Does the Fee FIT? – Part 5

Do you REALLY “get what you pay for?”

© By Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, A.C.T., MCC, SCAC
The final article in the 5-part Coaching Fit Series

Courtesy of Phillip Martin - artist/educator

Courtesy of Phillip Martin – artist/educator

Figuring out the fee

It’s finally time to wrap up the articles about determining coaching “fit.”  I saved the best for last – the question on everybody’s lips.

How much can you expect to pay for ADD Coaching?

Well, that’s a bit like asking how much you might expect to pay for a car.  It depends on what’s available, as well as what you’re looking for.  But I’ll do my best.

As in any other field, fees tend to correlate with the experience of the service provider. Brand new graduates generally charge the least, and the coaches with the most experience generally charge at the top of the range.

Fees also depend on how much time you spend with your coach — once a week, two or three times a month, monthly check-in coaching?  How long is each session? Services will be priced to compensate the coach for his or her time as well as his or her expertise.

Finally, fees will vary depending on how many openings the particular coach you want to hire has to offer.  As coaching practices get full, most coaches tend to raise their rates.  A new coach starting a practice may offer lower fees to help them build their practices quickly.

Fees will also vary by format.

Mentor coaching, where a coach works with another ADD professional to help them work on their business or upgrade their information or skills, will generally be the most expensive. In that case, you are paying for a coaching/training hybrid, which can turn out to be less expensive than paying for coaching and training separately.

If they offer the option at all, Organizer Coaches generally charge additional hourly fees for any time they spend “on site” – either in your home or your office (although some will coach your progress overall, while you work “on site” with another Professional Organizer that they coach as well).

Job Coaches may have a similar pricing structure — a standard monthly rate with separate charges for on-site visits.

Expect to pay higher fees if there will be more than one client — parent or partner coaching, for example.

Before I say more about fees, let’s briefly review the prior articles in this Series.

AGAIN — If you are one of the many ADDers for whom reading is a struggle, print this series so you can highlight for focus — or ask someone to read it TO you. Sometimes it works to read into a tape recorder and listen back, IF you can do this without making yourself wrong for not reading like your favorite actor.

The POINT is to “intake” the information so that you can get on with living a GREAT life!

Part 1 – A Bunch of Words About Fit: Introduction to the FIT concept

FIT-based Coaching is a way of looking at a practice that stands conventional “marketing” on its ear, explaining why good coaches don’t work with every potential client who rings their coaching doorbells.

Not only is it important for them to have particular skills in the arena in which a potential client plans to work, the client/coach FIT has to be clearly evident.

You have to be comfortable with them, and they with you.  You both need to feel like you speak the same language.

Given relatively commensurate skills, client/coach FIT is the single most important predictor of success.  If a coach doesn’t match your needs, it matters not how skilled they are.

Said another way, when you’re looking for a brick layer,
don’t expect a stone mason to really do it for you.

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More about FIT

Part 2 – Shopper’s Syndrome and FIT

Shopper’s Syndrome and FIT, began with a short letter from J.R., asking for some help in finding the right coach.

I responded by cautioning him (and you) against ruminating over finding the “perfect” coach and hyperfocusing on the interview process.

The “right” coach is any comprehensively trained coach who is a good match with YOUR communication style, values and vision.

Part 3 – Coaches, Dentists, & FIT

Coaches, Dentists, & FIT began by underscoring the differences between a comprehensive brain-based ADD Coach and many of the other types of coaches you will find on the web.

While there are different kinds of ADD Coaches, this particular article underscored the fact that ADD Coaching is a specialized skill requiring a LOT of knowledge in addition to the basic coaching skill set.

It cautioned those of you who are dealing with ADD to make *sure* that any coach you hire is an ADD COACH, not just “a coach who knows about ADD” —and certainly not a coach who knows little to NOTHING about ADD!

The remainder of the article gave you an idea of what to expect in the interview process, along with an explanation of Eight Things to Listen For When You Interview a Coach.

ADD Coaches for ADD Clients

  • The difference between an ADD Coach and any other kind is specialized training in Attentional Spectrum issues.
  • There IS no Fit if your coach doesn’t know A LOT more about ADD (and its functional implications) than YOU do!

Part 4 – Trusting YOUR Instincts about FIT

Trusting YOUR Instincts about FIT explained how to trust your own instincts as you listened for Fit: more about what to listen for (along with an idea of some additional questions you can ask), and an idea of how much time to expect to be engaged in the coaching process.

It cautioned you to avoid any coach who seemed to be pressuring you to “sign up now.”

And NOW, let’s talk about paying for coaching

You will be doing yourself a huge disservice if you shop by price rather than Fit.

  • It’s never a good idea to “cheap out” on yourself and hire a particular coach simply because he or she is willing to offer a deal – most clients don’t allow themselves to receive full benefit when they feel they’ve paid for less.
  • By the same token, paying more doesn’t guarantee you a better outcome, so don’t shop around for the coach who charges the most, thinking you are “buying the best.”
  • And, while coaching truly can change your life, it’s a lousy idea to agree to a fee you can’t really afford, buying into some nonsense like “you can’t afford NOT to.” 

Give up the extras in your budget for three to six months, scale back your holiday expenses, forgo or take a camping vacation perhaps, but make sure you can pay your bills, keep shoes on your kids, and continue to eat healthy meals.

If you are sincere in your desire to find a coach, you will be able to find one who will work with you at a fee that doesn’t break the bank!

Coaching Fees

While there are a few ADD Coaches who charge by the hour, coaching fees are generally paid for monthly, usually due by the first of each upcoming month.

Coaching is not a “quick fix,” and most ADD Coaches are reluctant to take on a client who isn’t committed to staying with the process long enough to realize the benefits.

Consequently, many ADD Coaches require a minimum commitment of three to six months, after which, most will work with you on a month to month basis.

Average Fees

Depending on how often you meet, the length of your sessions, and the experience level of your coach, expect to pay ADD Coaching fees somewhere in the neighborhood of $150 to $450 each month for a total of three to four sessions, meeting weekly at a standard appointment time that works for both of you.  It is not unusual for Master Coaches – highly experienced coaches – to charge more than $450.

That range INCLUDES supervised students at the low end, by the way (and those coaching in school-run coaching clinics as part of their training).

Since coaches in training who have enough coaching skills to do a good job for you but have not yet graduated are sometimes available at those lower fees, I included them in the range.

Expect to pay $250 a month and up for most experienced graduates.

Coaches who have recently graduated will often have “practice building specials” for a short period of time, but they bring their fees in line with the industry once their practices are filling rapidly.

What do you do if your finances won’t support your aspirations?

Since that’s not an unusual situation among ADDers, many coaches maintain one or two openings at a sliding scale for committed individuals who simply don’t have the funds to pay full fee.  They’ll be looking at how well you USE the coaching when they agree to do this, however.

  • If you know your life won’t accommodate weekly follow-through, don’t take one of these “slots.”
  • ADD Coaches understand how l-o-n-g it can take to rid yourself of life-long patterns, but few are willing to “subsidize” it.
  • If you don’t stay in action, the good ones will ask you to pay full fee or find another coach so that they can offer the time to someone who is ready-willing-and able to move forward quickly NOW.

Would you be a candidate for Group Coaching?

GroupCoachingNot all coaches offer them, but since you aren’t paying for private coaching time, working jointly in a group format can be an extremely cost-effective way to work with a coach you can’t otherwise afford, as long as you realize that you will have no scheduling flexibility.

Coaching groups are generally small (around 8-12 people), and you will probably have an opportunity to be paired with another in your group — the peer coach structure helps with accountability and follow-through at no additional cost and more frequent contact.

Sessions are usually held over the phone in a “virtual” classroom.  They are generally in the evenings, space-available – and you may have to be willing to be wait-listed until there is an opening.

The synergy of working with a group can be very effective, especially if you don’t have an ADD support group or community where you live.

  • You’d be surprised what a difference it makes to experience the reality that your challenges are shared by others – that you are not alone.

It really helps to remove all vestiges of “shame” you may have attached to what you once thought were personal quirks or “self-sabotaging.”

  • Group Coaching is a great choice for you if you are newly diagnosed or you are brand new to coaching – an inexpensive way to integrate the basics.
  • It can also be effective at the other end of the process — as a budget-friendly, ongoing check-in to keep you on track once you are well aware of what you need and want to do but need the accountability to actually DO it!

Some clients choose to participate in Group Coaching in addition to their private sessions, and many coaches offer a discount on one or the other to encourage the practice.

HEADS UP COACHES!  FIT is *just* as important, by the way, between coach and coach training as between client and coach, so expand your frame to be able to apply the content and concepts of the Fit Series to your training decisions.

Now, go find your coach!

I hope these articles help J.R. and anyone else reading to feel more comfortable about the process of hiring a coach (or choosing a coach training), and that you now feel ready, maybe even eager, to explore more specifically.

Coaching works.  Your life can be so much more than you ever dreamed it could be.  I know.  There was a time prior to my ADD diagnosis (at 38!) when I wondered if I would ever be able to accomplish much of ANYTHING, and I’ve managed to found an entire FIELD!


Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, A.C.T., MCC, SCAC
The Optimal Functioning Institute™ founder & director
(usually signing off with)

(c) 2001, 2013 Madelyn Griffith-Haynie -all rights reserved

The content for the entire FIT series has been “expanded ” from concepts and content that used to be part of my e-brochure ensemble — my attempt to help the many who emailed me in deep rumination over the process of interviewing and hiring a coach, especially since so many were unclear about what coaching DOES in the first place.

This version is on the way to the inclusion of the material in a chapter of a book I’m writing about ADD coaching — so please honor my copyright — if you share, be SURE to include my information as the source. Thanks!

As always, client or colleague, if you want notification of new articles in this series – or any new posts on this blog – give your email address to the nice form on the top of the skinny column to the right. (You only have to do this once, so if you’ve already asked for notification about a prior series, you’re covered for this one too) STRICT No Spam Policy

If you’d like some one-on-one (or group) coaching help with anything that came up while you were reading this Series (either for your own life, that of a loved one, or as coaching skills development), click the E-me link <—here (or on the menubar at the top of every page) and I’ll get back to you ASAP (accent on the “P”ossible!)

You can also click on the Brain-Based Coaching and Mentor Coaching links (here or below).  You’ll find a list of articles you might find helpful, and a contact form at the bottom of each one.

Related articles on ADDandSoMuchMore:

From the Coaching FIT series:

Exploring Coaching with me:

A few related Coaching Articles:

Related articles ’round the ‘net

BY THE WAY: I revisit all my content periodically to update links — when you link back, like, follow or comment, you STAY on the page. When you do not, you run a high risk of getting replaced by a site with a more generous come-from.

About Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC
Award-winning ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching field co-founder; [life] Coaching pioneer -- Neurodiversity Advocate, Coach, Mentor & Poster Girl -- Multi-Certified -- 25 years working with EFD [Executive Functioning disorders] and struggles in hundreds of people from all walks of life. I developed and delivered the world's first ADD-specific coach training curriculum: multi-year, brain-based, and ICF Certification tracked. In addition to my expertise in ADD/EF Systems Development Coaching, I am known for training and mentoring globally well-informed ADD Coach LEADERS with the vision to innovate, many of the most visible, knowledgeable and successful ADD Coaches in the field today (several of whom now deliver highly visible ADD coach trainings themselves). For almost a decade, I personally sponsored and facilitated seven monthly, virtual and global, no-charge support and information groups The ADD Hours™ - including The ADD Expert Speakers Series, hosting well-known ADD Professionals who were generous with their information and expertise, joining me in my belief that "It takes a village to educate a world." I am committed to being a thorn in the side of ADD-ignorance in service of changing the way neurodiversity is thought about and treated - seeing "a world that works for everyone" in my lifetime. Get in touch when you're ready to have a life that works BECAUSE of who you are, building on strengths to step off that frustrating treadmill "when 'wanting to' just doesn't get it DONE!"

And what do YOU think? I'm interested.

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