I am pleased and honored to be the contributing writer for the new CHADD AD/HD Coaching Blog. I will post a new blog entry every second Tuesday of the month. My hope is to cover a variety of topics that I think will be of interest and helpful to practicing coaches, to people looking for a coach, and to the public.
As many of you know, I’ve been coaching for over 15 years. What some of you might not know is how I came to be a coach. I got into coaching due to my own struggles with AD/HD. I was fortunate to have grown up in a very structured home and learned early on the importance it made in my life. However, all the structure at home didn’t prevent me from having all the same struggles and challenges that everyone with AD/HD faces when they become independent and go on to face the “real world.”
College was a huge hurdle for me, and graduate school was impossible. I had to drop out of Harvard after my first semester. It wasn’t a matter my knowing WHAT to do, it was knowing HOW to apply the skills I learned growing up. Once I was diagnosed with AD/HD and went on a trial of medication, everything fell into place. I finally was able to APPLY the skills I had learned from my father.
As the saying goes “people attract people like themselves.” Before I knew it I was helping others by passing on the lessons I learned growing up. I saw how these strategies and methods my father used to keep me on track made a difference in other people’s lives. Essentially I was doing a form of coaching to help my fellow classmates with AD/HD as well as setting the groundwork for what would become my life’s work—coaching!
So, what is AD/HD coaching and how can a coach help a person with AD/HD?
AD/HD coaching is a dynamic methodology that aims to nurture the client’s ability to self-initiate change in his or her daily life. It is a supportive, practical, concrete process in which the client and coach work together to identify and pursue goals. Coaching helps individuals with AD/HD develop the structures necessary to function effectively and to learn practical approaches to the challenges of daily life.
This goal is ultimately accomplished by using strength-based strategies and the client’s own innate creativity to solve problems. The coach provides structure, feedback, and encouragement to keep the learning process a dynamic one. This is done until the client increases self-awareness, builds an arsenal of strategies to draw upon, and develops the confidence in his or her own ability to self-manage.
AD/HD coaching focuses on the specific needs of the individual being coached. Like all coaching, it is a supportive, goal-oriented process in which the coach and the client work to develop the tools, strategies and confidence necessary to help the client reach his or her potential. The AD/HD coach is trained and experienced in working with people with AD/HD and is capable of helping them develop strategies that maximize the talents of the AD/HD brain and compensate for the individual difficulties the client experiences.
Typically, AD/HD coaching helps individuals with AD/HD develop the structures, processes, and practical approaches necessary to meet the challenges of everyday life and excel in their special areas of talent.
I am excited to share my thoughts and experiences with all of you. If you have any questions you would like me to address please feel free to submit them.
Thank you very much for participating in this exciting venture!