Updated: Feb 17
...And How to Combat All Types of Stress and Lack of Focus
Several British publications have noticed recently that ADHD outrage gets them clicks. Now more than a few opinion writers are posting on the theme, asking Does Everyone Have ADHD Now? There's a paywall on one story, thankfully. But the other in the British Spectator is open access. In it, the author actually compares ADD to a designer bag, calling it a luxury item. She writes: Do you think Ukrainians have ADHD? My reaction: Seriously? I won't even do her the favor of linking to the story. See the screenshot, on my Twitter feed.
Instead, I'd like to stir up some good trouble in the name of those who are ADHD/ neurodivergent and those who are legitimately having difficulty focusing but likely do not have ADHD.
Playing with slime was a fad. ADHD is not.
alt text: Young person smiling, stretching blue slime at desk with bottles and a tripod.
Here's my advice:
BE A REBEL BOSS
With this post, hopefully I can break the cycle and stir up some good trouble instead. If you want to help Rebel Talent, who are neurodivergent (ADHD, dyslexic, autistic, etc), treat us with dignity and respect and communicate openly. For us, our diagnosis is not a superpower or a luxury, but a fact of life. As a boss or a manager, you can adopt the same matter-of-fact approach in talking about trouble spots or goals just being open will help to stamp out bias and harassment. That's all preventable—but only when the issues and questions we have about work styles and stress aren't hidden. Here's how:
TRY LEARNED HELPFULNESS. That's right—be helpful. Ask why people in general are having so much trouble focusing on tasks instead of bashing them for 'learned helplessness', a term Martin Seligman coined in his books.
Learned Helpfulness creates connections, solves the problems right in front of you and does not create bias against people who are neurodivergent.
ADHD or STRESS? I believe there is a wave of 'attention deficit' due to enormous stress and uncertainty that is plaguing workers. I also believe that more women in particular are seeking a diagnosis for Attention Deficit DISORDER (ADD/ADHD), which begins in childhood and persists into adulthood. New research on women and awareness of the brain and how it works, especially in menopausal women, is causing diagnoses and requests for medication to soar. This is what I would call a 'market correction', not something to be derided.
STOP ANALYZING OTHER PEOPLE AND START HELPING THEM. Whatever kind of focus issues your staff is dealing with, be human. Thank you. #ADHD #managers #latestheadlines #communication #learningdisabilities