Endings and New Beginnings


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Grey_ACO_Book_Top

Graduation for Another Class of
ADD Coaches

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

From 8:30 P.M. until a bit after 10:00 Wednesday night, January 9, 2013, Peggy Ramundo and I had another opportunity to witness Life Purpose in Action, as we attended the final class session of the 2012 Class of the ADD in the Spirit Coach Training.

The small class of individuals about to graduate delivered the content for us.

As always, we came away renewed, inspired, and grateful for the opportunity to be in a position to touch the lives of so many amazing human beings — and to step with them through the journey of training themselves to be of service in a field that didn’t even exist thirty years ago.

It is always fascinating to me to see how many different experiences result from the same training, additional examples of my firm assertion that “There ain’t no IS about ADD!”

Climbing up the Mountain, taking time to look DOWN

In addition to a group exam, one of the final assignments is a Personal Reflection Paper, where each student looks back along their training journey to see how far they’ve come, to attempt to determine what had been of particular value to them.

Wednesday night, they shared their papers with each other and with us.

Each has grown during the year they spent with us, each in his or her own individual fashion, and some in ways they were surprised to discover.

  • An individual whose pre-ASCT life had been focused more on pragmatics (who enrolled here in spite of  the spiritual focus of this particular ADD Coach Training) became fascinated by meditation and Tapping [EFT], now a regular part of life;
  • Another individual, with a background of spiritual training who came because of it, will be using skills learned here in the corporate arena in a traditionally non-spiritual field!

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HEADS UP ADD Coaches: ACO Conference 2013


ACO 2013 is ramping up – sign up soon to save

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

You Mean I’m NOT Lazy, Stupid or Crazy?! author Peggy Ramundo and I will again be “presenting” together at the 6th Annual ADHD Coaches Organization [ACO] conference, at the beautiful Crowne Plaza Hotel in Atlanta one more time — facilitating, actually, a live-and-in-person Coaching Lab with practice, practice, practice (and no-make-wrong group feedback). 

And that’s only ONE good reason to be there!  

I want to repeat Dr. Charles Parker’s comment in his 2012 post-conference article on his Corepsychblog, “If you are an ADHD coach and haven’t yet connected with the ACO  . . .  now is the time to get on it and get cracking.”

Joyce Kubric, the 2013 conference chair (mentored by last year’s chair Judith Champion), has put together a conference team of amazingly generous individuals who are working like beavers to make this an experience like no other.

This year’s presenters have been chosen, and you can click over to the ACO website  to see what’s coming together in that regard.  (Along with, oh yeah, signing up to BE there).

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Everything I know about Systems I learned from Cristopher Lowell


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Systems Development Coaching and Christopher Lowell?!

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

I really love the heart inside this man, and think many of you will too — but this article is primarily a light-hearted introduction to a number of foundational concepts (which will be especially valuable for those of you who struggle with impulsivity and have come to be wary of decision-making as a result).

Because I wrote this as the holidays were getting underway, the article ends with some suggestions to help  navigate the decisions of the shopping frenzies of Black Friday and Cyber Monday — and they apply to the entire Christmas Shopping season.

They ALSO will be helpful things to keep in mind for anybody who struggles to resist the allure of certain kinds of places to add to your collection of whatever
(you know what I mean and you know who you are!)

Decorator and Systems Guru

The minute I became conscious of the “TV hypnosis” experience, I realized the danger. Since I wanted to spend my life DOING, not watching, I chose to banish the bugger. I haven’t owned a television set in decades.

As a consequence, I came years late to the Christopher Lowell party — aware of his existence only after I picked up a discount decorating book at one of those “odd lots” resale stores.

If you’ve been following this blog for long, you might recall that curling up on my chaise with a huge cup of coffee and a decorating resource is my cookie. (click on: Virtue is Not its own Reward, part of the TaskMaster Series, for more about this Cookie concept and how I use it in MY ADD-drenched life)

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Of Bribery and Labels


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Reframing the Bribery Label

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

If you’ve been reading this blog for very long, you know how much I sincerely dislike labeling of any kind — especially those labels that come from personal opinion (the kind that seem to squeak right under our conscious “judgment” radar the moment a label slips into common usage).

The labeling category is where the term “bribery” falls for me, and this article is my attempt to reframe it before it slides across the line into the make-wrong category.

Make-wrong is a term used in the coaching community to refer to judgments that might as well be saying, “Anybody sane knows there is a right and a wrong way to do life, and this communication identifies an item on THE unacceptable list” (in contrast to one’s personal unacceptable list).

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Running Your Practice so it Doesn’t Run YOU


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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.

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



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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

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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

As always, if you want notification of new articles – in a particular series or category, or any new posts on this blog – give your name and email 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 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

Related articles around the ‘net

Distinguishing-101


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Distinguishing “Distinction”

Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC   ©1995, 2012
Another article in the ADD Coaching Skills Series

Thanks to artist Phillip Martin!

Coaches are in the Wisdom business. It is our job to share with clients the language and awarenesses they need to get what they want. One of the ways to share wisdom is to do something called “drawing distinctions.”

Distinctions are just a fancy way of saying that we give the client the proper language for what they really want to say, be or do.
~ Thomas J. Leonard

Shifting your come-from

The primary goal of any kind of Coaching is to facilitate client “shifts” in attitude and awareness that will allow them to avoid what Einstein (or Narcotics Anonymous) referred to as insanity: repeating the same thing, expecting a different result. 

Nowhere is shifting a more important concept than in coaching relationships with clients who struggle with atypical Executive Functioning.

What’s a Shift?

A shift — sometimes referred to as a paradigm shift — is a reframe, a change in perspective that expands thinking. It is an instantaneous “get out of the box free” card that changes how you view all areas of your life impacted by the shift.

By virtue of your new vantage point, your relationship to whatever problems or challenges you are currently facing is suddenly redesigned.

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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.

ACO Conference 2012: reflections on my return


Amazing! Start saving NOW to BE there next year!

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

I just returned from speaking at the 5th Annual ADHD Coaches Organization [ACO] conference at the at the beautiful Crowne Plaza Hotel in Atlanta.  WHAT an experience!  

Congratulations to 2012 conference chair, Judith Champion, and her conference team, along with my gratitude for a simply stellar experience.  What a banquet!

I have to second Dr. Charles Parker’s comment in the post-conference article on his Corepsychblog, “If you are an ADHD coach and haven’t yet connected with the ACO  . . .  now is the time to get on it and get cracking.”

Silver and Gold

As always, I made new friends as I connected with long-time friends and colleagues. I also had the pleasure of seeing former students “all grown up,” giving those of us who are “old-timers” brand new inspiration.  I am still grinning ear-to-ear now that I am home and unpacked.

As usual, ADD Coaches came from across the United States and, as expected, many of our Canadian colleagues made the trip.

The surprise was attendance from as far away as Stockholm, Germany and Shanghai, eager to add their voices to the mix and to ask for our help bringing ADD Coaching to their countries.

As the founder of the world’s first ADD-specific coaching curriculum and co-founder of the ADD Coaching field itself, I was and am overwhelmed with gratitude for the beautiful garden that is growing now from seeds I planted decades ago.  I stand amazed at all the “new varieties” being developed all over the world — without my having to lift a single shovel!

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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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Distinctions: Coaching vs.Therapy


Some of the DIFFERENCES
between

The THERAPIST
and The COACH

© Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, A.C.T., MCC, SCAC
Dr. Lee Smith,
CTP, MCC  ©1994, ’95, ’02, ’11, ’15

Obviously, the well-being of the client is the context for this discussion, and determining what kind of assistance is appropriate is an important question.

Why?

Because most coaches are not trained therapists and most therapists are not trained coaches.  


•  For potential clients:
 the question is, Which do I choose and how do I decide?

•  For helping professionals: the issue becomes when, what, and to which professional to refer.

• When ADD is part of the picture, (or any of the Executive Functioning** dysregulations), the differences between an ADD Coach and any other kind of coach becomes important as well.

**(Check out the Executive Functioning LinkList
jump to the one you are most interested in reading,
or read them ALL – opens in a new window/tab)

Beginning at the beginning

Let’s begin the process of differentiating therapy and coaching by focusing only on the items in common with all coaches, without regard to specialties.

At the end of this article are some links that will help you understand some key differences that only comprehensively-trained, brain-based ADD Coaches understand how to work with.  In a future article I will address the issue ADD Coaching differences more directly.

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Distinguishing Distractibility


Distractions!
What are they anyway?

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
from The Challenges Series


A distraction is an involuntary diversion of attention in response to a stimulus — beyond our control.

Distractions have a negative impact on our ability to focus on an intended object and sustain that focus – in other words, a distraction is an intrusion into our attempt to concentrate on the task at hand.

Distractions can be external (nagging at any one of our five senses), or internal (“interruptions” from our own brain wiring or emotional states).

They can be subtle or overt, compelling or mildy irritating, important or trivial, but they ALL pull us off task, despite our best intentions.

ADD or not, ALL distractions reduce our ability to place our full attention where WE choose to concentrate.

• Can you fully concentrate on calculating your tax liability with repeated visits from your young daughter pleading with you to come outside to watch her ride her brand new bicycle?

• Are you able to take complicated directions over the phone while your spouse attempts to impart, in your other ear, something s/he deems important for you to hear RIGHT NOW?

• Are you able to drive through a blinding rain while your young children squabble in the back seat and your young teen blares the latest “Listen, this is so cool!” rap song?

Not really, right? ALL distractions have a negative impact on our ability to focus on the intended stimulus, and sustain the focus, the first two of the three Dynamics of Attending.

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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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Reframing


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

Stuff series: Part 3

Escaping the Frame Changes the View

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

*attribution below

Changing the context

Framing (adding perspective)
Reframing (changing perspective)

Reframing is  a well-worn tool in a number of helping professions.  The fields that seem to advocate it most are Neuro-Linguistic Programming [NLP], therapy, and Coaching (especially ADD Coaching).

Reframing is on the Optimal Functioning Institute™ list as one of the Ten Basic Coaching Skills used Most Often with ADDers.  

Including Reframing on this particular list underscores the importance of the two most important ADD Coaching skills, normalizing (ADD affect) and endorsing (client actions, perspectives and talents).

But what IS Reframing?

In the coaching field, reframing is one of the Languaging skills that refers to a particular manner of speaking that allows an individual to escape black and white thinking boundaries so that a different conclusion can be drawn from the same set of facts.

That, in turn, changes the way the situation “seems,” in a manner similar to the way that reframing a picture impacts the look of the picture itself.

In other words, changing the context puts a statement or point of view into a different frame of reference; a “seeding” skill that fosters a shift, (paradigm shift, in some fields).
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Brain-based Coaching Paradigms


Remember – links on this site are dark grey to reduce distraction potential
while you’re reading. They turn red on mouseover
Hover before clicking for more info

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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Change Requests & SuperSensitives


Bradshaw’s Change Model and Hypersensitivity
Guest blogger: Glen Hogard

Hypersensitivity: Anything from not being able to tolerate tight clothing or labels in clothing that irritate our skin, to light, temperature, or sound sensitivity, to heightened emotional sensitivity, we often have to find ways to cut down on our reaction or “over reaction” to a stimulus.

While heightened sensitivity can be a valuable benefit in certain areas of life as in jobs such as EMS technician, doctor, fireman, and even a writer, when it is extra emotional sensitivity it can make interpersonal relationships, especially intimate relationships, difficult if not balanced with ways to sooth our hypersensitive emotions.

While it’s easy to see how it affects us, it’s not so easy to temper.

In the 1980’s, before I knew about ADD/ADHD, I was taught a tool by John Bradshaw, a famous family systems therapist, while working with his first satellite center outside of his California facility in Miami. I worked then, as I have done for ADDA, as the volunteer coordinator for his then yearly or semi-yearly seminars hosted by a great therapist Joan E. Childs.

I’m sure there are other variations of this method in practice, but this is how it was taught to me. So here it is: The Change Model

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Check out Peer Coaching


Need A Little More Help to really SHINE?

Graphic of confused man surrounded by words representing choices and procedures.

Do you need a little bit of ADD Coaching assistance to get to the point where you can afford ADD Coaching assistance?

  • Are you currently Peer Coaching and wish it could serve you BETTER?
  • Are you TRAINING to become an ADD Coach yourself — and you’re not sure how to really USE the required Peer-Partner sessions?
  • Are you currently using the services of a professional ADDCoach, but you’d like coaching support more often than you can afford?   Read more of this post

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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ABOUT Values & The Goose Story


What’s with the Geese?

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

An early logo for my first company, The Optimal Functioning Institute™ - with the company name inside a "V" formed by geese flying in formation

The graphic above these words is a very early logo put together by WebValence webmaster Marty Crouch for a coach curriculum I had spent several years developing and was about to debut: the first ADD-specific coach training program in the world (and the only one for many years.)

I founded The Optimal Functioning Institute™ on the principles that Dr. Harry Clarke Noyes articulates in The Goose Story, a free-verse poem about the importance of community.  In The Goose Story, Noyes compares and contrasts human behaviors to those of a flock of geese, starting with an impressive explanation as to why you always see them flying in V-formation.

The reason I was so taken with this story is a story of its own: how I became aware of the importance of a strong personal foundation and of values-based goals. This post attempts to give you a little bit of background.

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The Goose Story


Click HERE for Part One: ABOUT Values and the Goose Story

The Goose Story
by Dr. Harry Clarke Noyes

Next fall,
when you see Geese
heading South for the Winter,
flying along in V formation,
you might consider
what science has discovered
as to why they fly that way:

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Come-From


Shifting Your Come-From

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC
An ADD Coaching Basic Skill

Come-From?

Photo of a keyboard on which the shift key has been doctored to read "paradigm shift"

Clever photo courtesy of askpang via Flickr

In the Coaching world, the term “come-from” is used to refer to and describe the point of view and basic assumptions underlying any particular individual’s language or behavior — his or her world view, you might say.

Come-from is one of the most important underlying concepts in coaching.

Why?  Because where you stand to view the scenery determines what you are ABLE to see.

We humans seem to like to keep score, collecting “evidence” to validate our core beliefs.

  • It isn’t just that we see what we look for.
  • Come-from alters perception.
  • We interpret what we see based on our come-from — what psychologists call “confirmation bias.”

Shifting

The term “shift,” or “paradigm shift,” as languaged by Stephen Covey in Seven Habits of Highly Successful People, refers to a change in perspective.

A shift involves a change in context that alters how you perceive events, communications, and behaviors.

It also alters your feelings, behavior, and language in the process.

Shifting relies on language, and lies within the province of language, but it would be a big mistake to view it as merely a trick of language.

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