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Submitted by gpandzik on


Hi! I'm a long-time listener, first time on the forums, so I'm not sure if this is the right place to suggest an episode idea...

I haven't fully listened to the most recent two episodes on Discussing Your Mental Health With Your Boss, but I skimmed the show-notes, and it gave me an idea for an episode both I and my manager wish was out there: How to deal with neurodiverse professionals, both as a neurodiverse person and their manager, and also effective ways to manage people when you, yourself, are neurodiverse.

I'm dealing with ADHD, Autism, and the standard constellation of "friends" they bring along, and it would be great to get tips and advice on how to deal with others in the workplace, such as what are common pitfalls, accommodations that are usually made for people with different kinds of neurodiversities, things that I should just plan to suck up and deal with, and so on. I know my manager, as recently as this morning's weekly 1:1, asked me what else he can do to help me be more successful, and most of the advice I find for managing people with ADHD or Autism focus on retail or other lower-level jobs that doesn't really resemble the life of an, in my case, IT professional well into my career. I'm also working towards getting into management, myself, at some point, so it would be great to know what to expect, systems I can build up ahead of time, and so forth. Maybe split the content aimed towards ICs to Career Tools and how to manage ND ICs to Manager Tools; doing a segment on how to train your reporting managers to be cognizant of and effective in managing their ND direct-reports or peers and ways to shape your organization to take advantage of these people in Executive Tools could be interesting, as well.

It would be valuable to see a collaboration, say, between people in the ND space and MT. The first two who spring to mind are Jessica with How To ADHD or Paul from Aspergers From The Inside, both YouTubers who speak frequently on the more general topics affecting those with ADHD or on the Autism Spectrum. MT's focus on professionalism and managing professionals talking with subject-matter experts and communicators like these would, I think, lead to some fascinating insights into how to make the workplace more welcoming and effective for those whose brains are wired differently.

Thanks for the years of wonderful content -- it's added so much value to my career and those of the people I've turned onto MT and CT -- and I look forward to future episodes!

Digitally yours,
George Pandzik

barbarastl's picture

I agree, George, this would be valuable content. 

Eshanks's picture

I came here in search of ways I can manage neurodiverse directs. Any help is definitely appreciated.

PaulM's picture

Love this. Just sooo many different needs on the neurodiverse spectrum, hard to manage them as a group. Perhaps it could be broken down over a series of casts.

PhilipR's picture

As a diagnosed AD/HD individual, wishing I could work my way to management but often feeling overwhelmed by my own shortcomings, I would highly value this. It's not typically MT's style to bring in outside subject matter experts, so I would hope and trust that their treatment of the topic would be well-informed by current research into our ostensible "disorder" -- both the struggles and the wonderful aspects of it.

shellandflame's picture

I was one of the early adopters of AD/HD, being diagnosed in the early 80s.  I'm an executive now and have been a manager at a few stops along the way.  There is a place at the table for you.  I've had to learn how to trick myself into being focused, blocking out "noise" and reading people.  It was hard work but worth every bit.  

If you want some help/ mentorship, reach out to me directly and I'll share what worked for me.

cyhelm's picture
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As PaulM said, it's "hard to manage them as a group." I can't count the times MT has said, "One manages individuals, not groups." Also, the focus is on behavior, not motivation, or anything in the interior life. As one with a diagnosis of ADHD, I've learned it's not particularly helpful for my manager to know my diagnosis. What is helpful is for him or her to ask, "What can I do [behavior] to help you accomplish [behavior] your goal?" O3s are the logical place to work out these things.