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On the last track, we discussed three difficulties ADHD adults face in group interfacing. These three difficulties are shifting gears rapidly, running out of gas, and setting the cruise control for mega-speed. We also discussed five tips for dealing with group interfacing. These five tips were Being Prepared, Doing Your Homework, Practicing, Watching and Listening, and Watching Your Watch.
On this track, we will discuss two difficulties ADHD adults face in a one-on-one interaction. The two difficulties we will discuss are working too hard, and having too much intensity. We will also discuss five tips for dealing with one-on-one interactions.
Jennifer, age 36, came to a session stating she was depressed. Jennifer explained that a new woman, Alice, had moved into the house next door to her. However, Jennifer’s attempts to befriend Alice weren’t going as well as she hoped.
Jennifer stated, "When Alice first moved in, I made a visit to introduce myself. I invited her over for coffee the next day. She came over, and we had a nice long talk about the neighborhood. We probably talked for three hours! Alice told me a little bit about her old neighborhood too, which was really boring. I really didn’t listen to that much. I stopped by her house the next day, too, just to chat and visit. I also called her the next day. I thought we were getting along great! Lately, though, it seems like Alice has been avoiding me. I just don’t know what I did to make her so unhappy with me."
Difficulty # 1 - Working Too Hard
Difficulty # 2 - Too Much Intensity
Five Tips for Effective One-on-One Interactions
Tip One - Relax & Listen
Avoid the two extremes you’re prone to do." Jennifer looked troubled and asked, "How do I balance those extremes?" I answered with an idea that I have explained on a previous track, "Active listening will enable you to interact without filling the conversation all on your own. You can send the message that you’re actively listening by nodding your head, leaning forward, and maintaining eye contact."
Tip Two - Clarify the Message
As you know, clarity in messages goes both ways. I explained to Jennifer that she should also check with Alice to make sure she was understanding Jennifer’s messages clearly. I stated, "Watch her body language. If she looks puzzled, stop talking and ask her to clarify her understanding of what you said."
Tip Three - Avoid Fighting Words
Tip Four - Watch Your Intensity Level
Tip Five - Slow Down
Do you have an ADHD client who, like Alice, has trouble with one-on-one interfacing? Does your Alice work too hard to develop new friendships, or does he or she simply have too much intensity in his or her encounters? Would he or she benefit from any of the five tips of Relaxing and Listening, Clarifying the Message, Avoiding Fighting Words, Watching the Intensity Level, or Slowing Down?
On this track, we have discussed two difficulties adults with ADHD have in one-on-one interfacing. These two difficulties were working too hard and having too much intensity. We also discussed five tips for dealing with one-on-one interfacing. These five tips were Relaxing and Listening, Clarifying the Message, Avoiding Fighting Words, Watching the Intensity Level, and Slowing Down. Would it be beneficial to play this track for an ADHD client of yours in your next session? If so, consider turning the CD player off and making a note in the margin of your planner or on your computer day timer.
On the next track, we will discuss interactions on the job. We will also discuss the four challenging areas for the ADHD adult in the workplace. These four challenging areas were Written Rules, Unwritten Rules, Communication, and Managing ADHD Symptoms.
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