Coaching, both for children, teenagers, and adults, offers a number of advantages. Consider these:

Coaching builds self-esteem. Self-esteem is grounded in the two areas of self-concept and performance. Coaching starts out with the assumption that a person already has the ability to succeed, and that we're all born with a set of core competencies and strengths. Instead of assuming that people are diseased or broken, a coach starts out assuming that her clients are capable of success in the world. The job of the coach is to help his clients find their areas of capability, and experience proves this is often easily done.

When the person you're working with believes in you, you begin to believe in yourself. This draws people into their strengths, and then they begin to find and focus on successes. Even the smallest successes are inspiring and form the foundation for larger successes. In the process, self-concept becomes positive and performance improves. Soon, the psychologically destructive ideas of deficit and disorder are left behind as the person builds success on success to reinvent their life in a positive manner.

Coaching builds self-reliance. When a person discovers areas of their life where they can succeed, they want more. Success is addictive, and creates a desire for more success. Additional successes confirm that success is possible, and a person begins to believe in themselves again. They discover what they're good at, and how to work around what they're not good at, with the constant focus being success - achieving your goals! This is the essence of self-reliance.

Coaching works to strengths. Unlike failure-model systems that focus on deficits and thus can destroy a person's self-esteem, a coach looks for strengths and helps bring them out. Everybody has strengths. Sometimes they're buried or concealed - for example, an "oppositional" child is actually expressing the powerful strength of power of will, but expressing it in a less-than-useful way - but strengths can always be redirected toward success.

Coaching fills in the empty spots. There are some areas where people have not yet learned or developed a skill. In the area of ADHD, this commonly includes such things as meeting deadlines, tracking details, or maintaining relationships. Over the short term, a coach can help fill in some of these areas, teaching her client new skills and helping him to model them. Over the long term, these then become new learnings and habits, and the coaching client develops entirely new skill sets and competencies.

Coaching is generative, ultimately teaching the person to be their own coach. The goal of a good coach is to make him- or herself unnecessary. This is one of the reasons we used the term "shadow" to describe our coaching model and system: a coach should work in the shadow of the individual, always working toward the day when the client no longer needs the coach.

Coaching works this way because of its focus on strengths, skills, and success. All of these build self-reliance, strengthen self-esteem, and provide the foundation for a successful life. As you become more and more successful, you discover how to get greater and greater success in life, and you shift your "coach" from an outside person to an inner dialogue and skill set.

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