me.
    Sheesh!

Oh goodie, more “in-order-to’s” to master .  .  . must I now give up bathing
and sleeping to fit it all in?

Hazel to the Rescue!

Hazel Owen
It turns out, you don’t NEED to be a technical guru to participate in the developing trend toward global connection.

There are a few basics you do need to know to keep from stepping in – um – trouble by violating the social expectations of the rest of Planet Internet.

After that, however, you can develop your “online literacy” at a pace most of us over here on Planet ADD will be able to manage without giving up basic self-care.

And now, without further ado, H-E-R-E-‘ s Hazel!

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Running Your Practice so it Doesn’t Run YOU


Remember – links on this site are dark grey to reduce distraction potential
while you’re reading. They turn red on mouseover.

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part 1 in the Practice Management Series

FIRST, Get a Mentor Coach —

Flying coachless is doing it the hard way

Coaches who get professionally mentored get up and running faster than those who use the “lone ranger” approach — up to 4 times faster. (According to Thomas Leonard, founder of Coach U – which trains non-ADD coaches).  

They make more money, attract and keep more clients, and have more satisfaction with their practices.

No Kidding!

Even though I refer to Thomas’ statement quite a lot NOW, I wasn’t sure if I believed it when I first read it in the early ’90s

I wasn’t totally convinced when I mentored with him, when I heard the words come out of his very own mouth in his typical “just what’s so” charge-neutral fashion — but I certainly embrace it whole-heartedly now!

It not only turns out to be true with “vanilla” coaches, it seems especially true in the ADD Coaching field.

  • The added accountability certainly helps us follow-through, so days don’t turn into weeks, months or years of “meant to but never did.”
  • The “externalized pre-frontal cortex” dynamic, to keep rumination at bay is essential.
  • And nobody could fail to appreciate the “Sherpa” component — unless the only way they can learn is through repeated recovery from mistakes that could have been avoided.
  • The primary value of Mentor Coaching, however, seems to be its “Challenging” feature: on our own, we seem to set smaller goals to keep from overwhelming ourselves with “over-the-top” inhumanly unrealistic ones.

Read more of this post

Free ADD Coach Training: 5 Short Weeks to a Major Shift



Remember – links on this site are dark grey to reduce distraction potential
while you’re reading. They turn red on mouseover.

Avoiding the Holes in the Road, # 2

Drawing of a businessman in a suit, carrying a briefcase, about to fall into a hole because he does not notice that the manhole cover has been left off the manhole (he is reading)

An Oldie but Goodie
Adaptation by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

 originally, Autobiography In Five Short Chapters
by Porsche Nelson (Al-Anon ACOA)
with gratitude to Glen Hogard for the source –
see his comment (below) for still more

This article is an ADD Coaching reframe of a story that has been passed around in productivity circles for years — you may have heard it with “5 Chapters” instead of “5 Weeks.”

With a few tweaks, it’s not only a great training tool, it is a perfect illustration of the dynamic in an effective ADD Coaching relationship.

Free Coach Training:

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ADD/ADHD and TIME: will ANYthing work?


Time Management Tips and Tricks

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
PART ONE of two: In support of The Challenges Inventory™ Series

Like I said in an older article, “Listening for Time Troubles – struggles with time and follow through,” a great many ADDers have trouble with T-I-M-E.

• We run out of it
• We are continually surprised by it, and
• More than a few times we seem to be completely unaware of it.

All ADD Coaches worthy of the term must remain aware that Listening For and Languaging to your clients’ awareness of time, and their relationship to time (oh yes, my friends, they most certainly DO have one) almost always involves some serious sleuthing on the part of the coach!

However . . .

Lest I be accused of keeping all the good stuff for the carriage trade (remaining mindful of the need to avoid joining the “Ten Time Tips that will Pay your Mortgage and put hair on your grandfather’s chest” crowd), I’m going to share five underlying principles that I listen for and try to language to my clients and students.

I’ll even tell YOU what I tell them 5 System Basics – but few clients ever really hear me the first couple dozen times, so don’t be too surprised when some of these basics float right past you too.

Let ’em simmer in your brain’s slow-cooker — as long as you don’t actively resist, fighting the ideas or ruminating over the thoughts that yet ANOTHER person simply doesn’t get it, you will be one step closer to getting a handle on this time thing.

Even when you’re desperate, change is just flat-out HARD!

ADD

Remember – links on this site are dark grey to reduce distraction potential
while you’re reading. They turn red on mouseover.

ADD/EFD ain’t EASY!

If you read more than a few articles here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com, you will begin suspect that I’m not particularly fond of tips and tricks — and you’ll be absolutely right about that.

Why not?

For the most part, they don’t work.

The neurotypical advice almost always scratches where it doesn’t itch. The reasons they don’t do things are seldom the reasons we don’t.

And then they fire the “resistance” salvo our way — and we fight the urge to do something that will send us to prison for life as they sing another rousing chorus of the “you’re-not-really-trying” hymn of the republic.

Even most of the ADD/EFD-flavored tips and tricks miss as many flavors of ADD/EFD as they catch. It is simply impossible for anybody to write a book that handles all situations for all people – at least not a book anyone could lift. I know. I’ve tried. (Why do you think my articles are so darned long, linked to so many others to cover each individual point in yet another long post?)

So, for the most part, most of the tips and tricks books don’t really work for a great many of us.

WHEN they don’t work, it shuts us down.

We self-flagellate (then ruminate endlessly)

  • Didn’t I do this right, or am I missing a key point — AGAIN?
  • Everybody thinks I just don’t want to succeed, and that’s just not true!
  • Will I ever get a clue?
  • What’s wrong with me?
  • NOW what am I going to do?

We get defensive (then go on the offensive)

  • This book got great reviews, how was I supposed to know it was crap?
  • I work a full-time job and have primary responsibility for 3 kids: meals, laundry, school activities, sick days — how am I supposed to squeeze all these lists and things into my day? Who is this written for – ladies who lunch?
  • Yada, yada, yada, YADA!

Ultimately, we come back to where we started, concluding that “fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants” management is the most we can ever hope for – until the next time, that is, that things get SO unmanageable that we fall prey to yet another tips and tricks ploy.

Can you tell I’ve been there?

I finally figured out WHY all those tips and tricks didn’t work for me: they weren’t written for ME,
they were a
compilation of items that worked for the author (who was, very likely, NOTHING like me!).  [See Why Tips and Tricks Fail for more]

Once I learned that the root of my chronic disorganization had a NAME, and began to look at everything through The ADD Lens things began, ever so slowly, to come under my control. Simply having a diagnosis shifted my shifted my expectations.

As I said in an earlier article: until we believe we can, we can’t!! 

“How many times can we keep trying until we decide it’s impossible?

It’s a coach’s job to avoid sending their ADD/EFDers off to tilt at windmills. That means, you absolutely must DETERMINE THE CAUSE before you begin to work on solutions.

How much sense does THAT make!!”

But what do you do if you don’t HAVE a coach?

Do whatever you can to remedy that sad situation.  You simply must.

Dr. Edward Hallowell has been quoted many times saying that, “[ADD] Coaching is the single most effective tool for ADD self-management” FOR A REASON!

Coaching may well be “optional” for many, but those of us with “alphabet disorders” (ADD, EFT, TBI, PTSD, OCD, etc.) need the externalization of our prefrontal cortex activities as much as a sailboat needs ballast to keep it from tipping over in the first substantial gust of wind.

And not just any coach – a comprehensively trained, brain-based ADD coach — a coach who has been trained to listen for EFD issues, and understands how to coach them!

Don’t “cheap out” on yourSelf
(and don’t let money be a stopper)

  • If you can’t afford the fees that professional coaches charge, ask about the possibility of a reduced rate. Many of us maintain a few sliding-scale slots, simply because we KNOW how important that external PFC support can be.
  • If you can’t afford even the low rates that many of us slide to, apply for coaching with a student, mentored through an coaching intern program — or go for Group Coaching.
  • If even that is beyond your budget, check out, sign up or get on the waiting list for my next really-low-fee PEER Coaching Basic Training. (click here for information)  Start looking around for a buddy who’s in the same situation — the two of you can trade accountability coaching forevermore. (You don’t even need to take the class, by the way, but it does help increase the effectiveness of what you do together quite a bit).

MEANWHILE . . .

Coming up are some essential concepts that need to be in place before you stand a prayer of a chance — really!  

Don’t beat yourself up about that reality, use it as a lever to adjust your expectations appropriately, and to help you to figure out where you need to concentrate your
time and effort ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible).

Trying to systematize a life without the basics is like trying to
to start a car that’s out of gas.

  • Agonizing isn’t going to make a bit of difference.
  • Neither will “voting” – you may not like the idea, they may not like the idea. Sorry Charlie, it is simply what’s so
  • Hearing what a doofus you’ve been for not focusing on that little gas detail (especially hearing it internally) will shut you down and delay you further.
  • Go for the gas.

Like a mantra: essential concepts need to be accepted – with systems and work-arounds in place – before you stand a prayer of a chance.

Working effectively within the boundaries of time is an exercise in systematizing.

  • There are a lot of pieces to that systematizing concept.
  • “Pieces” require juggling, cognitively.
  • Cognitive juggling is highly PFC intensive [prefrontal cortex]
  • Guess where the ADD/EFD/TBI/PTSD
  • brain is most impaired?  YOU GOT IT – the PFC.
  • Don’t make it harder than it is already – make friends with the upcoming concepts.

UNREALISTIC EXPECTATIONS WARNING:

The upcoming five concepts that will begin to put some gas in your car are simply that: FUEL.

Until you make sure your “car” has fuel, you can’t do much about checking to see if the starter needs fixing.  You may also learn you need to adjust the steering mechanism.  Oh yeah, and you certainly won’t get very far on lousy tires.

  • You don’t expect your car to magically transform with a little gas, do you?
  • How about a whole tank full of gas?
  • How about gas and four new tires?

Yeah, right!

Try to remember that the next time the beatings begin, as well as when you feel defensive and become offensive.

You can’t eat an elephant in a day — EVEN if you take tiny bites.

In Part Two of this article, we’ll talk details about those Five Systems Basics.  Scroll down for other related articles here and elsewhere.

——-
Graphics gratitude:  Stopwatch Guy & Gas Pump from free-clipart.net
 ADD Coach Success Systems: Marty Crouch: Webvalance Internet Partners
Convertable/bad exhaust from webweaver

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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 Content on ADDandSoMuchMore.com

You might also be interested in some of the following Coaching Skills and Practical Application articles

For links to still more: run your cursor over the article above and the dark grey links (subtle, so they don’t distract you) will turn dark red; AND check out the links to Related Content in each of the articles below

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Making the Connection: Brain-based Coaching Intro



ACO Conference Binder 2012

Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, MCC, SCAC
Blog augmented
Speaker Content – Part I

Making the Connection:
Brain-based Coaching

White cake with white icing (and a cherry on top!)ADD Coaching is much MORE than ADD Icing on a vanilla cake:
It’s ADD-specific through and through!

Series Description:

EVEN if you understand the impact of an ADDer’s unreliable Prefrontal Cortex, do you know how to tweak your coaching to reflect what you know?

How do the brain’s OTHER areas relate to ADD challenges — and how we need to massage our technique so our clients are able to change can’t into can?

In the articles of this series (blog-edited “reprints” of my speaker’s content published in the ACO 2012 Conference Binder), you will learn what’s going on and what it means – in plain English – and take a new look at  ADD Coaching competencies in light of brain-based understanding.

Understanding this information has the potential to kick your coaching skills into outer space!

Readers of this series will:

1.  Be introduced to the regulatory responsibilities of 4-6 primary areas of the brain that are currently believed to contribute to ADD characteristics, and how the inter-relationship of those areas combine to create the ADD challenges and strengths described in the DSM (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, published by the American Psychological Association)

2.  Come to a new understanding of the “conductor” role of the Prefrontal Cortex, along with why it is not optimally effective to focus ONLY on the PFC in our attempt to understand or coach ADD challenges.

3.  Begin to develop a set of competency-linked skills specifically tailored to compensate for the differences in the ADD brain-style, allowing you to begin to come to a brain-based understanding of how, where and why ADD Coaching and vanilla coaching differ.
—————————–
“Vanilla” coaching,  unflavored by techniques tailored for those with Attentional Spectrum differences, is the established coaching technique used by coaches who are not trained to work with ADD; older technology designed to be effective with the neurotypical brain-style,

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Oops – Vision, Mission & Purpose – anchors in an uncertain world


Click here for the REAL
Vision, Purpose & Mission article

© Developing by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CMC, MCC, SCAC

roadmapIt was brought to my attention that I had SOMEHOW managed to post an article written in May 2013 with the 2012 archive. AY ME!

To keep from confusing everyone totally, I have reposted it with the correct date, so it will appear at the top of the “most recent articles” as well as archive correctly – so CLICK HERE to read it — with my apologies for any confusion.

FRANK – I have no idea how to move comments, so my response to you remains below – SO sorry for any confusion.

Can This ADDer Be Saved? – Part 4


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Finding the Right ADD Coach for YOU
— Ten Points from Katy 

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

*”Katy,” “Barb,” and the details of this story are a composite of the process and progress of several ADDers working with the author, to honor the confidentiality of the client/coach alignment and to better illustrate a sense of the ADD Coaching process.
————————————————————————————————————–

 Click HERE to read PART 3 :” Katy’s Coaching Notebook
(links to ALL below)

Hyper-organized, list-makin’ Katy suggests you make SURE you can answer yes to each of the following ten points as you interview coaches to work with your own precious life.

(“Life is where you find it” Barb says, “Interview, schminterview, go with your gut!”).

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Can This ADDer Be Saved? – Part 3


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Keeping Track to Focus Energy

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC


*”Katy,” “Barb,” “Donna,” and the details of this story are a composite of the process and progress of several ADDers working with the author, to honor the confidentiality of the client/coach alignment and to better illustrate a sense of the ADD Coaching process.
——————————————————————————

As you learned in Part-2, Katy did something that is still rather unusual in the ADD world:

She called an ADD Coach immediately.

Katy had already learned a lot about ADD listening to her best friend Barb’s process since her diagnosis.  She just never imagined that any of her own struggles might be ADD-related.

She and Barb were so different.  SHE had always been so in-control and competent! Barb had always been the maverick — a free-wheeling spirit who never seemed to get it all together.

Still, the more Barb talked, that fateful day in the kitchen, the more she could see how similar differences might have different presentations.

Besides, Katy was sick and tired of being sick and tired, and was desperate for explanations, even though she was half afraid she would discover there were no answers.

If it worked for Barb . . .

Katy could really see the difference in Barb since she started working with her ADD Coach Donna.  Not only had Barb learned a great deal more about ADD, she was finally doing something other than dreaming about becoming a professional photographer – something Katy knew had been Barb’s dream goal since the two best-friends first met.

Donna helped Barb figure out what it would take, and then coached her through each of the steps on her road.

Barb hadn’t found her dream job yet, and she certainly isn’t pulling in a six-figure salary, but some of her photos were beginning to show up in print somewhere besides her basement studio.

Katy wanted the kind of focused guidance Barb had received prioritizing her inevitable next steps, without upsetting the tenuous control she exerted over the responsibilities she was juggling already.

Tracking in her Coaching Notebook

Donna, Katy’s ADD Coach (as well as Barb’s), requests that each of her clients immediately set up a coaching notebook: a three ringed binder with tabbed dividers, where they can securely “file” everything coaching-related in one easy-to-locate, easy-to-update, easy-to-grab location.

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Can This ADDer Be Saved? – Part 2


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Katy Hires an ADD Coach

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

*”Katy,” “Barb,” “Donna” and the details of this story are a composite of the process and progress of several ADDers working with the author, to honor the confidentiality of the client/coach alignment and to better illustrate a sense of the ADD Coaching process.
———————————————————————————————

 Click HERE to read PART 1 of this story

You GO Girl!

After that fateful day when Katy finally “hit the wall,” she did something that is still rather unusual in the ADD world: she began looking for an ADD Coach immediately.

She had already learned a lot about ADD since her best friend Barb’s diagnosis, listening to her process her growth as well as her frustrations.  She could really see the difference since Barb started working with her Coach.

Katy knew right away that she, too, wanted help identifying and prioritizing each of the inevitable next steps.  She didn’t have time to agonize over how to proceed without upsetting the tenuous control she exerted over the responsibilities she was already juggling.

But which coach?

Although she liked Barb’s Coach Donna immediately, felt she could trust her, and could tell that Donna had a lot of information about ADD, she was initially concerned that the sessions would take place over the telephone.

Katy was also dubious that she needed a Coach and a therapist, and more than a little ambivalent about the possibility of medication — even though she was ready to embrace any diagnosis that would offer an explanation for her feeling that she was always “swimming against the current, swept backwards every time she missed a single stroke!”

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Can This ADDer be Saved?


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A Coaching Story – Part 1

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Another article in the The ADD Coaching Series

*”Katy,” “Barb,” “Donna” and the details of this story are a composite of the process and progress of several ADDers working with the author, to honor the confidentiality of the client/coach alignment and to better illustrate a sense of the ADD Coaching process.
—————————————————————————————- 

Like many of us, Katy Nolan was a full time homemaker with a full-time job.

She adored her husband Paul, a terrific father — but not really much help around the house: not really much help with anything having anything to DO with running a household, actually.

Sometimes she joked that she had three kids — Mary, her second-grader, Tom her big fourth-grader, and Paul, the baby! Fortunately, Katy was one of the most organized women anyone knew, so she managed somehow to keep the homefires burning along with the demands of  a high-stress job.

Most days she felt on top of things, but she went to bed exhausted every night and woke up every morning dreading the day.  She loved her job, her kids, her marriage, and their newly remodeled home — but deep in her heart she hated her life.

“What’s wrong with me?” she often wondered.

THE DAY THE WORLD CHANGED

The words that started Katy’s day were about the worst she could possibly imagine, “Mommy, I don’t feel very good!”

“Not today!” she complained under her breath, feeling guilty for the thought.
“Please let her be well enough to go to school today and I promise I’ll be Florence Nightingale tomorrow!”

Her upcoming week was booked solid with urgent work to-dos and a million errands related to the upcoming Easter holiday. She had taken the day off to work on an important report due Friday — without the distractions of the office.

For some reason, she just couldn’t manage to get her thoughts on paper with the constant ringing of the telephone and chatting of her office-mates, along with the frequent interruptions of her new boss, the micro-manager’s micro-manager. Her recent memo about the “slippage” of the quality of Katy’s reports was scathing.

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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! 

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Coaches, Dentists, and FIT – Part 3


Coaches, Dentists, and FIT

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

Every Coach is Unique

No two coaches will work in exactly the same way —

just as each dentist goes about things
a bit differently from the rest of his colleagues,

and just as there are specializations
within the field of dentistry.

For example:

  • Not all dentists are qualified to do root canals.
  • Some don’t specialize in them, so haven’t performed
    very many as a result.
  • For some, root canals are a practice focus.
  • Still others do root canals for other dentists.

I know which ones I’d interview about doing MY root canal!

What does THAT have to do with ADD Coaching?

ADD Coaching is a specialized skill requiring a LOT of knowledge beyond the basic coaching skill set.

If you are dealing with ADD, make *sure* any coach you hire is an ADD COACH, not just “a coach who knows about ADD” —

and certainly not a coach who knows little to NOTHING about ADD! 

  • The difference between an ADD Coach and any other kind is specialized training in Attentional Spectrum issues.
  • There IS no FIT if your coach knows little more about ADD than YOU do!

THEN you want to find the “right” ADD Coach.  You’ll check out their training, knowledge, and experience of course, but the main thing that will make a particular coach right for YOU is what we call “fit” in the coaching world.

The right fit will make all the difference.

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Shopper’s Syndrome and FIT – Part 2 of a Series


Fit-based Coaching 

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
The 2nd article in the 5-part Coaching Fit Series

Finding the RIGHT Coach for you

Dear Madelyn,

There is a lot of talk right now about how
important finding the right coach can be
to an ADDer’s overall success. 

How will I know what to look for?

And how will I be able to tell when
I’ve found the right coach?

Thanks,

 J.R. (Cleveland)

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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.

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The ADD-ADHD Coachablity Index™


ADD Coachability

Click HERE for an updated version of this post,
including a download link to a printable pdf of the Inventory.

In early 1994, to better suit the needs and reflect the brain-based realities of individuals with Attention Deficit Disorder, Madelyn Griffith-Haynie requested and received permission from Thomas J. Leonard to adapt the Coachability Index© that he developed for Coach-U.

The language of The ADD Coachability Index™ reflects the impact of the challenges of Executive Functioning Disorders on learning and accomplishment: brain-based struggles with short-term memory deficits, focus & decision-making, planning & follow-through, sequencing & prioritizing; activation & motivation, mood lability, time-sense & transition-facility chief among them.

©Adaptions and/or duplication must credit both parties

How Coachable are YOU?

Although the magic of ADD Coaching is a product of the
coaching relationship and it’s ability to compensate for
unreliable executive functioning, it only works if and when
clients are ready, willing and able.

Are you READY and WILLING:

  • to take the actions that will be necessary?
  • to make the changes that will be necessary?
  • to step,  with power and ownership, into the life you were destined to live?

Heck yea!  Seriously, who says no to that?
Certainly not an ADDer! We’re always ready (for that last one, anyway)

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Brain-based Coaching Paradigms


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Underlying Assumptions Keeping us Stuck

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Each Professional Coach has a way of looking at life and at coaching that shapes his or her particular approach and determines the way they coach.

I personally believe that it is impossible
to make lasting changes
that are nothing more than reactions to shame
.

Shame is a lousy “motivator” that we’ve somehow come to believe will keep the “lawless” on the straight and narrow.

MAYBE – if “on the straight and narrow” means “behind the eight ball!”

Shame’s Genesis

After almost 25 years of coaching people with ADD, EFD and comorbid disorders, I have observed that shame is actually the internalization of  repeated “evidence of failure” after years of struggling to incorporate the diagnostic implications with the well-meaning “support” of people who didn’t really understand the pragmatics of Executive Functioning dysregulation: what moves things forward and what makes things worse.

Whatever the rationale behind saying them, variations of comments like the ones below not only make it more difficult to live up to expectations, they encourage a black and white belief that we are fundamentally inadequate and always will be.

  • You HAVE to get organized — why don’t you write things down!?
  • Anyone with your intelligence should be doing better! 
  • You could if you wanted to badly enough and put the effort in.
  • You don’t listen! You aren’t really trying. 
  • You MUST take responsibility for your own life!

Our “helpers” need to understand that attempts to MOTIVATE us to make better choices in any fashion will never work – because 90% of our chronic oopses are not the result of a “failure of WILL.”  They aren’t even “choices” at all, unless you want to use the term “choice” to hold us accountable for unconscious assumptions underlying our actions.

We don’t need to be motivated to make better choices, we need to be coached and mentored to learn how to MAKE and ACTUATE choices at all.  And that absolutely must begin with an examination of The User’s Manual for the ADD/EFD Brain!

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What to Talk About in Your Coaching Call


by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Another article in the The ADD Coaching Series

Does your mind go blank . . .

the minute you call for coaching?

Part of the magic of The Client Prep Form is that, in addition to serving  as a session roadmap for you and your coach, it is startle insurance for YOU!

Since ADDers tend to have a hair-trigger startle response that shuts down thinking momentarily, I can’t encourage you strongly enough to develop the habit of USING the Client Prep Form for that reason as much as any other..

To help jumpstart your thinking process for those times you “ADD-out” – including the time it will take to make using the Prep Form a habit – print a copy of the following list and keep it in the front of your coaching notebook.

BY THE WAY . . .

Coaching forms are useful for Peer Coaching relationships too – that’s why I will be making many of them available here on ADDandSoMuchMore.com.

Stay in the Loop: Check back often -or- if you want email notification of new content,
tell the nice form on the skinny column to your right where to notify you.
[Stringent NO SPAM Policy.]

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Mentor Coaching – How Come?


LINKS — See also: Mentor Coaching and Football? for context, and How I Mentor Coaches for specifics —

Why MENTOR Coaching?

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, A.C.T., MCC, SCAC
ADDCoach Trainer & Certified Mentor Coach

An older female helping a younger one put a puzzle together

All coaching
targets your functioning,
wherever the application.

MENTOR Coaching targets
your development as a Coach,
first and foremost.

Hiring a Mentor Coach to coach you through the practice development phase helps you put the practice puzzle together:  it straightens out your learning curve and gives you guidance and encouragement as you define and build your career.

Clients ready for a Mentor Coach:

  • have already done a lot of Foundation work, either through a formalized training or from the school of life
  • feel confident that they are ready to work with others in this regard (and may be practicing coaches who have been “flying solo” for some time)
  • have already acquired a great many coaching skills, and may well feel they have been coaching all their lives while making a living at something else
  • hire a Mentor Coach primarily for acquiring additional skills and for practice development coaching. 

They look to their Mentor Coach to help them:

  1. deepen their personal growth
  2. hone and expand their coaching skill set, and
  3. strategize steps toward a professional coaching practice
    that is personally and financially rewarding.

By definition, coaches are on the fast track with personal growth. Mentor Coaching puts them on the fast track with practice growth.

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Top Ten Reasons WHY Most Successful Coaches Work with Mentor Coaches


Updated legacy post -orig. 6/21/95- from Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, A.C.T., MCC, SCAC —
With a tip ‘o the hat to Carson, who always counted DOWN
—————————————————————————————

Top Ten Reason Number TEN:

Illustration of a gray smiley in profile talking to a smaller, bright pink smiley in profile (with a musical note coming from its mouth to suggest her or his positive mood and the tone of his or her responses.As my first coaching mentor
(founder of the personal and professional coaching field,
and both CoachVille and the original Coach University – now a division of CoachInc),

the late Thomas J. Leonard, often said:

“Coaches who have coaches get up and running up to
4 times faster
than those who use
“the lone ranger” approach.”

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Mentor Coaching and Football?


A Successful Coaching Practice
Blackl & white graphic of a football player running for a touchdown 
and a
Winning Football Team – not that different

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

Developing a rewarding and lucrative coaching practice is similar to winning a football game: you must score to win!

And touchdowns are only ONE way to score!

Football games are rarely won with a single touchdown, nor are most touchdowns accomplished in a single attempt. The majority of scores happen as a result of a series of first downs. Those hard won ten yards are captured in multiple plays that gain a few yards at a time – and every change in strategy includes a huddle!

But NO points can be won unless the team is in possession of the ball!

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Until they believe they can, they can’t


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”

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Key Tasks for ADD Coaching


Old headshot of Madelyn (a.k.a. MGH) long familiar from the webADD-Specific Coaching Skills

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Another article in the ADD Coaching Series

Ten Key Areas That Need Time & Attention

A Therapist or Doctor may or may not have the time to work with any of these areas.

A “vanilla coach”** may not find these skills important, agree that they are useful — or even understand why they might be an appropriate part of a coaching relationship.

An ADD Coach, however, must be prepared to include a certain amount of work in each of the following arenas — understanding how to use EACH of the ten skills below.  It’s a coach’s job to work with clients to remove “what’s in the way” of shining success.

Back-filling basic skills — insufficient, underdeveloped, or missing as the result of kludgy Executive Functioning –is the most likely suspect in the ADD population, rather than lack of motivation, resolve, ambition or many of the other things-in-the-way that are more common among vanilla clients.
———————
**vanilla = unflavored by ADD – a “vanilla coach” means the coach doesn’t work with ADD/ADHD/EFD clients and/or has not been trained in an ADD/ADHD/EFD-specific, brain-based coach training, regardless of whether they fall on the Attentional Spectrum personally or not.

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ADD-flavored Coaching


Never forget that YOU are “the temp in charge” of
your ADD client’s Executive Functioning Clubhouse!

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
Part of the Coaching Skills Series

Drawing of the human brain with the prefrontal cortex highlighted (the seat of the executive functions)Failure in this arena is the biggest mistake I see in otherwise excellent Coaches, and it turns pretty darn good Coaching into absolutely lousy ADD Coaching in a heartbeat.

An ADD coach must identify and presence the “Name of the Game” whenever they coach any ADD client. No matter how high functioning,

ADD clients hire coaches for help in an area where they are struggling – and the source of the struggle is usually in the area of activation and follow-through to completion.

The main reason we ADDers struggle with activation and follow-through is because in our pre-frontal cortex [PFC], the Executive Functioning Clubhouse, the receptionist seems to take frequent breaks — and we get distracted and wander away before she returns with some necessary piece of our process!  If we could stay on track without your assistance, we wouldn’t have hired you in the first place.

Erratic Executive Functioning is the one thing that never changes with ADD, no matter how much ADDers know about ADD work-arounds or how well they understand themselves.

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How I Mentor Coaches


Old headshot of Madelyn (a.k.a. MGH) long familiar from the web

Mentor Coaching with Me

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC

I want all of my clients to enjoy their coaching time.

I firmly believe that it is impossible to enjoy
ANYTHING much, unless it happens in
an unconditionally constructive atmosphere. 

As important as that is with any client, it is essential with clients who support clients of their own.

In my experience, coaches need immense support to be able to develop to the point where all of the skills they need are as natural as walking and talking.

(Remembering to deliver charge-neutral communications and stay unconditionally constructive will take a lot more focus than it will once it becomes second nature to do so, for example.)

Coaches often feel a drain on their energies they can’t always identify and can rarely explain as a result.  A huge part of a Mentor coach’s job is to restore those energy balances!

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