How disability confident am I as a leader in an organisation whose raison d’etre it is to make workplaces thrive on the talent that neurodiversity brings?
How much has working at Genius Within raised my personal and professional awareness of both the unique gifts and needs of neurodiverse colleagues and clients alike?
These are the questions that have come to mind in preparing this piece, and, on reflection, I realise that it has been by virtue of working here, amongst colleagues who know neurodiversity from the inside out, that I have really grasped what it means to be disability confident as a leader, colleague, and service provider.
In previous roles, I would always “ask the question”, try to be clear in my communications, be empathetic and make adjustments where needed, yet my experience of working here has taken me further. Instead of asking “Do you need any adjustments or support?” I seek to elicit what is really needed “What support and resources do you need to be at your best?” It’s a subtle shift, yet one that is both empowering and leveling. It’s an approach I take when developing new relationships with new team members; it’s how I contract with a client for whom I am delivering an assessment, and it is how we work with each other in our daily interactions, meetings and delivery of tasks. Working with difference is what we do around here every day.
Being a Disability Confident Leader means being an exemplar, and never more so than in a business such as ours. In this role, the imperative to “walk our own talk” is never far from my mind and reflecting on our execution of this is something that features regularly in our senior management meetings. To give a simple example, when we give good advice to employers to provide written training materials in advance of a course delivery for employees with dyslexia, for example, we need to make sure that all our trainers and coaches are doing just that when they are delivering external training. When we coach managers on how best to communicate with their neurodiverse team members, clearly and supportively, we train them in a tried and tested model that we use to great effect in all of our internal communications. One that our organisation has heavily invested in.
We know what works, we commit to what works, we practice what works and we share what works.
Come and visit our website to see what we are up to, and to find out what will work for you.
Registered and Chartered Occupational Psychologist
Head of Psychology, Genius Within