Choosing a Coach for Adults with ADHD

January 7, 2012

If you have ADHD or similar brain wiring, then in order to get the most out of your coaching experience you will need a coach who is experienced working with individuals with ADHD and understands the challenges you face. What specifically would I suggest you look for?

•  Your coach needs to help you continually return your focus to the work throughout a coaching session. Perhaps you will also need shorter sessions. If this feels  inconvenient  to a coach, they shouldn’t be working with clients with ADHD.

•  Chances are that you may fidget and squirm if you try to sit still for an hour. It’s not very helpful to fight it; save your mental energy for better things. Look for a coach  who isn’t distracted by it. Taking a walk during your session may help – are they ok with that?

• You will need and want to work towards getting to your appointments on time. If your coach feels upset by your lateness or takes it personally, understand that that’s their  issue.

• Trying to do tasks alone at home or work may not be a tactic that works well for you. Be sure your coach is flexible and will adjust their “normal” process to make things  work for you. If projects take longer than is usual with their other clients, that’s a fact of life that they must be comfortable with.

• I’d be surprised if you haven’t gotten into a life-long habit of “adjusting the truth” to sidestep criticism. This is very common for individuals with ADHD. A coach has to  understand this, help you take the time to give the most truthful answer and never take it personally.

• It is typical to forget, get distracted, go off on tangents, to get caught by an interesting idea or get bored. When your neurobiology is a certain way, you need to have  coaching that doesn’t ignore the facts.

It may not be obvious whether a coach has the experience and understanding you want until you’ve worked with them for a while. But these “issues” are an everyday part of life for many people with ADHD and your coach must not only accept these behaviors as a typical starting point, but must patiently address them as fundamental aspects of your work together.

Jay Livingston can be reached at LivingstonServices.com. Just use Jay@

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