Coronavirus

31st Mar 2020

Well we know what’s happened, I don’t have to tell you the general impact its having on businesses both good and bad.  However the devil is in the detail of those businesses and the detail are our employees.

As an employer of both Neurodivergent (ADHD, Autistic and Dyslexic) and neurotypical staff.  I’m not going to lie, I wasn’t ready for my management style to have such a shake up.  I’d got into a flow of sorts, a rhythm which worked.  I wasn’t ready, even with my knowledge and 20 odd years of management experience, to have to re-evaluate what I thought I knew.

But now its here, and from this perspective, I like the challenge. I would go so far as to say, I’m thriving.  Once again, I’m out of my comfort zone, looking for solutions, researching the answers, seeking knowledge.  I’m getting it wrong, then right, then wrong again but each time I’m learning something new.

Take our very own Steph, she’s Autistic, Dyslexic and has ADHD.  I have learnt more about her this last two weeks than I have the last three months.  I’ve found new ways to communicate my needs and she is learning more about how I work.  She’s thinking of innovative ideas and ways to make us visible and I’ve trained her in Zoom.  Steph’s writing a blog of her experience using dictation and I’m learning to check her understanding. 

As a team we are communicating over Zoom, WhatsApp, text, mail, shared areas, phone and we leave voiced up messages.  What I’d give for a carrier pigeon or a raven (GOT reference).

This is what the neurodivergent have been asking for, for years.  You, as a manager, a co-worker, a loved one, to pull back the fluff and turn down the noise so that our brains work better, more efficiently, with energy and purpose. 

So harness it, learn from it, record it and use it. We can learn lessons from this experience that will enhance us all.

Caroline

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