The Brain: Why much of what you think you know is WRONG


Science Marches On
and older information becomes obsolete

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

The Importance of Life-Long Learning

It’s an essential endeavor for everyone with a brain to continue to seek out and pay attention to credible information that will help us delay – or avoid – the onset of dementia, preserving cognitive functionality as we age.

However, it is especially important for scientists, treatment and helping professionals to keep up with new information and incorporate it into their theories, tests and treatment protocols.

And yet . . .

I have been beating this drum – while seeking new, scientifically valid information for over 30 years now – in my futile attempt [so far] to get some traction toward effective care for those of us with Executive Functioning disorders.

A concept known as Confirmation Bias explains part of the reason that my efforts [and those of others] have, for the most part, failed – but timing is everything.

Related Post: Why we HATE to Change our Minds

Getting updated, substantially more accurate information to “the professional down the street” simply takes far too long, as the continual explosion of partially-informed new coaches, bloggers and pinners confuse and confound the issue further.

They all seem to be well-intended, albeit at least partially misguided, spreading obsolete information all over the internet at an unprecedented rate.  For those who make an effort to continue to learn, it seems that the more that new information might persuade them to update their theories and methodologies along with their information base, the more tightly they hold to cherished beliefs – the very essence of cognitive dissonance.

Cognitive Dissonance Theory makes predictions that are counter-intuitive — predictions that have been confirmed in numerous scientific experiments.

If you aren’t familiar with the concept or the term, you will probably be surprised to see how widely it applies. Once you learn to pay attention to it, you will also be surprised at how it changes your behavior as well as your perception of your world.

Embracing its reality might also encourage you to investigate brain-based information further, allowing your mind to incorporate the latest in scientific findings, rather than repeating information that is, sometimes, decades old.

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Brain Injured from Birth?


Never “normal” —
and never understanding
why you can’t do what others CAN

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

Sort of, but not really

As awful as it is to lose functionality as a result of head injury, stroke, or some of the short-term memory deficits that cause “senior moments,” what if you had NEVER experienced the functionality you are mourning?

Those of us with Attentional Spectrum Disorders and Executive Functioning Deficits have been struggling with “TBI problems” and “senior moments” our entire lives, to undeserved and unkind public ridicule and general disbelief that what we report is a legitimate problem.

In an earlier article, Lessons from the TBI Community, developed initially for a brain-based talk to a professional conference for ADD Coaches, I attempted to compare the problems faced by individuals with challenges due to Traumatic Brain Injury to the struggles of the rest of us here in Alphabet City.

Broken Brains

I doubt that anyone who reads or watches television is unaware of the behavioral and cognitive changes that accompany dementias, strokes, and brain injuries due to accidents of one sort or another.

Most sensible individuals readily accept that those changes are a direct result of brain damage, leaving areas of the brain incapable of performing their role in the neural relay race, or doing so inefficiently or incompletely.

WHY IS IT SO DIFFICULT TO BELIEVE that that someone might be be born with parts of the brain that function inefficiently, or that brain development might not proceed in that so-called neurotypical fashion in a subset of individuals — and that there might be similar behavioral and cognitive differences as a result?

AFTER ALL, anyone who has had any reason to take a look at education in the last forty years surely must be aware of the meaning of the term “learning disorder” or “learning disability.”

If they’ve looked beyond the headlines, they may also be aware that the term does not refer to an intelligence-delimited inability to learn, but to a difference in the manner and speed in which the information must be presented for learning to take place.

Unrealistic Expectations

TBI advocates and sufferers frequently write about how painful and difficult it is for them that those around them expect that their functioning will mirror their appearance.

During the period where they look “banged up” in some fashion, loved ones and friends encourage them to be patient and take it easy. Once they look “okay,” the understanding that they are still healing seems to run out.

  • They are expected to BE okay as soon as they LOOK okay —
    to rapidly return to the “self” they were before their accident.
  • There seems to be little to no understanding that they are being asked, metaphorically, to walk on a broken leg with severed nerves.

Although the unrealistic expectations of others are maddening – and tough on the sufferer’s self-esteem – there is usually some awareness in his or her heart of the reason that they aren’t able to do what is expected of them.

They realize only too well that parts of their brain aren’t functioning “normally” yet, even though the underlying reason is “invisible” to others, so tough for them to believe.

What if they had NEVER experienced anything different? 

What if not being able to live up to expectations WAS “normal,” as far as they knew?  Then what?  How would that affect their view of themselves?

Don’t forget that you can always check out the sidebar for a reminder
of how links work on this site, they’re subtle  ==>

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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.

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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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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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Can This ADDer Be Saved? – Part 2


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
.

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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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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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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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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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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Is this YOU? How are you like my former clients?


Recognize yourself

among my former clients?

abstract drawing of a group of cartoon humans in various non-human colors

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

As I said in the first part of this post
(which you can read if you click HERE)

. . . regardless of “niche,” when you take the time to look closely, most coaches tend to attract clients in “categories” focused around similar types of challenges.


In addition to the challenge profiles I described in Part One of this article, here are a few more of the “categories” that my clients have had in common over the past couple of decades.

Read more of this post

MGH clients . . .


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


I Coach Clients Who . . .

cartoon drawing of woman in coach hat, sunglasses and t-shirt with "mghcoach" on it

     Like every other coach on the planet:

“I work well with people in transition,
both in personal and professional settings.”

Well, duh!  Who doesn’t that include?  

There’s not a soul with breath to fog a mirror who isn’t
experiencing some sort of transition, right?

Yet, when you take the time to think about it more specifically, most coaches tend to attract clients in “categories” clustered around similar types of transitions, which means they are likely to be working on similar types of challenges.

Even though we coaches redefine our “ideal client profile” relatively frequently, even in brand new niches there remains an essential core of familiarity.  It’s fascinating to look back over a decade (oh, alright, several) to attempt to determine what my clients had in common.  It’s an exercise well worth doing annually for any private practitioner.

So, maybe you will recognize yourself among some of the “transition categories” my clients have had in common over the past couple of decades. Read more of this post

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.

Read more of this post

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.

Read more of this post

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!

Read more of this post

How I Coach


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

My Coach Approach

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

I want every one of my clients to enjoy their coaching time, and I firmly believe that only happens in an unconditionally constructive atmosphere.  

Like all coaches, I’ll always encourage your very best efforts. My come-from, however, is that we ALL do the best we can at all times, especially during those times when it could easily look otherwise.

  • I know that on days when my own functional temperature is low, I’m working twice as hard, not half as hard, even if I have little to show for my efforts.
  • I need a coach who will remind me not to beat myself up, not one who will initiate the beatings!

To my mind, anyone who does well with a “tough love” approach is doing so in spite of the approach, not because of it.  I want my clients to develop healthy motivational strategies.

Read more of this post

10 Essential ADD Coaching Concepts


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

Graphic of a man with a map, sandles & a sword about to enter a maze - in the center we see the top of a brown, furry head, with hornsMore than any other client type, the ADD client knows more about what’s going on with their functioning than their coach ever will!

The trouble is:

1 – they don’t trust what they know,
2 – they don’t know how to explain their experience, and
3 – they can’t figure out (in a vacuum) what they need to DO to become intentional with attending.

As difficult as it may be to sort things out without an executive functioning crutch (that’s you!), the last thing they need is a coach who tries to coach them “by the book” – especially if that book was written by the ADD clue-free.**

Read more of this post

The ADD MasterCoach Profile™


— Updated legacy post – original 04/29/98

drawing of graph paper with a jagged line representing up and down values plotted on a graphMeasurements of Mastery

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

The ADD MasterCoach Profileis rigorous – daunting, even – but you won’t believe the impact on your practice. 

When you score above 85 on The MasterCoach Profile™, not only will your practice be sustainably full, you will be one of the leaders in the ADD Coaching field and a model for every single coach in the industry.

While there are no real guarantees in this business, working The ADD MasterCoach Profile™ is the closest thing to a guarantee you will find in the coaching field.

There is simply no way you can score well on this Program and not be at the top of the field by any standard you would care to measure.

Read more of this post

The ADDCoach JumpStart™ Program


— Updated legacy post – original 04/25/98 —

The ADDCoach JumpStart™ Program

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

silhouette of a man jumping

ADDCoach JumpStart™  identifies and tracks 100 key factors that combine to promote rapid practice building in a manner that is consistent with developing and maintaining a full, rewarding and profitable ADD Coaching practice.

It  gives you a way to quantify your efforts.

JumpStart™ is the initial program of the two practice building programs I developed to support the OFI Associates, the ADD coaches trained through The Optimal Functioning Institute™ during the course of the flagship ADD-specific coach training.

The ADD MasterCoach Profile was designed to take those coaches to the next level.

I also make both Programs available to my private mentor clients and currently use them to help  structure and motivate my Mentor Groups.

Modeled after the brilliant programs developed by one of my first coaching mentors, coaching field founder Thomas J. Leonard for CoachU (now a division ofCoach Inc.), the two programs together are designed to take you from your current coaching level, whatever that is, to ADD Coaching mastery.

Everyone begins with Jumpstart™, moving up to The ADD MasterCoach Profile only when your Jumpstart™ score lets us both know you are ready for it.

Read more of this post

The Art and Science of the ADD Question


Don’t ask, DO tell

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

nicubunu_Broken_heartMy heart breaks when a client whose brain-style is NOT neurotypical tells me about past coaching relationships that haven’t worked out.  

I wish I could tell you that it is rare for me to hear about that sad reality, but that would not be truthful.

As I have continued to say since 1994, the truth of the matter is that coaches who don’t truly understand how to work with the ADD/EFD brain-style – even those who are well known for being highly effective with other types of clients – tend to do more harm than good with clients who have Attentional Spectrum challenges.

While I have empathy for any coach who wonders why they couldn’t be effective with any particular client, my heart shatters when I hear from clients with executive function struggles whose coaches don’t seem to wonder about their own contribution to their client’s struggles.

White cake with white icing (and a cherry on top!)ADD Coaching is not simply ADD icing on a “vanilla” cake!  

No matter how comprehensive your “vanilla” coach training, to coach ADD/EFDers (or ANY client with one of what I refer to as one of the Alphabet Disorders) you simply must Rewrite your Coaching Manual™ with an understanding of how the brain “normally” works, what’s going on when it works differently, and what’s needed to work with clients for whom that is the case.

Line drawing of a person throwing a piece of paper and a huge question mark into a trash can.What you will discover when you do is that there are standard coaching basics that won’t work AT ALL with the neurodiverse.

Never.  Nada!  No way, no how!

No matter what you’ve learned – or how well your vanilla skills work with how many bazillions of non-ADD/EFD clients . . .
you simply MUST throw them out when your client has ADD/EFD/TBI/PTSD – or any OTHER Attentional-spectrum, neuro-diverse component to their make-up.

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If the shoe doesn’t fit, don’t blame the foot!


ADDvice Gone Bad

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

How come nobody asks US?

Isn’t it amazing how many times we’ve been urged to TRY HARDER, to do life better-faster-slower-different – before anyone has really listened to what WE have to say about why it isn’t getting done in an expected fashion?

We wouldn’t dream of asking a child with poor vision to squint her way into focus, yet many of the things asked of us (and that, by extension, we expect ourselves to be able to do) are equally, ridiculously impossible.

As we work together to develop ways to help you get things done,
let’s start by distinguishing can’t from won’t.

REGARDLESS of what you hear – or have heard – from the ADD/EFD-clue-free:

As you begin working your way through this site, unless you have a solid sense of a block that is keeping a won’t in place, it will be MUCH more effective to assume that the things you say you want to accomplish but aren’t getting done are can’ts.  

If we start THERE, we can turn those can’ts into CANs.

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