Supporting Neurodiversity At Work
In a world where everything seems complex and unpredictable, neurodiversity can offer a multitude of thinking styles that can add to the performance of a team. Management Today published an article in October 2022 encouraging more companies to have neurodiverse board members because their natural talents can play a vital role in improving decision making and growth. The article encouraged adding people with ADHD, Dyslexia, or Autism into the mix to help companies achieve their full potential in a VUCA environment.
Diagnosis of neurodiversity has increased rapidly in recent years. Current estimates reveal 15-20 percent of the world’s population exhibiting some form of neurodivergence. This creates both opportunities and challenges for organisations who want to better support neurodiverse colleagues as well as making full use of the talents of those individuals.
Fundamentally, our success will come down to the effectiveness of how people are managed and led. Unfortunately, many managers have not received an education in how to adapt their style for neurodiverse team members. Importantly neurotypical people often find it hard to understand the way neurodiverse people process information and this can lead to poorer outcomes for the individual.
Why Support Neurodiversity?
“Joint Research by BCG and AI-neuroscience shows that the large companies need cognitive diversity in order to cope with complex and dynamic business environments. Building each of these strands into teams will help them be collectively ambidextrous. The three strands of cognitive diversity include: Diversity in personality, Diversity in styles of thinking, Diversity in mental models” -The Imagination Machine by Martin Reeves and Jack Fuller
After this programme delegates will be able to:
- After this programme delegates will be able to:
- Embrace Neurodiversity as a need for businesses today - not as an act of “goodwill” inclusion
- Understand the diversity in Neurodiversity
- Question their strategy for developing people with Neurodiversity and explore possible new approaches
- Understand the Neurodiversity paradox
- Develop greater empathy and appreciation to build better connections
- Coach with a Neurodiversity lens
WHO IS IT FOR?
Supporting Neurodiversity at Work is designed for any professionals who lead teams or manage project teams. Typically, participants are managers, senior managers, subject matter experts or project leaders.
The programme is facilitated by two trainers, one neurodiverse and one neurotypical. This combination allows for both perspectives to be represented during the training. In addition, participants are able to ask questions without fear or filter to better outstand how a neurodiverse person might think, respond or react to differing approaches of management style.
PROGRAMME CONTENT IN DEPTH
Understand the Diversity in Neurodiversity
There are stereotypes that come with terms such as ADHD. In fact, there isn’t just one typical way that ADHD is experienced. For example, ADHD might mean that someone is easily distracted and won’t be able to finish a task… It can also show up as an intense hyper focus on a single task for days until it is finished… It can show up as extreme speed or excruciating slowness. Managers therefore have to understand the individual uniquely not simply the ‘label’.
Questioning The Development Strategy
Many times, Neurodiverse people are viewed as missing some of the basic skills such as organising in the traditional way or sticking to a traditional process. It is understandable therefore that many managers then choose to focus on changing these basic behaviours in the individual. This mindset leads managers to not adapt a strategy of coaching the Neurotypicals to shine but rather to coach the Neurodiverse person to fit in.
Shifting our strategy to a ‘non-linear approach’ might work better for both the manager and the employee. During the programme we will discuss how more agile practices can enhance the way we develop people with Neurodiversity and co-create a management style that works for both parties.
Understanding the Neurodiversity Paradox
The Neurodiverse have incredible strengths and incredible weaknesses – they are a living paradox. They swing from being capable of working for hours on end to not being able to focus for a few minutes. Learning to understand how these paradoxes works, will help managers and employees to value the traits of Neurodiversity and learn how to co-create a context and environment to leverage the “incredible strengths” most of the time.
Develop Empathy and Appreciation to Build Better Connection
We will encourage participants to identify their own preferred ways of working and approaches that work for themselves personally. By exploring how their own experiences/preferences are similar or different from others in the group they can gain insight about how it might feel to experience Neurodiversity.
Coach with a Neurodiversity Lens
Some traditional coaching tools have limitations when it comes to creating the necessary buy-in and accountability for someone with Neurodiversity. Many times by adulthood people with Neurodiversity have learnt to mask their challenges and might just go along with what their manager requests (hoping that they can later figure it out on their own). We will share tools and tips to add to the coaching tool kit which help create a more authentic and honest coaching experience.
It is important for us that everyone attending this programme understand that our approach is about explanations and never excuses. Our hope is to give people with Neurodiversity the chance to be seen for the authentic talents they can add despite the potential challenges.
Due growing number of people diagnosed with ADHD in the world, this programme will have a greater focus on ADHD, however many of the discussions will also apply to other forms of Neurodiversity.
We offer this programme in-house, please contact us if you would like to talk about how it could work for your business.