The Fundamentals of Coaching Young People – Part 2

As in coaching with adults, the young client sets the agenda for the coaching process, while the coach elicits information to clarify and identify the details of the client’s agenda and the plan for how to reach the client’s goals. Thus, when working with the young client, the coach is careful not to redirect the coaching toward an agenda that has been predetermined by the parents or one that the coach views as a better alternative for the client. It is also up to the coach to listen carefully to questions, concerns, and feelings that might get in the way of the client’s path toward the agreed-upon goals. For example, the client may set a goal to learn how to ski, only to find out that skiing is cost prohibitive at this time in his or her life. (Note that questions related to the feasibility of the clients’ goals are posed during the coaching process.) The client chooses instead to put the goal of learning to ski on the back burner and to find a more affordable option (e.g., taking up tennis or running). In addition, the coach will listen for any hesitation that might be coming from the young client due to lack of skill or knowledge of how to go after the selected goal and then respond by encouraging the client to explore what it might take to increase skill or knowledge in order to accomplish the goal. Imagine a young person interested in pursuing a career in graphic design. What might that career look like? What type of work does this particular young person envision doing each day? What excites the young person about the field of graphic design? How might he or she move forward toward this goal starting today? What might stop the young person from pursuing this goal? These are the kind of questions that the coaching process will help the client ask and answer. Want more? Sign up for our popular teleclass, Coaching Teens & College Students with ADHD. Classes begin next week.