Checking-in is one of the most important parts of the ADHD/Executive Functioning-coaching models. It is one of the primary differences that separate life coaching from ADHD coaching. Although there are many aspects of the ADHD coaching process that support young adults in their quest to achieve academic and personal goals, the act of checking-in can make the biggest difference in their overall success. Accountability, reviewing weekly goals, positive responses and support between sessions are all keys to a student’s success with their coach.
Check-in methods, including time and content are discussed prior to the first coaching session. Check-ins can be done daily or every other day depending on an agreement between the client and the coach. Consistent communication is most important during the week between sessions regarding daily achievements, struggles and updates on the specific activity goals for the week. When a client checks in with a coach, they are taking the time to think about their school schedule, dates of tests, papers, applications and other academic and personal goals. The check-ins are usually short notes sent by text or e-mail to the coach.
Accountability and commitment to tasks are difficult for young adults with ADHD and/or Executive Functioning challenges. A client who checks-in during the week is committing to stay on task and avoid procrastination. According to a study done by Rabin, Fogel and Nutter-Upham in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology (2011) “the executive function domains of initiation, plan/organize, self-monitor, working memory, task monitor, and organization of materials were significant predictors of academic procrastination”. When the client checks-in with their coach, they are on the right path to complete a task and feel positive about themselves thereby avoiding the negative feeling they can get from procrastinating.
Another benefit of the check-in process is the support a client receives from an ADHD coach. The trust developed in the coach-client relationship, and the care shown by the coach, in a non-judgmental way, usually helps with motivation, self-assurance and encouragement. When a client is feeling low, checking-in gives the client the motivation to move ahead. When there is success, the client knows that the coach is there to celebrate.
This consistent communication partnership can help a client overcome the roadblocks that get in the way of achieving short term and long term goals. The best part of the check-in process, is that it gives a young adult encouragement to compete their daily tasks – without nagging!
Clients new to the coaching process maybe confused and uncomfortable at first with the check-ins. After a few sessions, the young adult client should see the benefits of working with their coach as they find the right path to achieve their goals. Checking-in is an essential part of that coaching roadmap. To summarize, check-ins are an integral part of coaching and an important step to help clients master the skills they need to succeed in High School, College and their jobs.
Lynn Miner-Rosen, M.Ed., BCC, CSS, is an Edge Coach, and has been a Board Certified ADHD Coach for over four years. Besides coaching individuals with Executive Function challenges, Lynn also is a certified Career Services Specialist and works with young people helping them with their career life planning and adults transitioning to a new career or new job. Her website is: www.CoachLynnMR.com.