Has ADHD Put Your Career in Danger? 3 Steps to Get You Back on Track
"Roger, you must get those contracts completed for this month's sales and don't forget, we have a meeting tomorrow at 9:00. Don't be late again!"
Roger was a super salesman, but he risked losing his job because he was too busy rushing from client to client to get his paper work completed. He missed meetings and was disruptive when he did come. His boss saw how his energy and enthusiasm brought in clients, but considered him childishly irresponsible with him and his colleagues.
What Roger wouldn't admit and his boss didn't know was that Roger had Attention Deficit with Hyperactivity Disorder(ADHD). The hyperactive part gives him lots of energy and enthusiasm to go go when doing what he loves doing: talking about his products, socializing with clients or meeting new people. The attention deficit causes his brain to disconnect when doing boring stuff like completing forms, attending meetings or dealing with colleagues.
AD/HD is a neurological difference in the brain. The ADHD brain can be very effective when following a passion but shuts down when doing the daily grind. Medication is helpful for some but often not sufficient. Coaching provides positive support and guidance for anyone with ADHD but especially for those who don't want to take medication.
The difficulty for Roger was that he often forgot to get information or would lose the paper he had written it on, and he found the contract forms confusing. Through several coaching sessions and much prodding, Roger designed a form that was logical to him for collecting and recording all the data he needed and fixed a time in his agenda to complete each contract. He first resisted but with repeated support and encouragement he became adept at completing contracts.
Once he understood that he was not just a "naughty boy", as he had been told so often, but that he had been struggling with a brain that was superbly creative when working with clients but just not designed for administrative work. To his surprise and joy, he was able to relax at home. He had never realized how unfinished business drained his energy and made him irritable.
While he found clients stimulating, with colleagues and family he had relational problems which are typical of those with ADHD. At first Roger was huffy; "People should take me as I am!" But once he mastered his contracts, he felt more relaxed and saw that it could be helpful to have a fresh look at his colleagues. Roger reviewed his social skills and decided that he needed to work on listening skills. Soon he was on a roll. Appreciation from his colleagues at work for the "NEW Roger" made all the difference.
To most people the tasks Roger had difficulty with seem trivial and obvious, but they are typical of what makes life so difficult for people with ADHD.
If you feel your career might be in jeopardy due to problems like Roger's, here are three steps for you.
1. Acknowledge the problem. Admitting to yourself that things aren't working is often difficult for people with ADHD. Listen to your friends and family.
2. Get help. If you could do it yourself, you wouldn't be where you are today.
3. Prepare to change. You need to rethink your world view and your way of doing things.
Sarah Jane Keyser worked for many years with computers as programmer, analyst, and user trainer, but her struggle with inattentive ADD kept getting in the way of her plans and dreams. Once ADD was identified and the great need that coaching filled, she added ADD Coach training (ADDCoach Academy) to complete her preparation for a new career as ADD Coach.
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