Hope is a well known four step coaching formula that can be used by any concerned individual who would like to be in a support role for someone with ADD. My experience has been that it works best when used daily at least five times a week. When someone is doing some serious goal setting, or in the process of doing many projects at a time, seven days a week may be very beneficial. Clients who are experiencing transition or dealing with problematic circumstances that may be emotional for them, find coaching seven days a week both comforting and beneficial.
It takes a concerned and devoted individual to be a good coach. The world is full of such people, so finding some one for H.O.P.E will be an easy task; just ask. The following format when used on a daily basis provides the support and encouragement needed for an ADDer to get on track and stay on track. It fosters good habits daily, that grow and become new behavior, enabling the individual to cope with the challenges of day to day living much more effectively.
The first step is to greet each new coaching experience with a warm hello and encouragement for the day. Some coaches read inspirational sayings or daily meditations as part of their hello. It’s good for the ADDer and it’s good for the coach. If it’s a person to person coaching experience a secret handshake is a fun way to start, and of course, a hug is always a warm hello. Ask about yesterday and how it went. Focus on the successes, no matter how small they may have been. Dwelling on plans that fell through or didn’t come out like expected won’t change a thing. Make every outcome a learning experience. If the ADDer says, “Well… It didn’t get done. I goofed up.”, ask what they learned from that and how they can use what they learned in the future. Always congratulate, and find the silver lining, even if yesterday was a big black cloud.
This is the step where you begin to take action by asking what the ADDer’s objectives are for the day. This is also where you must have your ADDer make some judgment calls. Never say, “WHOA, that’s way too much to do in one day!” It’s better to say, “That seems like a lot. Tell me how you plan to do it all.” “How long does it usually take to X and how much more time will it take to Y?” are good questions to ask. Let the ADDer come to their own conclusion that it may be too much. In this step you will want to help the ADDer clarify what they have on the agenda for the day by defining the criteria they will use to judge whether or not they have accomplished the task. An example would be me leaving a note for my son to clean up the kitchen before I get home, and when I get home, the bread is put back into the bread box, and the dirty dishes are in the dishwasher, but… it was never turned on, and the counters were never wiped up. My son’s version (i.e. criteria) of what is clean is different than mine.
This is where you pin ‘em down! How, what, where, and when are all good questions. ‘Why’ is not important in formulating a game plan for getting things done. It’s important in deciding what is important and deserves to be done. ‘Why’ helps prioritize, and may provide some motivation to do the task, but it’s not essential to planning the day. How, what, where, and when will help to focus the ADDer’s plans.
This is the fun part. It’s where you get to say cool things like, “Go for it!” and “Be there or be square.” This can be the number one most important thing to do for the ADDer. No one ever failed miserably from too much encouragement. Be generous with your support and you’ll do well as a coach.
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