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 like you and who understands the challenges you face. What specifically would I suggest you look for?
- Throughout a coaching session, your coach needs to help you continually return your focus to the work. Perhaps you will also need shorter sessions. If this feels inconvenient to a coach, they shouldn’t be working with clients with ADHD.
- If you fidget and squirm when 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 with your coach during your session may help – is the coach ok with that?
- You may need to work towards getting to your appointments on time. If your coach feels upset by your lateness or takes it personally, that’s a warning that all may not go well.
- 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 accurate answers and never take it personally.
- It is typical to forget, get distracted and 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 a coach who doesn’t ignore what’s happening for you.
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 has many years of experience working with individuals and couples who must manage the symptoms of attention dysregulation and is a major referral source for one of the country’s leading psychiatrists working with adult ADHD.