Coaching FAQ

Frequently asked questions

What is the distinction between an ADHD coach and a general coach? (PAAC, 2017)


A coach who specializes in ADHD coaching has a knowledge base in a specialty area that the general coach does not have. It’s much like a coach who specializes in small business possessing a special business knowledge base. The coach can draw on this knowledge base in his or her coaching, and generally be more conversant and effective in that specialty. For example, ADHD coaches have spent far more time than general coaches learning about neuroscience and how the ADHD brain works. They are familiar with concepts such as executive functioning in the brain. They have a deeper understanding of the role of medications and in general how meds work. They recognize distraction, overwhelm, restlessness, fidgeting, and other traits as possibly being ADHD related. As clients become better educated as to how their ADHD brain is impacting their functioning, this leads to the client taking more appropriate actions. An ADHD coach is also far more likely to understand how the person with ADHD thinks, going beyond empathizing with their problem. The ADHD coach is able to validate, understand, support, and acknowledge what their clients are going through. They truly “get” it. This is very important to people who have ADHD, who often don’t feel understood and need validation. A general coach simply will not have the knowledge base to coach on this level.




What is professional coaching? (ICF, 2017)


ICF defines coaching as partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential, which is particularly important in today’s uncertain and complex environment. Coaches honor the client as the expert in his or her life and work and believe every client is creative, resourceful and whole. Standing on this foundation, the coach's responsibility is to:

  • Discover, clarify, and align with what the client wants to achieve
  • Encourage client self-discovery
  • Elicit client-generated solutions and strategies
  • Hold the client responsible and accountable
This process helps clients dramatically improve their outlook on work and life, while improving their leadership skills and unlocking their potential.




How is coaching distinct from other service professions?


Professional coaching focuses on setting goals, creating outcomes and managing personal change. Sometimes it’s helpful to understand coaching by distinguishing it from other personal or organizational support professions. Therapy: Therapy deals with healing pain, dysfunction and conflict within an individual or in relationships. The focus is often on resolving difficulties arising from the past that hamper an individual's emotional functioning in the present, improving overall psychological functioning, and dealing with the present in more emotionally healthy ways. Coaching, on the other hand, supports personal and professional growth based on self-initiated change in pursuit of specific actionable outcomes. These outcomes are linked to personal or professional success. Coaching is future focused. While positive feelings/emotions may be a natural outcome of coaching, the primary focus is on creating actionable strategies for achieving specific goals in one's work or personal life. The emphases in a coaching relationship are on action, accountability, and follow through. Consulting: Individuals or organizations retain consultants for their expertise. While consulting approaches vary widely, the assumption is the consultant will diagnose problems and prescribe and, sometimes, implement solutions. With coaching, the assumption is that individuals or teams are capable of generating their own solutions, with the coach supplying supportive, discovery-based approaches and frameworks. Mentoring: A mentor is an expert who provides wisdom and guidance based on his or her own experience. Mentoring may include advising, counseling and coaching. The coaching process does not include advising or counseling, and focuses instead on individuals or groups setting and reaching their own objectives. Training: Training programs are based on objectives set out by the trainer or instructor. Though objectives are clarified in the coaching process, they are set by the individual or team being coached, with guidance provided by the coach. Training also assumes a linear learning path that coincides with an established curriculum. Coaching is less linear without a set curriculum. Athletic Development: Though sports metaphors are often used, professional coaching is different from sports coaching. The athletic coach is often seen as an expert who guides and directs the behavior of individuals or teams based on his or her greater experience and knowledge. Professional coaches possess these qualities, but their experience and knowledge of the individual or team determines the direction. Additionally, professional coaching, unlike athletic development, does not focus on behaviors that are being executed poorly or incorrectly. Instead, the focus is on identifying opportunity for development based on individual strengths and capabilities.




What are some typical reasons someone might work with a coach?


An individual or team might choose to work with a coach for many reasons, including but not limited to the following:

  • Something urgent, compelling or exciting is at stake (a challenge, stretch goal or opportunity)
  • A gap exists in knowledge, skills, confidence or resources
  • A desire to accelerate results
  • A lack of clarity with choices to be made
  • Success has started to become problematic
  • Work and life are out of balance, creating unwanted consequences
  • Core strengths need to be identified, along with how best to leverage them




How long does a coach work with an individual?


The length of a coaching partnership varies depending on the individual's or team's needs and preferences. For certain types of focused coaching, three to six months of working may work. For other types of coaching, people may find it beneficial to work with a coach for a longer period. Factors that may impact the length of time include: the types of goals, the ways individuals or teams prefer to work, the frequency of coaching meetings and financial resources available to support coaching.




Within the partnership what does the coach do? the Inividual?


The coach:

  • Provides objective assessment and observations that foster the individual's or team’s self-awareness and awareness of others
  • Listens closely to fully understand the individual's or team's circumstances
  • Acts as a sounding board in exploring possibilities and implementing thoughtful planning and decision making
  • Champions opportunities and potential, encouraging stretch and challenge commensurate with personal strengths and aspirations
  • Fosters shifts in thinking that reveal fresh perspectives
  • Challenges blind spots to illuminate new possibilities and support the creation of alternative scenarios
  • Maintains professional boundaries in the coaching relationship, including confidentiality, and adheres to the coaching profession's code of ethics
The individual:
  • Creates the coaching agenda based on personally meaningful coaching goals
  • Uses assessment and observations to enhance self-awareness and awareness of others
  • Envisions personal and/or organizational success
  • Assumes full responsibility for personal decisions and actions
  • Utilizes the coaching process to promote possibility thinking and fresh perspectives
  • Takes courageous action in alignment with personal goals and aspirations
  • Engages big-picture thinking and problem-solving skills
  • Takes the tools, concepts, models and principles provided by the coach and engages in effective forward actions




What does coaching ask of an individual?


To be successful, coaching asks certain things, all of which begin with intention. Additionally, clients should:

  • Focus on one's self, the tough questions, the hard truths and one's success.
  • Observe the behaviors and communications of others.
  • Listen to one's intuition, assumptions, judgments, and to the way one sounds when one speaks.
  • Challenge existing attitudes, beliefs and behaviors and develop new ones that serve one's goals in a superior way.
  • Leverage personal strengths and overcome limitations to develop a winning style.
  • Take decisive actions, however uncomfortable and in spite of personal insecurities, to reach for the extraordinary.
  • Show compassion for one's self while learning new behaviors and experiencing setbacks, and to show that compassion for others as they do the same.
  • Commit to not take one's self so seriously, using humor to lighten and brighten any situation.
  • Maintain composure in the face of disappointment and unmet expectations, avoiding emotional reactivity.
  • Have the courage to reach for more than before while engaging in continual self examination without fear.





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Aviva Nirenberg, PCAC, ACC

Certified ADHD Coach and Life Coach
(845) 521-0039

Coach@ascendwithaviva.com

Airmont, New York

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