Programs as a Coaching Tool

by Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, CTP, CMC, ACT, MCC, SCAC


The objective of Mentor Coaching is to develop a sustainably full practice for one single individual: YOU.

The challenge is to maintain balance in your life as we proceed as rapidly as your current growth and developmental level will allow, through a path designed to reach goals that YOU define, given the demands of your current schedule.

Tricky business, since no two coaches approach practice development by exactly the same route, just as no two clients of any type go about the business of growth identically. Yet there have to be performance measurables to let us know how we’re doing.

Coaching, mentoring and training other coaches for over twenty years, I developed some tools to objectify that process of growth in a manner that was designed to provide structure without rigidity. There is built-in flexibility because YOU choose which areas to work on week by week, and you handle the items at your own personal pace, self-scoring.

To my delight, I observed that working this way not only objectified growth, it also served to accelerate growth — without pressure from the coach that frequently has the unfortunate consequence of slowing clients down (and making them feel lousy about themselves).

  • The Programs are synergistic – they each build on skills developed in one of the others, and are sometimes worked through in combination.
  • The Programs Approach™ challenges every client at his or her own level of development and at his or her own pace — encouraging them to proceed directly and rapidly without overwhelming them. It structures skills acquisition, motivates practice building efforts, and not only seeds important shifts, it fertilizes those seeds!
  • The Programs function as a score-card, so that both of us can track your progress.  They also, believe it or not, shorten developmental time.

The Programs Advantage – saving you TIME

Since mentor coaching reduces trial and error time, working with any Mentor Coach will give you an advantage over coaches who choose “the lone ranger approach.”

Working with a coach at least a few years ahead of you can help you avoid wasting time on practice development activities that won’t lead you where you want to go.

Because I develop coaching curriculum and train coaches, because (as a life-coaching pioneer, and the ADD Coach training field founder) I developed a great many of the forms, tools and techniques in the ADD coaching field to begin with — and because I use The Programs Approach™ — my clients have three additional advantages:

  1. Skills Building: With over twenty years of experience mentoring skills development and training new coaches, I can not only help you prioritize skills acquisition as you grow, I can work with you to develop those skills.
  2. Practice Building: Until you have years of experience in which to develop your own unique approach as well as your own “quantifiers” to make sure you keep your clients moving forward, you can “borrow” my expertise between sessions, using the Client Programs I have developed with your own clients.  You may even decide its not necessary to spend your time “reinventing the wheel.”
  3. Personal Development: “Borrowing” allows you to have materials that will help you attract a greater number of clients and attract clients at a higher developmental level, which in turn accelerates YOUR growth as a coach.

ABOUT the Programs

My Programs include a few I developed to focus my own energies when I was building the ADD Coaching field, a group I developed especially for coaches I have mentored, some I designed for coach training specifically, and a series I designed for ADDults to work on with their coaches (like YOU!)

I’m working through the process of automating them all to be web-based forms.  They’ll be even easier to use (and to share) once that process is complete.  Meanwhile, I make them available for download from a client-only section on the web.

You’ve no doubt heard that “coaching is inter-developmental.”  That term is one element cited often as “one of the differences between coaching and therapy.”

  • What that means, of course, is that much of what coach and client do is tailored specifically for each client, created together, session-by-session.
  • Even more, it acknowledges overtly that the coaches hone technique “on the job,” growing right along with their clients — illuminating the fact that the practices of coaches who don’t keep developing are eventually dead in the water!

So what ARE Programs?

Programs are tools to structure actions and to objectify process. They are a way to chunk the many tasks of a larger process into manageable pieces, and serve as a structure to make sure you dedicate time to each of the elements that are part of the development of the arena the Program is designed to track.

Programs detail the steps of an area of focus so that you can check them off as you complete them. You track your progress by checking off items you have completed, “scoring” your results. Your score increases to remind you that you are another step closer to mastering the arena of the Program, even when there seems to be little evidence otherwise.

Program steps are “chunked” into categories – each category identifying an area for you to develop. You total the points in each category and track category progress on a graph that gives you an overview of where you are and how far you have to go for each category of the Program, so that you have a visual representation of your growth.

Working with a Program

  1. You begin by taking inventory of what is in place already, examining each Program item to determine the extent to which it is present in your life. If you have focused on particular items already, you will check the boxes next to each item in a way that indicates whether the item is “in process” or “done.” If the item details an area you have not thought about before, or have thought about but have never taken any steps toward putting it into your life, you don’t check the item at all.
  2. You determine initial Program scores. You total your points, the number of boxes checked, to come up with an initial score per category, adding them together to come up with your Program Score. You pencil your Program Score on the title page of the Program in the box at the bottom of the page..
  3. You track your progress as your scores increase. Every time you complete another Program Step you retotal the category and add to your Program Score, erasing the old total and replacing it with a new one. That step serves as a completion ritual – a conscious symbol that you are in the process of replacing old habits with new ones.
  4. You stay in action until you have completed the Program. You spend time working on the Program between sessions every week and in your fourth-week “self–appointments.” Your weekly goal is to complete one or more of the steps so that you can “check the box” and increase your current score by as many points as possible before the next session (where you will check in with your current score).

Accountability makes the difference!

Tracking keeps you focused – accountability keeps you going.

If you are like most of my other clients (and like I was myself when I began to work on Programs with coaching field founder Thomas Leonard as my mentor coach), you will find that knowing that you will be reporting your progress will keep you in action. You will be eager to find some area to complete each week so your new report is higher than your last.

ABOUT the process

We will spend our first month together on “intake” issues, to help me understand your goals
and your progress to date.

  • You will begin to have access to particular Programs, one at a time, after our initial month together – based on my feeling of what would make the biggest difference in your growth, or what might be most valuable in your own practice.
  • You will spend time working on specific Programs “in the background” – on the days between appointments and in your self-appointments – to help you focus on mastering the skills that will be necessary for you to develop and strengthen your “coaching muscles.” The Programs are designed to keep you moving – or to get you moving again at times when you get stuck or “hit the wall.”
  • As your Program Scores increase, you will be ready to begin work in new areas with additional Programs. Increased scores will show up in your life, and in your practice, not just on paper! The sooner you complete Program Steps, the sooner the next Program will be made available to you.
  • While no single client has worked with every single Program, those who coach with me over time eventually work with a great many of them – adding to their own chest of coaching tools for use with their own clients.

Programs we work with in Mentor Coaching

The Challenges Inventory™

ALL clients, Mentor Clients included, will begin by taking The Challenges Inventory™, so that we are both able to identify your areas of strengths and challenges as they relate to each other. While we will not work with The Challenges Inventory™ directly, your Challenges Profile™ will serve as background for everything else we do together.

JumpStart™ and MasterCoach

Mentor Clients initially receive a copy of The ADD Coach JumpStart™ Program, which provides a basic structure, helps you gather the basic coaching tools, and gives us both a snapshot of your current level of development as a coach.

When your scores tell us you are ready, you may you begin work on The ADD MasterCoach Profile™, working on the two Programs concurrently.

(Click on the names of the Programs above for more about each particular Program)

Client Programs – Other Programs you may work with

I have also developed a great many client-specific Programs which you may elect to step through in addition to your Mentor Programs.

Which Programs you will work with depends on who you are.

We look at elements like the following to help us determine:

  • your Challenges Profile™
  • what else we are working on together
  • how well The Programs Approach™ works with your particular cognitive style
  • how long we work together, and
  • how much time you are able to dedicate to your development each week
    in addition to your appointments with me.

If there is a Programs Class currently available (at a 50-75% discounted tuition for all private Mentor Clients actively working with me at the same time), you may be able to work through quite a few of them in a relatively short period of time. It’s all up to you.

For your personal growth and development

Client Programs are personal development programs, not practice development programs, frequently delivered through an accompanying TeleClass.

  • Many of them — like TimeSteps™, ClutterBuster™ and The Basic BoxStep™ — work to improve day-to-day functioning, helping clients develop the habit of using compensatory strategies for Executive Functioning challenges.
  • Others – like DreamCatcher™, ADD-PF™ and Handle the Money, Honey™ — are designed primarily to help clients grow as human beings, regardless of their functional challenges.

You may have done much of the work covered by one or the other of the Programs already, or it may have been designed to impact an arena that is already one of your strengths.

  • In which case, you can move through that Program quickly and file it for use with your own clients.
  • Or, depending on your Practice Focus, you may not be interested in working with a particular Program at all.

Tools for YOUR Practice

With only a few exceptions, my policy is that once clients have personally completed a Program with me, they are licensed to use that Client Program with their individual clients royalty free, as long as they observe my copyright restrictions.

  • You may not extend that license to your own clients, however.
  • The Programs are for their personal use in their work with you.
  • Only coaches who have worked with me directly – privately or in one of my groups or classes – are licensed to deliver my Programs themselves.


For royalty usage in workshops, or the inclusion of materials based on these Programs as part of a presentation to a group, written permission must be requested and received, on a case-by-case basis.

The Challenges Inventory™ is available for use with your clients only once you have graduated from my Challenges Inventory™ Certification and Licensing training and are listed as a CICL Coach.

The ADD Coach JumpStart™ Program and The ADD MasterCoach Profile are proprietary, delivered only by me or one of my Trainers.

A Few Program Examples:

In addition to the Functional Improvement Programs I developed to work on each of the areas impacted by the nine Challenges that jointly make up your Challenges Profile™, there are a some that I refer to as the Personal Growth Programs.

A few examples are below – some of which are supported (or introduced) by seminars,
trainings or TeleClasses.

Multi-part Programs (longer)

  • Optimal Functioning – NOT just for ADD™ (ADD-PF)
    — Attention to the Darn Details™
    — Life Support Systems™
  • Handle the Money, Honey™

Shorter Programs & “Quickies”

Articles Linked Above

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