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How to tell my employer I have ADHD – Part 2

In Part One of this topic I discussed what you need to consider before you even consider mentioning your ADHD status to your employer. In this part, I’ll provide some ideas on how to go about it once you have made the decision to tell your employer.   

Before saying anything, you need to answer a few questions for yourself:

  1. What are my strengths?
    We all have them so dig deep
  2. How is it helping me?
    One client told me that she had a lot of energy and her out-of-the box thinking heloped her solve problems more easily. Another who was a salesman found that clients liked to work with him because he always seemed to be “on the ball”. Another who was a social worker felt that she was better able to empathize with her clients
  3. How is my ADHD hindering me at work?
    Difficulty with concentrating, with organizing, excessive perfectionism…
  4. What is the specific problem I want help with?
    Can’t concentrate because of noise or traffic, difficulty getting organized so often looking for things, difficulty with constant distractions of email and phone, can’t seem to organize time well, etc.
  5. What solutions do I want to propose?
    Will this solution help or should you consider a different career? What is the cost to the employer? Where can it be found?
  6. How can your employer help?
    Do you need your employer to help defray the cost of coaching, provide you with an accommodation, change something in the way he or she works with you?
  7. What’s in it for my employer? Why would your employer help you? What does your company stand to gain from reducing or eliminating your problem?

In most cases of course when your employer provides help, he or she ends up with a more productive employee; however, what is the benefit? Will you be able to get more done? Will you improve your sales? Will the quality of your work improve? It can also be an opportunity to solve a problem, or improve the way the company does things. For example, one client who got help with his productivity, was able to help other colleagues, non-ADHDers, also improve theirs.

Then prepare to meet your employer privately to discuss an issue you need help with. Here’s a sample script to inspire you:
 
“I was recently diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder, which is a neurological difference that. I find it helps me with my job because ADHD advantage as per question 2. “

“However, I am struggling with specific hinderance as per question 3 and it’s making it hard to be as productive as I think I could be.”

“I looked into it and found this solution as per question 5 that can help me solve the specific problem as per question 4.”

“I feel that with your help with answer to question 6 , I can really answer to question 7  I’m willing to do the work that it takes to make this solution work for me; however, I need help to access it.” 

 

 It will really help to know your strengths to give you confidence when you see your employer. Be prepared to offer information on the solution you are proposing so that you don’t have to run after him or her a second time.

It might help you know that in the survey I did last year, of the 50% of ADHDers who told their employers they had ADHD and needed help, 50% of them got the help they needed. I’m also finding that with the labor market where there is higher demand than there is supply, especially for specialized labor, many employers are becoming more open to the idea of helping good employees become even better.
Certainly, I will not tell you that there is no risk. While there may be some legal protection in some parts of the world, there is still a risk that you can be treated unfairly. My biggest hope is that one day, the fog around what is ADHD and does it exist will lift; and you won’t have to fear repercussions in “coming out”.  

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