Interview with ICA Coach, Debra Graham
(ADHD Coach, United States)
Debra Graham went from the NYC fashion frontlines to coaching and took her well-honed organizational skills with her.
Her successful former career armed her with the experience and confidence to help others and gave her a keen insight into what gets in the way when organization is faltering. Recent ICA grad Debra now coaches children, adolescents and adults who have task completion difficulties related to ADHD and/or life transitions.
Debra loves helping her clients organise their lives and accomplish goals by assisting them in the development of necessary skills and implementing innovative practical strategies. Her clients often include busy professionals such as physicians and attorneys whose organisational skills are taxed as their workloads increase.
(0:26) ADHD Coaching or ‘Task Completion’ Coaching
(0:45) Fashion to Coaching Industry
(2:26) Coaching Niche
(4:18) Completion of ‘mini’ goals
(4:48) Do vs Procastinate
(5:56) You should be 85-90% according to your Calendar
(6:11) Set out to do and prioritise
(7:18) The missing link
(7:51) Backing up for a client
(8:24) Support clients on the work they are doing
(9:07) Road to Clarity and Achievement
(10:00) Start where you are, use what you have, and do what you can
Merci: Hi everyone and welcome to another Day in the Life of a Coach. I’m Merci Miglino and with me today is Debra Debbie Graham from Scarsdale, New York. Welcome Debbi.
Debbi: Hi Merci. Nice with you.
Merci: Yeah, nice to have you. And you know, I’m fascinated by ADD Coaching and or as some people you say very nicely test-completion coaching. And interested to hear how you came to coaching?
Debbi: When I came to coaching is years ago I was in the fashion industry. For many years and I became we came to gather my son and I didn’t want to go back to that work. I was older, I want to travel, I wanted different hours.
Debbi: It was fun at the time such me, you know, you could be an organizational coach and I said whatever that is it sounds interesting because I was very organized in the fashion industry. So he is a psychologist. I started working for some of his patients and helping them organized their lives which was closets, kitchens, whatever it was.
Merci: Right, right.
Debbi: I soon realized that they needed more organizational help in other aspects dealing with their calendar, dealing with any test completion. So from then I kind of really got into where the coaching went than organizing stuff. I called ICA and I said what do I do. They gave me a few places because I can’t get one but they brought me to ICA where I coached. And years later here I am. So that’s really how it happened. I kind of tumbles into a career path that I absolutely love.
Merci: Wow, that’s so…
Debbi: And now I really only organized people’s closets for the very first people that I had. I think there’s three left that I do because I love them. Up until that it’s really getting people to where they want to go.
Merci: Yeah, it’s interesting. So many people come to coaching and I think they have to just forget everything they ever learn and here we see something as what apparently seems a remote from coaching as the fashion industry. To what your certain skills that helped not only be a coach but in a mission coaching that resonates with you. Yeah, that’s sweet.
Debbi: There was something that actually came recent to me and organizing and learning to conferences in these companies and I never realized it was something that I’ve already into.
Debbi: So, you know, a little bit help is something that now I have everybody to ask.
Debbi: And in the ADD world, my clients are fantastic. They are brilliant, they are tough better, they are successful..
Debbi: …inspiring and all right but it’s really difficult for them to get things done at a timely realistic basis. So that’s really what we’ve work on.
Debbi: I also have clients who don’t have test completion difficulties and better is wonderful but then there are other goals in life.
Merci: Correct, great. So I’m dying to know we do several assessments here in ICA and one of them is we created coaching model. We create a power tool for coaching and we do a little research on an area of coaching you’re interest in. Tell me a little bit about what yours is to tell.
Debbi: Well my model, it was to stand opt not out and then it really came from people go test completion because all often they are spinning out and they never get done what they need to get done.
Debbi: So my visual was kind of like flunky stretched out…
Debbi: …though I don’t, you know, don’t spit out.
Merci: Right [laughing]
Debbi: Keep tight. It’s been your option to reach your goals. So…
Merci: Nicely done.
Debbi: …exactly. So really it’s about coming up with a goal, breaking down into, what I call many goals, putting some sort of time element on it so some time measure because that’s very important, committing to that plan. Doing that plan in the many, many goals and somewhere that you could claim it and then after that it’s already a history. How good did that feel…
Debbi: …you got it done when you stayed on test where you could estimate and be right at a time, you’ll see you’re good and it’s not a ball of chain walking around. That’s it…
Debbi: …so that’s pretty much all.
Merci: …what about your power tool?
Debbi: Well the power tool can go along with my test completion people. It was all about due double procrastinate.
Debbi: Procrastinate is something we all do.
Debbi: Well go ahead executive function or test completion, well it’s ADD because not everybody is ADD who passed or said so..
Debbi: …analyzed, typical procrastinate. And one of the things I hear all the time, throughout the day is, “Oh, my God, duh, duh, that’s so much done. I didn’t do what we need to get done. I am so much stuck.”
Debbi: And that’s what I’m taking care all the time at this part of where I got it but it really is doing, you know, procrastinate. Getting rid of the things that might make you procrastinate…
Debbi: …Get enough space especially your calendar. We don’t have to jump on it because we’re leaving some place when you broke it on. But today the things on your calendar need to live in and need to get done.
Debbi: And we organize this as if everything is great in the world. The near ball is on your way your child might need your help…
Debbi: …things happen…
Debbi: …but to the most part you should be 85 to 90% according to your calendar.
Merci: [agrees] Okay.
Debbi: So that’s my due versus procrastination.
Merci: Love it and I like that you recognized that people are so busy and they forget what’s prioritized, on what they set out to do because you’re doing so many other things. And I think that as you said, it’s not just ADD issues. The world is sort of conspires a bit to have as being hudge pudge about things. So I love when you said that.
Debbi: Well one thing is also Merci is it’s the other things we have to deal and there are consequences if we jump that we all want to do…
Debbi: …about it. And also the things they always say push to the limit, you know, if you jump in a test because I need to pay more taxes then avoid don’t get the bridge then I will jump isn’t happy about it. So there are consequences so I really, you know, most of my clients can do over their stuff there is no problem with that…
Debbi: …they can do that and yes.
Merci: All right. Yeah.
Debbi: It’s really shipping away, getting the other things done.
Debbi: What needs to get done.
Debbi: That’s it.
Merci: Okay. So tell me a little bit about your research paper.
Debbi: Well, say wise it was called a symlink and it was really how coaching can be, the third triad of the pyramid…
Debbi: …especially with people who are ADD, ADHD. There is usually psychopharmacologist, not always. There is usually behavioral therapist, not always.
Debbi: There is often, not always a coach who backs up the work that they’re doing with the therapist.
Debbi: Now I’m not a therapist so they do their own work but I do back up some of the things that had to get done. What I do that’s a little different from a lot of a coaches because of my clientele is I have many mini sessions per week instead of one session a week for 45 minutes for now or I might have three 15-minute sessions to keep them on track…
Debbi: …as they fall to the test. That is really important for my clients.
Debbi: They can make much better with regards for work without a judgment, without feeling bad, without that ball of chain.
Debbi: So the missing link is the support for the work they are doing because usually office of the doctors, once a week, twice a month.
Merci: Right. I heard of that construct and coaching sessions and I’m sure it’s very effective. Those sort of like keeping pace now with the client. Beautiful, beautifully said. All right.
Debbi: We’re done in 15 minutes, right? [laughing]
Merci: Yeah, you know, it’s amazing when you start to think about it, right?
Merci: All right. So my final question Debbie is, if you could share with the world one thing about coaching what would it be?
Debbi: You know, coaching it’s really guiding the client. I would love to carry an achievement. And I say that, you know, it sounds kind of bother, it really is. It is so fulfilling for me as a coach…
Debbi: …to see my clients actually happy, actually stress-free, actually pull blessings on and accomplish things and make time for what they really like to do.
Debbi: That to me is really imperative and we don’t, you know, I see we don’t go judge it. I would say to my clients I pulled up jobs and I have a son. I can roll judgment, I am. I hold judgment, I just need the facts or information because I need information to help you move forward.
Debbi: So naturally kind of how I feel, you know, there’s a quote in there that says Arthur edge quote and I hope I’m getting it right. Something like start where you are, use what you have and do what you can. I love that poem. I came across. There was a poem. I love that. So that to me is helping my client, coaching my client with that in mine.
Debbi: That’s it.
Merci: Well, thank you for spending this Day in the Life episode with me. And I’m wondering do you have a website?
Debbi: I do not have a website.
Merci: How can people find out more about you?
Debbi: People can email me, people can also at email@example.com. Referral, a lot of referral basis from doctors and past clients. If you dgal me, it’s Debra, D-E-B-R-A and middle initial Y and then Graham, G-R-A-H-A-M.
Merci: Okay. You know, I love to hear that referral because so many coaches get so significant when they start out about the website and where do I find people and that’s a really good reminder that, to go to who you know get some exposure and they will go to you.
Debbi: It really does work with me because you’re supporting what they do. Everybody is helping in around getting client, their patients where they need to go.
Merci: Exactly. Thank you very much.
Debbi: Thank you Merci.
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Debra Graham, a graduate of ICA and Certified Professional Coach (CPC) specialises in children, adolescents and adults who have task completion difficulties related to ADHD and/or life transitions. She had great success in helping clients organise their lives and accomplish goals by assisting them in the development of necessary skills and implementing innovative practical strategies. Connect with Debra on LinkedIn
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