Coaching To Help Time Management

Q:

"I am a management/leadership development coach and have recently come across an opportunity to work with a 43yr-old executive who has ADD. He would like to focus on his time management skills and I am seeking your advice on what information will be helpful to ensure success in our coaching relationship. I am hoping to gain a broad understanding of ADD and its impact on adult learning and work performance. Any suggestions?" -- RBP, New York

A:

I would suggest referring your client to a coach who is specifically trained to work with AD/HD clients if possible. Unfortunately we are too far and few between and that is why I began offering a full on-line AD/HD coaches training in January. The need for coaches who are trained to work with AD/HD clients is tremendous.

If you have a good working relationship established and your client is comfortable continuing with you, it is important that you become as knowledgeable as you can about AD/HD. A good place to start is reading Driven to Distraction, by Dr. Hallowell and Dr. Ratey.

The importance of structure and routine cannot be over-emphasized in working with individuals with attention deficit disorder. Typically AD/HD clients may need more contact with their coaches than a weekly appointment for both support and accountability. Please see Dr. Hallowell's H.O.P.E. coaching model for daily support.

Many time-management systems are not a good match for those with AD/HD, so it is necessary that care be taken in choosing the appropriate system. Watches with programmable alarms and messages also require careful investigation before purchasing. Since many ADDers are impulsive, be sure the decision process is not rushed. Spending a great deal of money on a handheld organizer, only to find out later that it is not a good match for the person, or worse yet, they lose it the first week, should be avoided.

A complete list of AD/HD Coaches Training Programs can be found at NancyRatey.com . Nancy Ratey's site also has many other resources available for those interested in learning more. Take care and keep up the good work by continuing to learn about coaching those with processing differences.

Sandy Maynard lives in Washington, DC where she operates Catalytic Coaching. She was instrumental in the development of The National Attention Deficit Disorder Association's Coaching Guidelines and a founding board member for the Institute for the Advancement of AD/HD Coaching (IAAC). Sandy lectures internationally and is a regular contributor to ADDitude.

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