Brain-based Coaching Paradigms


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Underlying Assumptions Keeping us Stuck

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

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

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

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

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

Shame’s Genesis

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

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

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

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

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

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