Conception d'emploi pour les neurotypes: à la recherche de ce match illusoijuli 18, 2020
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We talk a lot about adapting and changing the workplace and its practices to be more inclusive of neurominorities, but why do we always assume that change is needed in order for neurodiverse people to be able to achieve success? In my work I often encounter spaces in which neurodiverse staff are abundant, not by some bizarre accident but because that particular job or environment is their perfect fit. So let me ask you – have you designed the roles for the talent you seek, or are you trying to squash innovators into the one-size-fits all? I’ll give you a few hints about what works best for some neurotypes.
Dyslexia And ADHD
Research shows that emergency services tend to attract dyslexics and ADHDers. This is not to say that everyone with one with these neurotypes would be good at these specific jobs, but that there are some key reasons as to why they may excel in this type of a role.
ADHDers like myself become extremely focused in high stress situations, often allowing us to outperform our neurotypical peers who will be struggling with anxiety and overwhelm. Our brains are literally designed to perform at their best in moments when others fall apart. We also do brilliantly in jobs that require physical movement, being able to move around instead of sitting still helps us stay focused and happy.
Dyslexics are usually visual thinkers with excellent visual memories. This makes them well suited to assessing situations quickly and accurately as well as being to remember with great detail any incidents that may need recording after the fact. They also tend to have excellent verbal communication skills and unique problem- solving ideas. Ideal for working as part of a team.
But these talents can also be turned to sales, creative roles, mechanical skills, strategic thinking, market gap analysis and more.
Autism And Dyspraxia
Whilst the stereotype of the autistic computer coder may not be especially helpful in terms of inclusive representation, there is a good reason that this association was first made. The autistic brain excels at patterns and detail. This kind of ability for specialist thinking can be applied to a variety of careers with great success. An attention to detail, strong memory, and tenacious honesty mean that we often encounter autistic people in the fields of accountancy and law. They are ideally suited to a workplace with rigorous rules and a need for absolute accuracy. One where being a straight shooter is appreciated.
Dyspraxics tend to have strong verbal comprehension and communication. They may suit careers that involve communication and creativity such as teaching or writing. Their strong empathy and problem-solving skills also make them suited to jobs like nursing or therapy.
When You’re Working At Your Best It’s Like What?
This question is a clean language question that I have used thousands of times to support neurodivergent clients in thinking about their workplace needs in a more abstract or metaphoric sense. Sometimes we need to throw away the more confining aspects of career planning such as the emphasis on our work experience to date, the subjects we have qualifications in, or what other people have told us we do well, and think simply “what is true for me when I am working at my best?” We then hone down the idea of what is ideal by exploring to which environments, behaviors, skills, values and professional identities the best self is suited. Through this process revelations often come. It is common for people to choose a career based on a subject they like and pursue it for a decade or more before they realise that they can’t enjoy the job because it involves sitting still all day, or high volumes of emails and writing. It is likely that the right career path for you is a combination of your talents and interests, as well as an environment that allows you to shine. One without the other may feel like something is missing.
As business leaders, we need to consider these ‘hygiene factors’ in job design and open up ideas of “job crafting,” where we hand over responsibility and control for the as much of the remit as possible, retaining the outcomes required for business success. So many good jobs are stacked with unnecessary bureaucracy – the need for data analysts to have team influencing skills, the focus on attention to detail for creative roles. In order to optimize performance for neurominorities, we need to facilitate specialist roles as well as generalist. Why do all senior managers have to supervise staff? Why can’t we have specialist knowledge at c-suite level without burdening people with pastoral duties? When we get the structures right, and focus the job-fit on performance not social norms, that’s when we really see the genius within.