Anatomy of A Trusting Relationship

One of my Adult ADHD Coaching clients explains his process in developing trust.

“- I was in pain, looking for help in my life and to make sense of my ADHD

– The Blog writer was very straightforward, and he seemed honestly to want to share what had worked in managing his ADHD

– The blog writer didn’t give a One Silver Bullet answer–which I don’t tend to trust.

– I got the distinct sense that his goal was to help people…to pay his learning forward, rather than to sell anything.

– He mentioned Pete, but I had to go find Pete and reach out to him

First impressions of Pete:

1) Favorable
2) Efficient
3) Had a process
4) Friendly enough, but not too friendly
5) Asked me really specific, pointed questions

– The questions on his questionnaire were smart, forced me to be introspective, and took the pressure off me with the structure. He set expectations on the phone call–firm but not overbearing, and gave me a chance to ask questions and feel comfortable.

– The structure and Pete’s upfront process and questionnaire made him seem “in control”, like he knew what he was doing, without being too rigid.

– On the phone, he seemed confident with a smooth and steady voice. This confidence helped me feel I could relax

– As an ADHD guy who runs a business, I was impressed with the design and the qualifying that happened by Pete’s questionnaire

– Pete Set expectations at the beginning that I would be taking ownership and would have to do soul searching, and work at this for it to work

– I tell him before each call what I want to focus on. This gives me the feeling of being in control and that he trusts me to set the agenda. As a result, I buy in much more to his suggestions and ideas

How Pete has deepened the feeling of trust past a good first initial impression

1) He has gotten frustrated with me before, and he has been honest with me about that frustration

2) He is honest and sets boundaries with me in real time (like not coaching my dad)

3) He doesn’t ask me for referrals for anything, unless I open that door

4) He doesn’t tell me: “No don’t do that. He just says and underscores with his tone: “I would think really long and hard about this.”

5) I am convinced by the fruits of what I see: I feel happier, like my life is on a good path, my clarity of decision making has gotten better, my mistakes and constant apologies have gotten fewer, my awareness level has increased.

6) Instead of telling me what to do, he asks pointed questions (often rhetorical, that I can’t answer right away) that get at my heart

7) He makes a joke or laughs heartily — that helps break my tension or help me lovingly see how ridiculous I’m being

8) He is honest with me, so it is easy to be honest with him

9) He does what he says he’ll do. Good follow through, so I don’t have to worry about that.

10) He remembers key insights like “your dad doesn’t strike me as someone who’d respond really well to criticism”

11) He often points out the problems if you take a good principle too far”


I’ve been coaching entrepreneurs and working professionals with ADHD since 2003. See what others have said about my Adult ADHD coaching.

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