Written by Harold Robert Meyer, MBA, BCC, SCAC and Susan Karyn Lasky, M.S., BCC, SCAC
Some of these questions are really important, while others may be important to only certain people, or when there are specific needs. Your goal, as an “educated consumer” is to know what you want and to get the best input as to whether the coach you are speaking with is a good match for your needs.
A good coach needs certain skills, but most important is the chemistry between you and your coach. You want a coach who can understand you, your history and background (although they need not be an expert in your field or have had a similar history themselves). You want a coach who can help you to define and achieve your goals, who will inspire you and hold you accountable.
A coach need not have a background in counseling. After all, a coach is not supposed to be your therapist. In fact, you might benefit from having a coach who has some experience in the industry or type of work that you do. A coach may be a graduate of a coaching program, but that is not a guarantee that they can help you. Experience and innate ability are often more important than training. Most important is whether you can trust and respect your coach.
Here are some questions you may want to ask when interviewing prospective coaches. Decide which questions are most important to you and prepare a list of them in advance of your call/email contact.
- How long have you been a coach?
- What is your knowledge of and experience with ADD/ADHD?
- What kind of training do you have?
- What is your background?
- What associations do you belong to?
- What other experience do you bring to coaching?
- Approximately how many people have you coached?
- How many of your clients have ADD/ADHD? Primarily inattentive? Primarily hyperactive/impulsive? Have you worked with many non-ADD clients with major disorganizational problems?
- Have you worked with clients with other psychological or medical problems affecting their ability to function?
- How many are you working with currently?
- On the average, how long do clients see you for coaching?
- Do you have personal experience with ADD/ADHD, chronic disorganization, or …?
- What is your basic approach to coaching? (your philosophy, level of contact, etc.)
- What is your coaching style (extremely gentle, supportive, willing to give a “kick in the pants,” etc.)
- What do you hope to accomplish when you work with a client?
- Are you a sole practitioner or do you work with other coaches or professionals?
- Why did you decide to become an ADD Coach?
- Do you have certain standard interventions you recommend, such as a particular way of doing things, or using a dayplanner, etc.?
Areas of Expertise
- Are your clients primarily male or female?
- What is the primary age group you work with?
- Are you a specialist or a generalist? What type of individuals do you primarily work with? (entrepreneurs, executives, artists, people changing jobs, students, etc.)
- Do you work with students? (Or whatever major defining category is important to you.)
- What type of person do you work best with?
- What are your areas of expertise? (relationships, career development, organization, time management, educational issues, small businesses, etc.)
- What is your knowledge of medication? Do you believe medication is/isn’t critical in treatment?
- Do you do home and/or office organization/paper management/clutter control?
- What is the primary source of your new clients? (referrals, listings, ads, etc.)
- Do you work primarily by: Phone? In-person at your office, my office, my home? E-mail or fax?
- Will you work with someone you never meet in person?
- Do you give “homework assignments”?
- How often do you work with a client?
- What hours are you available? Do you work evenings? Weekends?
- How long are your coaching sessions? (frequent short phone/email contacts or weekly/bimonthly hourly sessions, etc.)
- Are there required or optional check-ins between sessions?
- How do you monitor your clients’ progress?
- How far in advance would I need to make an appointment?
- Do you work/confer with my doctor/therapist/etc.?
- Do you refer other specialists? (organizers, career counselors, image consultants, learning specialists, therapists, etc.)
- How much do you charge for your services?
- Do you offer a sliding scale? (If appropriate.)
- Do fees vary according to the type of service? (Does a coaching session by phone cost the same as one that is in-person? If you come to my home/office is it the same cost as a session in your office?)
- How does payment work: In advance, at time of service, billing?
- Do you accept checks? Credit cards?
- What is your policy if I have to cancel an appointment?
Harold Meyer and Susan Lasky are both Board Certified and Senior Certified ADHD Coaches.
To contact the authors: firstname.lastname@example.org
ADD and ADHD are used interchangeably for Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder.
Any information or suggestions in this article are solely the opinion of the author(s) and should not replace the advice of appropriate medical, legal, therapeutic, financial or other professionals. We do not test or endorse any product, link, author, individual or service listed within.
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