Clients that have ADHD or many of the symptoms of ADHD in an organizing situation need to prepare emotionally to confront their possessions. They have most likely struggled their whole lives managing their possessions with little success and a lot of negative feedback from others in their life. They have spent their life hearing they are lazy, procrastinators, unfocused, easily distracted, poor at follow through and so many other negatives.
Therefore I think it is important to be conscious about being encouraging throughout the organizing process. The best way to do this is to make sure you are making not just subjective comments but also objective comments. Subjective comments are “That’s great,” “Good job,’ and the like. Objective comments are observations of fact such as “You got rid of 50 books,” “I see that you got those papers filed away completely.” These observations interspersed with subjective comments will make the subjective comments mean more. So that when you say “Good job” it has meaning and is heard as truly encouraging. It makes our comments more believable. Only giving encouraging subjective comments may cause a credibility gap between you and your client.
Abigail Wurf, M.Ed., PCC is a certified coach who works with people affected by ADHD. She works with people in greater metropolitan DC area in person and over the computer or phone. To learn more about Abigail’s services go to www.abigailwurf.com.