Coaching Responsibility

In our ADHD coach training classes, we talk about holding our clients accountable for their actions and helping them move forward confidently, comfortably and well-equipped for life. This morning, I was thinking about how we coach the skill of responsibility. Being responsible for one’s actions is a key component to emotional growth and maturity, but sometimes coaches focus on accountability and skip the deeper level of holding a client responsible for actions taken or not taken. We train coaches to set up accountability plans and structure with their clients, especially those with ADHD, EF and learning issues. This is a valuable step in designing the coaching partnership. The next step, responsibility, involves calling our clients on their missteps in a firm, supportive manner. For example, who is responsible for showing up for coaching sessions and paying the coaching fees? The coach may agree to send reminders to the client but ultimately it is up to the client. When we, the coaches, treat our services as less than services provided by other professionals, we are not only hurting ourselves, we are hurting our clients. Without a sense of responsibility to the coaching partnership, the coaching process may not flourish and the trust and intimacy of a coach-client relationship may never fully develop.I challenge coaches, coaches in training, clients and client families to engage in a conversation about responsibility, above and beyond accountability. For those in my current coach training class and JST grads, I welcome conversation on this issue. Thanks for listening!