Neurodiversity at work: How to embrace diversity within your workplace

Neurodiversity at work- Julia Ngapo Business Coaching

When it comes to the workplace, embracing neurodiversity means recognising and valuing the unique strengths and abilities that individuals with conditions such as autism, ADHD, and dyslexia, bring to your team.

As a leader, it’s important to understand the challenges that individuals with neurodivergent conditions may face and to create an inclusive and supportive environment for them. In this blog, we’ll explore five strategies that you can adopt to embrace neurodiversity at work and in your team, and how coaching and mentoring can support you in this process.

Create a culture of inclusivity.

Create a culture of inclusivity by promoting and valuing diversity, including neurodiversity, in the workplace. This includes educating employees about neurodiversity, providing training on how to interact with and support colleagues with neurodivergent conditions, and creating an open and safe environment for employees to share their experiences.

Accommodate individual needs.

Be aware of the unique needs of your team members with neurodivergent conditions and make accommodations to support them. This may include providing flexible work arrangements, such as the ability to work from home or flexible hours or providing assistive technology or other resources to help with communication or organisation.

Encourage open communication.

Aim to encourage open communication among team members and create a safe space for employees to share their experiences and needs.

This helps you to better understand the challenges that individuals with neurodivergent conditions may face and to create more effective accommodations and support.

Promote employee development and growth.

Promote employee development and growth by providing opportunities for training, mentoring, and skill-building. This can help individuals with neurodivergent conditions to develop their strengths and abilities, and to advance in their careers.

Lead by example.

You can lead by example by modelling inclusive behaviours and actively promoting and valuing neurodiversity at work. This includes being an advocate for neurodiversity and being willing to have open and honest conversations about the topic.

Coaching can be an effective tool for supporting you to embrace neurodiversity at work. Here are a few ways that coaching can support you:

1.  Coaching can help you to become more self-aware and understand your own biases and assumptions about neurodiversity. This can enable you to create a more inclusive environment that values and supports employees with neurological differences.


2. It can help you in the creation of support strategies for neurodiverse employees such as providing modifications, fostering a sense of belonging, and encouraging open communication.

3. Coaching can help you to understand the unique strengths and abilities of neurodiverse employees and how to leverage them for the benefit of the organisation.


4. Coaching can support you to address any resistance to change within the organisation and overcome any challenges associated with implementing neurodiversity initiatives.


5. In addition, coaching and mentoring can help you to develop effective communication and relationship-building skills, which are essential for creating an inclusive and supportive environment for individuals with neurodivergent conditions.

In conclusion, embracing neurodiversity at work, and in your team is a crucial step for leaders to ensure that all team members are valued and supported. By creating a culture of inclusivity, accommodating accommodations to individual needs, encouraging open communication, promoting employee development and growth and leading by example, you can create a more inclusive and supportive environment for your team members with neurodivergent conditions.

If you would like to explore how coaching and mentoring can provide the necessary support to you in this process to navigate the challenges, develop strategies and become an advocate of neurodiversity in the workplace, then why not book a discovery call? Together, we can explore the needs of your organisation, and team and create a strategy to ensure an inclusive and supportive environment for all.

Are you downplaying your success? 7 ways to overcome your business success guilt

7 ways to overcome business guilt success -Julia Ngapo Business Cochig - woman on top of the world, sitting in office chair, celebrating success with arms raised.

We all love a “rags to riches” story. The ones where someone overcomes immense challenges and triumphs over adversity. We marvel at the “overnight success” stories that appear in the media, and we work hard to achieve our own success. And yet, often, when we achieve our goals, we can experience success guilt. That particular brand of imposter syndrome, which tells us that our success is a fluke, that we don’t deserve it, or that others are far more deserving.

Feeling guilty about our success is a far more common experience than you might believe. In fact, Freud wrote a paper in 1925 regarding “Those wrecked by success”. Often those negative feelings stem from societal or cultural expectations or inherited beliefs from our family.

We may have developed a habit of downplaying our successes for fear of upsetting others, appearing “big-headed” or feeling in some way, that our own success will come as a burden to others. We self-sabotage to protect others from our own success!

This success guilt can hold us back from reaching our full potential and enjoying the fruits of our labour. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the reasons why we feel guilty and strategies for overcoming this guilt.

Comparison

One of the main reasons we feel guilty about our success is that we often compare ourselves to others. We may look at the achievements of our peers and think that we don’t measure up, or that we’ve somehow got lucky or had an unfair advantage.

We may also feel guilty about our success because we think that others have suffered or been left behind as a result of our achievements. This can make us feel like we’re taking more than our fair share and that we don’t deserve the success we’ve achieved.

Perfectionism

When we hold ourselves to impossibly high standards, we may think that we should be able to achieve everything we want and that anything less than perfection is a failure. This can make it hard to enjoy our successes because we’re always focused on what we haven’t accomplished, rather than what we have.

So, how can we get to a place where, instead of suffering success guilt, we celebrate our achievements?

Firstly, it’s important to recognise that success is not a zero-sum game. Just because we’ve achieved something doesn’t mean that someone else has lost out. Because we attempt to dim our own light, it doesn’t necessarily follow that someone else’s light will shine brighter! We have to own the fact that our success may be, at least in part, down to a lucky break, or the planets aligning, but it is underpinned by our own hard work.

We can also cultivate a sense of gratitude for the opportunities, resources, and people that have helped us achieve our goals.

Another strategy for overcoming guilt about success is to focus on the positive impact we’ve had on others. We can think about the people we’ve helped or the contributions we’ve made to our community and society. This can help us see our success as something that is not just good for us, but also good for others. We can focus on “giving back” by training, mentoring, and otherwise supporting others.

As with any imposter syndrome or negative self-narrative, we can use journalling to improve our self-awareness around self-belief. When we are aware of the triggers for any negative thought, belief, or action, we stand a much better chance of being able to reframe the negative to the positive. This will also allow us to ensure that we are pursuing success for ourselves, rather than to fulfil someone else’s expectations of us.

It can also help to write down our definition of success; what it means to us, rather than what we’re led to believe success is. When we pursue success that is meaningful to us, as an individual, then success guilt is less likely to derail us.

It’s also important to remember that success is not always linear and that setbacks and failures are a natural part of the process. Recognising that failure is a part of success can help us be more forgiving of ourselves and less likely to feel guilty when things don’t go as planned.

Lastly, it’s important to remember that success is not just about achieving our goals, but also about enjoying the journey. We can focus on the joy and satisfaction of the work we’re doing and the progress we’re making, rather than just fixating on the end result.

In conclusion, success guilt is a common experience, but it doesn’t have to hold us back. By recognising that success is not a zero-sum game, cultivating a sense of gratitude, focusing on the positive impact we’ve had on others, recognising that failure is a part of success, sharing our success with others, and enjoying the journey, we can overcome guilt and fully embrace our successes.

Are you navigating your road to success? Would you benefit from a wing woman to support you, act as your cheerleader, a sounding board, a challenger of thoughts, and to light the path towards your business success?

If so, I offer a variety of coaching and mentoring services for both small businesses and larger organisations. Why not book a free, no-obligation 30-minute call to discover the benefits of coaching for you?

Why Boredom Can Be Your Business Best Friend. The Positive Side Of Boredom At Work.

Julia Ngapo Business Coaching. Why Boredom can be your Business Best Friend. The Positive Side of Boredom at Work.

Contrary to what you might believe, there is a time and place to let boredom reign. The Italians call it “il dolce far niente”, “the sweetness of doing nothing”, and whilst we are not talking about the mind-numbing level of chronic boredom from a job that does not satisfy you or that you hate, boredom at work of the right level can be of benefit to you.

Let’s look at a few of the positives to be gained from letting boredom into your business.

Increased Creativity.

Neuroscientists have discovered that periods of inactivity can give the brain space and time to be more creative. As the centre of every single activity that your body undertakes, from blinking to moving, talking to walking, your brain never pauses its’ activity. Even during sleep, it is still processing and clearing from the previous day. And, although it is counterintuitive to do nothing, that period of boredom allows creative ideas that may have been lurking somewhere in the background to come to the fore, to fill the empty space. Further research has shown that short periods of boredom at work can lead to improved performance in problem-solving and brainstorming activities.

Room for Growth.

Our nature is to fill any empty space – to fit a short meeting in a gap in the diary, to allow a meeting to continue past its allotted end time, to permit a task to take a little extra time to complete, we unconsciously strive to fill any gaps in our day. After all, “busyness” feels like you’re achieving something, doesn’t it? You’re in demand, you’re in the flow, and you’re important. But the benefit of introducing some space into the business day is a strategic one.

By intentionally creating that space in your day, you allow more business opportunities to come your way.

If the Pareto Principle is to be believed, that 80% of your income is generated from 20% of your customer base, then it also follows that the majority of your time, energy, and attention is focused on those customers who are not going to provide great returns.

Now imagine the time and space returned to you by not working with these non-ideal customers and the space that opens up for more ideal customers to find you.

A word of caution here: Ensure that you clarify how you would wish that vacuum to be filled and be intentional in how you achieve that. If not, you run the risk of the space refiling with more of the kind of activity of which you have just rid yourself.

Create a visual reminder of what it is that you want, and place this somewhere where it is regularly seen – above your desk is a great spot.

Black and white image of young couple showing Boredom at Work.

Reduced Burnout.

Employee burnout and attrition are at an all-time high. But research shows that when we give ourselves a break, even just a few minutes, engagement and quality of work increase, and stress goes down. Additionally, allowing employees space demonstrates an investment in their wellbeing and professional development.

Increased Productivity.

We’re led to believe that automation of every part possible in business is the way to go, but the danger here is that tasks are completed by rote. Our jobs become more routine, discouraging any active-thinking and our productivity becomes just enough to get everything completed. However, a spell of creative boredom at work allows our brain to recharge and reset. We can identify new ways of doing things, become enthused again in our role and regain our work mojo. When we accept that not every moment has to be filled with ‘doing’, and that ‘being’ is equally important, we allow ourselves time for our productivity and resilience to soar.

Boredom at Work: Conclusion.

Boredom at work is something most of us feel from time to time, but few of us admit to it. And yet, it can be leveraged intentionally and strategically to increase your productivity, performance, and creativity.

Allow yourself some boredom at work and welcome the space for growth and expansion to occur.

I work with business owners and c-suite executives, supporting them to increase their productivity, banish their mental blocks and scale their business sustainably. If you would like to find out more about my different approach to business or executive coaching, then why not book a call today?