This is why I coach

If you’ve followed my blog, I’m pretty sure I’ve posted about how disenchanted I am with the ICF (International Coach Federation) and the accreditation process. In short, it is archaic, nonsensical, exclusionary, narrow minded, insulting, borderline extortionist, counterproductive, and inching toward evil. (At the risk of being dramatic…) Everything about the accreditation process got in my head and made me doubt what I was doing and how. The more I focused on being the coach ICF wanted, the worse a coach I was. I just got a letter of recommendation from a the Mom of a client I recently “graduated.” Well, really I worked with the whole family. They came all the way down from NH to meet me in person a few times and then we transitioned to skype meetings. I’m posting a copy of the letter for two reasons. First, it makes me feel good to be able to show the world what I can do. But more importantly, the lesson I learned was to stick to my guns. When you know deep down you’re right and that you’re doing good work, don’t let the man tell you how to be.

As a mother of an adolescent with ADHD, there have been many times in which I have thought “if only” whatever….If only I had realized earlier that something was not quite right with my son’s lack of focus. If only he were diagnosed earlier. If only I had pushed harder when we did realize that there was more to it than his just being “a boy”.

The only thing that I feel that we have done right thus far has been to find Matt as an ADHD coach. Previous providers have worked with us, but they did not suit our needs. All too often middle aged women have tried to help, and this is what I am. We needed someone to connect with our son and Matt’s style fit perfectly. His youth and interest in sports made a fantastic impression!

One of Matt’s strengths was that he was able to identify with what our son was going through and that he was willing to share his own experiences. This was paramount in building credibility. Another quality that I appreciated was that while he was well versed in the subject matter, he did not use big words that were confusing. He used analogies that we could all understand. He spoke to our son as you would a teen and did not let him get away with anything. If he thought that our son was not taking responsibility he did or did not do, he called him on it.

Patience is a quality that Matt was able to maintain even under the most stressful circumstances. I admired his ability to deal with our family at the end of a long day. He was able to make each interaction productive, even when we were having a particularly bad day. He was able to work with us as a family and as individuals.

Our goal in finding a coach for our son was to help him find the skills to succeed not only in school but in life. Having been taught how to organize himself, he has been able to get things done in less time, learn more, and in the end, develop a sense of self confidence he has not had previously. I would think that our school systems could use someone like him to prepare the students for the transition to middle school.

Our experience has lessened the stress in the household and this is something for which I will be forever grateful. I am hoping that as our son matures, he will be able to apply what he has learned from Matt and be able to face the challenges that await him. If he stumbles along the way, I am confident that we will reconnect with Matt for a “refresher”. He has been a lifesaver.

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