🌱 Harnessing Your Neurodiversity Gifts 🌱
Your Communication Fuels Success
This week holds a special place in my heart as it marks the 27th anniversary of my sister's passing. 🕊️ To honor her memory, I want to share the power of communication. Most of the incredible communication skills I've learned came from caring for my sister, who could express herself solely through body language since she couldn't speak.
Communication is the spark that fuels success in the professional world. It’s an essential skill which executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders alike need to master.
In the course of any single day, you may find yourself communicating with a range of different people via a range of different means: from inspiring your team in a weekly meeting, speaking with important customers over the phone, or reaching out to new prospects via email.
With so many stakeholders and so many communication channels to manage, it’s little wonder that ADHD and non-neurodiverse professionals alike find communication a challenging art to master.
The good news is that - like with any skill - good communication is something that you can practice, improve and ultimately come to master. In this article, I’ll share a number of strategies which will help you to ignite your communication power. Get ready to build better relationships and drive your business forward!
Communication and ADHD
In the modern workplace, communication is more challenging than ever. Even for non-neurodiverse professionals, managing stakeholders and choosing how, when and where to engage with somebody isn’t always easy.
Meanwhile, the ways in which colleagues and customers choose to communicate with us are continually changing. Professionals are required to master traditional channels such as telephone, email and face-to-face meetings alongside newer methods such as instant messaging, social media and video calls.
Communication can be particularly challenging for executives and professionals with ADHD. When it comes to communication in the workplace, Individuals with ADHD may exhibit some or all of the following traits:
🟠 Difficulty organizing thoughts into words and structured sentences
🔵 Missing the communication or failing to read between the lines
🟢 Getting distracted or losing track of what another person is saying
Whether you're neurodiverse or non-neurodiverse, I’m sure that you've experienced instances like those described above, particularly when fatigue or stress dulls your thinking.
Strategies to Supercharge Your Communication
#1 Find Your Focus
Listening is a skill that underpins all good communication; the person or people you are interacting with will expect you to be enthusiastic and engaged about what they are saying.
However, it’s really easy to become distracted or to ‘zone out’ - especially when you’re tired or coming to the end of a long conversation.
Find your focus by eliminating distractions (such as your phone or laptop) which can all-too-easily interrupt and steer your mind away from the conversation. When communicating in person, you can also ensure that you keep regular eye contact. This not only helps you stay engaged, but also displays confidence and helps build trust.
#2 Slice and Dice the Information Avalanche
An important part of communication is knowing what information to include, and not to include when speaking to somebody. Nobody enjoys being hit by an information avalanche, so it’s important to consider the level of detail required for each new interaction.
To combat this, try writing down the key information which you need to communicate. A short bullet point list is all that is required to help remind you of the key points and keep your communication focused.
When the roles are reversed and you find yourself struggling to process all the information which somebody is giving you, ask clarifying questions to help. For example: “So if I understand correctly, you're saying that…?”, or “So the key objectives from your perspective are…?”. You should also never be afraid to ask somebody to repeat themselves if you think there’s something you might have missed.
#3 Embrace Empathy
When communicating with somebody, it’s important to understand things from their point of view. This can be achieved with attentive listening, but empathy also plays an important role.
If somebody says something which you don’t agree with, try to step into their shoes and view the scenario from their perspective. Of course, you might still disagree with them! However, by making an effort to understand their point of view, further discussion is more likely to arrive at an outcome which everyone is satisfied with.
#4 Non-Verbal Awesomeness
Choosing the right words is important, but did you know that over 50% of communication is non-verbal? Tone of voice and body language are integral parts of communication.
For neurodiverse professionals, picking up on somebody’s tone of voice or body language may be challenging, or something that does not come naturally. However it pays to pay close attention to how others move, gesture and speak. For example, if somebody agrees with you in the words they choose, but their body language and tone of voice suggest otherwise, there may be problems down the line.
Since so much of communication is non-verbal, you could choose in-person communication wherever possible. For example, noting body language during in-person meetings with your team will help you better understand how they feel about their role, while an in-person meeting with your biggest customer can help you truly connect with them and build trust.
Stellar communication is key when it comes to furthering your career, growing your businesses, or inspiring your next idea!
Are you ready to ignite your communication power? I support executives, entrepreneurs, business owners, coaches and producers who need creative breakthroughs in order to excel in life and business. If you're ready to learn about more ways to break through barriers and connect with joy, schedule a complimentary consult here. I would love to hear from you! 🌸 Kate