How to Choose an ADHD Coach
Just as everyone is an individual, different coaches work in different ways. As mentioned in my post “How to Find an ADHD Coach” you can find a coach through a search on google, ADHD coach specific directories and by referral. Once you have identified a few coaches it is time to talk with them to find out who would be the best match for you.
Good chemistry is important when it comes to working with a coach. You need to feel comfortable with them, trust them and be able to be honest with them. I suggest you talk with at least 3 coaches to understand the variety available.
Training and Qualifications:
Aside from chemistry there are some qualifications you can inquire about. Due to the lack of regulations regarding coaching, anyone can call themselves a coach. For those who choose to, a person can get certified as a coach. Any company can say they train and certify coaches. But the pre-eminent organization in coaching is the ICF (International Coaches Federation.) They don’t train coaches but they accredit coaching schools that prove they teach a specific code of ethics, conduct and coaching. Once a person has gone through coaching training they can apply for a credential. The first and lowest credential is an ACC (Associate Certified Coach) which is basically pretty easy to get. The next level is PCC (Professionally Certified Coach) they have much more extensive training and many more hours of coaching experience than the ACC. The highest level is the MCC (Master Certified Coach). No matter how much training you do there is no guarantee that you will ever make it to be an MCC. All the three certifications require testing to become certified.
If possible, it is preferable to work with a certified by the ICF coach because they have committed to a specific code of conduct and ethical behavior in addition to having been trained in the skill of coaching.
ACCs are usually the cheapest and MCCs are usually the most expensive coaches. But you may not save money working with an ACC because they may not be as efficient as a PCC or MCC resulting in spending more money because the coach is not as experienced and may not work as quickly.
If is good to ask what level of experience each coach has. This means how many hours have they coached and how many clients. For example, I am a PCC and have been coaching for 6 – 7 years and have coached over a couple thousand hours..
Some coaches specialize such as ADHD coaches who should also aside from regular coach training, have trained specifically for ADHD coaching. You want to find out what type of specialized training each of the coaches you are looking at have, if any.
The coaches’ background can also play a role. I think that it is better if you find a coach who has had a previous career prior to coaching. Those that just start coaching with no real work and life experience, I believe are at a disadvantage in comparison to coaches that have some living under their belt. For example, I have worked in the non-profit world, the “for profit” world and as an entrepreneur. This allows me a certain depth of experience and ability to identify with many different sorts of people. Additionally, I have a masters’ in education that has informed my understanding of different ways people learn, this helps my coaching.
This is why it is important to interview several coaches to find out not only if they are compatible but also qualified with the depth of experience to help you.
Finally, there are the logistical issues. How does the coach work – over the phone, over the internet and/or in person. For example, I am rare that I see 80% of my clients in person. They come to me in Washington DC from Virginia, Maryland and the District. For those that don’t have the time or the inclination as well as those who are not located near me, I work by phone or internet. This has allowed me to work with people locally in person and with people across the world.
Abigail Wurf, PCC, M.Ed helps professionals, entrepreneurs, and small business owners affected by ADHD and/or Executive function issues achieve success in business and in life. Located in Washington DC, Abigail works with clients in person, over the phone and over the Internet. Her new book, “Forget Perfect: How to Succeed in Your Profession and Personal Life Even if You Have ADHD,” is loaded with tips to help overwhelmed people get things done and be more strategic about how to live their lives. To receive a free consult from Abigail, make a request through the contact form and she will get back with you to schedule.