WHAT IS ADHD COACHING?
ADHD Coaching – Part 1
ADHD Coaching – Part 2
ADHD coaching is an ongoing collaborative partnership between a person with ADHD traits, including persons impacted by ADHD, and a professional coach who brings current ADHD knowledge, best practices, understanding, and ADHD-friendly skills and tools to facilitate positive personal and professional change for the client.
The ADHD coaching partnership is an appreciate and creative inquiry process that empowers client to learn about themselves and their unique brain processing so they can make choices and take actions to create the lives they choose to live. The ADHD coach listens with appreciation and working experience of how ADHD may be impacting the client.
ADHD coaches create a safe, non-judgmental environment, listen with an ADHD understanding, observe what is preventing the client from reaching specific goals, explore ways in which the client can maximize strengths, talents, and passion, and enlist strategies and behaviors congruent with the ADHD client’s learning, processing, and organization styles.
ADHD coaches regard their clients as naturally creative, resourceful, and incredible human beings (emphasis added).
How Does Coaching Differ from Other Helping Professions?
Professional coaching is a distinct service that focuses on an individual’s life as it relates to goal setting, outcome creation and personal change management. In an effort to understand what a coach is, it can be helpful to distinguish coaching from other professions that provide personal or organizational support.
Therapy: Coaching can be distinguished from therapy in a number of ways. First, coaching is a profession that supports personal and professional growth and development based on individual-initiated change in pursuit of specific actionable outcomes. These outcomes are linked to personal or professional success. Coaching is forward moving and future focused. Therapy, on the other hand, deals with healing pain, dysfunction and conflict within an individual or a relationship between two or more individuals. The focus is often on resolving difficulties arising from the past which hamper an individual’s emotional functioning in the present, improving overall psychological functioning, and dealing with present life and work circumstances in more emotionally healthy ways. Therapy outcomes often include improved emotional/feeling states. While positive feelings/emotions may be a natural outcome of coaching, the primary focus is on creating actionable strategies for achieving specific goals in one’s work or personal life. The emphasis in a coaching relationship is on action, accountability, and follow-through.
Consulting: Consultants may be retained by individuals or organizations for the purpose of accessing specialized expertise. While consulting approaches vary widely, there is often an assumption that the consultant diagnoses problems and prescribes and sometimes implements solutions. In general, the assumption with coaching is that individuals or teams are capable of generating their own solutions, with the coach supplying supportive, discovery-based approaches and frameworks.
Mentoring: Mentoring, which can be thought of as guiding from one’s own experience or sharing of experience in a specific area of industry or career development, is sometimes confused with coaching. Although some coaches provide mentoring as part of their coaching, such as in mentor coaching new coaches, coaches are not typically mentors to those they coach.
Training: Training programs are based on the acquisition of certain learning objectives as set out by the trainer or instructor. Though objectives are clarified in the coaching process, they are set by the individual or team being coached with guidance provided by the coach. Training also assumes a linear learning path that coincides with an established curriculum. Coaching is less linear without a set curriculum plan.
Athletic Development: Though sports metaphors are often used, professional coaching is different from the traditional sports coach. The athletic coach is often seen as an expert who guides and directs the behavior of individuals or teams based on his or her greater experience and knowledge. Professional coaches possess these qualities, but it is the experience and knowledge of the individual or team that determines the direction. Additionally, professional coaching, unlike athletic development, does not focus on behaviors that are being executed poorly or incorrectly. Instead, the focus is on identifying opportunity for development based on individual strengths and capabilities.