How Do ADHD Coaches Collaborate Differently with Their Clients?

by Barbara Luther, MCC

We begin to create a respectful, collaborative partnership from the very first interaction with a new client prospect, and that dynamic partnership continues to evolve and become stronger throughout the relationship.  As we talk with new prospects and explore their needs and expectations, we are checking to see if we are the right coach for them.  If we aren’t the right coach, we want to help them find a good match.  Your commitment to every person finding a good match makes you a stronger partner for those who do become your clients.Showing up as consistently respectful and appreciative helps develop a safe environment where the client can explore and grow.  Once you have built a solid partnership, trust it.  By that, we mean you don’t have to continually ask permission to ask the client a question.  If they are paying you and showing up for sessions, then you have permission to ask questions, unless it’s a particularly delicate question where asking permission gives them a choice and chance to be ready for the question.  The more you trust yourself, your client, the coaching conversation, and the partnership, the more powerful the coaching can be.One of the ways ADHD coaching is unique in this competency is in understanding processing modalities and incorporating them into the coaching in deeper ways.  For example, if a client is a verbal processor who needs to process to know what she thinks, we need to be able to distinguish when a client has gone off on a tangent or is simply rehearsing an old story versus working out her thoughts and feelings.  We explore with the client how she wants us to interrupt her when she’s off topic, and we must be comfortable interrupting respectfully even though it may feel like we’re being rude.  As the client’s fierce partner, we don’t want her to rehearse a negative story even one more time, so we interrupt and invite creation of a healthy new story.

When you are demonstrating this competency during certification testing, we are listening for how you establish the partnership within that particular session.  Are you curious and do you care about the client?  Do you fully partner and not hold back ADHD knowledge/understanding that would help the client?  Do you collaborate with the client in choosing the direction forward?   At each certification level, we are listening for a deeper level of trust and collaboration.

Thank you all!