add / adhd

ADD Coaches differ from general coaches in several ways:

  • An ADD coach works from an understanding of how ADHD shows up and impacts each person differently and coaches from that framework (That’s why it’s so important to be sure you’re hiring a trained ADD coach.)
  • Your coach is educated about ADHD, its traits and symptoms, and common accompanying challenges such as dyslexia and learning differences
  • Your coach is also trained in specific tools, strategies, and systems designed to support someone with ADHD
  • Your coach can and may serve as an educator to help you understand how ADD is impacting your life
  • Your coach may serve as an advocate with you
  • Your coach often works in conjunction with other members of your support team (a therapist, physician, psychiatrist, employment counselor, your life partner, etc.)

How I Coach:
Briefly, the way I coach ADDers is to work with them specifically on building systems, habits, and rituals to make their daily lives easier and more fun. We also work together to understand just how ADHD impacts our lives. I come from the view that ADHDers have many strengths and gifts which we want to draw out and appreciate.

We focus regularly on what you do well and how to amplify that. It’s common that the coaching includes identifying and building a great support system. We also notice and begin to change any negative self talk. One key concept we’ll work on is that while we want to be responsible for our lives, that doesn’t mean we have to do everything ourselves. Another concept we strive to implement for you is around designing an environment that pulls you quickly toward success.

My goal in coaching ADDers is to help them find the best use of their talents and not to forever focus on their weak areas. Everyone has weaknesses! That doesn’t mean we have to design our lives to struggle with them all the time.

My own story:
I am an inattentive type ADDer myself. I wasn’t diagnosed until I was in my 40s. I have used ADD meds briefly, but I have designed my life such that I don’t use meds at the present time. That choice gets re-evaluated regularly and may change at some point. I have also dealt with ADD-related depression and self-esteem issues, too..

Looking back now, I recognize that my restlessness in the workplace was due to my ADD. I’ve been an educator on the college level, worked in the legal field with court reporters, worked as a technical writer for several years, advanced into training and project management in the corporate world, then established my own online information design consulting business which I ran successfully for 8 years. During most of that time, I found avenues to use my excellent training, facilitation, and leadership skills in multiple ways.

I jumped into coaching as soon as I learned about the profession. My first coach told me that I would make a good ADD coach, and I took her at her word and signed up for ADD coach training while I was still in my general coach training. It was a powerful combination for me.

ADD in my life shows up as clutter, lack of focus, and impulsivity. Most people see me as very organized, and I can develop detailed processes and procedures, though I’m not as good at following them long-term. I have loads of energy, and when I’m hyperfocusing I can accomplish a great deal. For example, I committed to developing my Heartful Business Plan workbook and wrote the entire 175+ pages in a month’s time, around my full coaching practice.

I’ve learned to design an environment to pull me into things I want to accomplish. For example, I wanted to write a chapter for an upcoming book, so I committed to a deadline for sharing a draft with a colleague. That was enough structure to allow me to write the 4,500 word chapter within a couple weeks. I’ve always found that keeping my schedule quite full helps me to be more efficient. In college one semester, I had to write 18 papers in 16 weeks. I turned them all in on time except one, and I had permission to turn it in on Monday rather than the previous Friday. It was almost 30 pages.

Over the past two years, I reworked and wrote the curriculum for the ADD Coach Academy training program. We now have 1,000 pages of training materials in that program. And in 2006, I was co-chair of the ICF Annual International Coach Conference. This involved weekly meetings and planning for the entire year.

Also as an ADDer, I love variety, of course. So, I try to keep several projects going at once to keep me engaged and happy. I’m always reading several books at once as continual learning is one of my values. My professional project list right now looks like this:

  • Maintain and enjoy my coaching practice (15-20 individual clients)
  • Lead teleclasses for three coach training programs
  • Volunteer work for the International Coach Federation (certification evaluator, conference bookstore chair, and committee member)
  • Develop a new business with two colleagues
  • Write a book on coaching principles using humor (Sweet Wisdom)
  • Become certified in Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) – 2nd level certificate completed in July
  • Develop a series of audiotapes
  • Learn more about Abundance and Attraction

ADHD has given me some enormous gifts — incredible creativity and imagination, loads of enthusiasm and curiosity, and energy and drive to do many things. Some of those same gifts have their challenging side — finding and staying focused to see things through, deciding which ideas to pursue, and learning to use my energy wisely. Life with ADHD isn’t always easy, but it IS interesting!

Am I the right coach for you?
Only you can say. If my story resonates for you, then give me a call. We’ll explore together whether we’re a good match: (573) 340-3559 or