ADHD: The Invisible Economic Strain In Our Workforce that you can change!

ADHD: The Invisible Economic Strain In Our Workforce that you can change!

ADHD: The Invisible Economic Strain In Our Workforce that you can change!

In a labor market that is at a historic low, businesses are seeing a high rate of turnover and even ghosting in the workplace.  It is a costly trend. Companies are seeing the value in shifting how they train to retain their employees.  It is far less expensive to invest in quality training while implementing a community mindset work culture that promotes retention than to continually train new employees.  Also, this nurtured environment promotes employee’s self-worth, work engagement and relationships with fellow colleagues.

The result is better morale, work productivity and lower employee turnover rates.

The positive workplace connections and better knowledge base for the demands of their job has the potential for big payoffs for the company in reduced hiring costs as well. Even governmental entities have recently voiced a need for diverse career options and training for this finicky labor pool. Talks of expanding apprenticeship programs are on the rise.

In order for the efforts to be successful, it is important to understand what challenges this group faces and how to best meet their needs.  This will ensure quality training for the companies that want to train and hire them.

According to the NCES there are approximately 20 million college students who entered college in the fall of 2018.  19.4% self-reported having a disability.  This number has nearly doubled from 10 years ago.  The impact on the educational system has been tremendous.   Colleges across the U.S. are developing programs to meet the needs of these diverse students.  The most prevalent disability is ADHD, a neurologically based disorder.

Of the students surveyed, 79% of the students who reported a disability listed ADHD as their challenge.

As these students enter our workforce, it would be beneficial for us to help them transition with a foundational employee skillset.   Often, these neurologically diverse groups need specific guidance and training that may be assumed and overlooked for the average employee. This invisible disability flies under the radar and yet has a very impactful effect on job success. 

As Sir Francis Bacon, stated in his Meditationes Sacrae (1597), “knowledge itself is power.”

It is at this point that we can illuminate the challenges around ADHD and take a look at ways to help them manage it and capitalize on their strengths.

For the ADHD employee, goals often seem to slip out of reach due to under managed and a misunderstood condition.  While no two people with the diagnoses are identical, here are common challenges associated with having an ADHD diagnosis.

Employees may have trouble:
  • Prioritizing & Procrastination
    The workload may become too burdensome if they do not have a clear hierarchal & strategic plan. Procrastination may set in.
  •  Initiating and Completing Tasks
    Tasks can be daunting and many distractions can derail them from starting and finishing them
  •  Organizing
    Without a priority system, often people do not know where to begin to organize their workspace.
  • Concentration
    While an ADHDer can hyper focus on something that is particularly interesting to them, it is difficult for them to concentrate on mundane work. It can feel overly boring to them and cause them to seek more gratifying interests breaking their ability to focus on what they KNOW they should be working on  ie…filing papers, etc.
  • Time Management
    This may make them late for work or important events and fall behind on projects in the workplace. This happens even with the best of intentions to be on time.
  • Impulsive Behavior
    Difficulty controlling anger and blurt thoughts without much filter that can come across as rude and insulting.
  • Following Directions
    Since the ability to remember information may take several steps that require focus, following directions can be difficult.

 

These behaviors often derail careers, ambitions, and relationships.

It is not uncommon to experience a high rate of job turnover due to either the person’s impulsive choice to leave the job or their behavior gets them fired. This can have a lasting effect on the person leaving, especially one that has been diagnosed with ADHD.  They may struggle with feeling shame and low-self esteem and become discouraged in their ability to perform in a job.

Employers who gain an understanding of the condition can create successful training, apprenticeships and mentoring programs that will promote better employee retention.

You do not have to have a disability to take advantage of some actions steps that can help the work flow and dynamics for employees. There are many life factors that can contribute to an employees work attitude and performance.  All can benefit from implementing company strategies that address these issues. In part II of this blog, I will address the issues with some helpful tips for employers to implement for all employees.

Raz Coaching specializes in helping people with executive function challenges and find careers they will love and land them. Read more at www.razcoaching.com/about Or sign up for the weekly blog or purchase my new book Happiness+Passion+Purpose.  It is packed full of exercises and strategies you can put to use immediately.

 

5 Steps Into a New You for 2020

5 Steps Into a New You for 2020

5 Steps Into a New You

The ancestor of every action is a thought.   —Ralph Waldo Emerson

When you struggle with executive function challenges such as ADD, thoughts can be frantic, unbridled and elusive.  Do you laugh at people who ask you what your New Year’s Resolution is each year?    Your response might be that you don’t “play that game”, since you know all too well that it could not be a sustained change.  This can lead you to accept your short term goals and live life by the moment with no long term goals.   Yet, many have a deep yearning for more in their life, but they don’t know how to go about seeking lasting change.

I am not saying it is easy or that I have the solution.
What I am saying is that IT IS POSSIBLE with consistently sustained effort and accountability.
Real inner change and paradigm shifts come from a deep burning desire that aligns with your core values.

If you really want a change in your life that is going to help you feel and be successful, read on to steps to launch a new you.   Are you are not sure?  Ask yourself these questions.

Test your readiness for this endeavor:

On a scale of 1-10.   How badly do I want this change? 

Sit with your idea for change and explore how the change could make you feel. If I do X, then I would feel this way.  If the state of feeling is an improvement to your life, it can fuel your desire for change.  When you are connected with your feelings, it will motivate you to take action.

  • Move on if you rate yourself a 6 or more. No need to go further if you don’t have that deep desire for change.

What am I willing to modify or change in my life to make this happen?

Your current habits and routines are keeping you from reaching the desired change in your life.  People spend a lifetime developing their habits that create their realities on a day-to-day basis.  This is not something someone can change just by reading about it.  It will take a strategic plan that will most likely make you feel challenged to sustain the change.

When you have executive function challenges, you have an even harder time to sustain something that is not already a habit. With the right support system in place, I promise you can create new sustained habits and routines, but it will be WORK.

  • If you can honestly identify 2-3 things that you are willing to modify in your life to reach your goal, keep reading on.

What will my life look like in 12 months if I don’t bring this change into my life? What if I do? What would I gain? Or lose?

Timing is everything in life.   Is there a sense of urgency for the change in your life that you desire?   This can spur some good brain chemical energy to help you ignite the inner pathway to a new you.  It can also help in your accountability plan to keep you on course when things get dull and boring.

  • Can you identify real tangible gains in your life?  Get a pen and paper and get started with your individualized plan.
Your Personalized Road Map

5 steps into a new you in 2020!

  1. Visualize

This is an essential part of making your goal work. The process helps fire up your neurons to communicate your goals as if it was a real-life action and tell them to perform the acts.  This sets the stage for a pathway to a new you. Conceptualize what the new you would do on a day to day basis.  How will you interact with others? What does that look like for you?

       2.     Questions to get you there

What are the very first things that need to happen?

Is there something can you do to make that happen?

How fast can you ACT on it? Could you give it a timeline?

Who can hold you accountable for it?

  1. What is the next step?

Often times the excitement of the thought is enough to get you started but can quickly fade when it starts to look like a routine.

  1. Identify the possible points where you could get stuck:

Write down the areas that could derail you

What is the advice you can give yourself when this happens?

Use a journal to plan for each possible sticking point.

 

  1. Give this list to your accountability partner or coach. Check-in with that person each week to go over the goals and potential derailments.

How are you doing?
Celebrate?
Get back on track?

By creating a Road Map of what you want, steps to get you there and an accountability partner to help you stick to it, you can succeed at your goal of a new you!

Michelle R. Raz, M.A. Ed., is a professional executive function coach and educational consultant. Raz Coaching specializes in helping people with executive function challenges associated with ADHD, PTSD, Stress, TBI’s and ASD find careers they will love and land them. Read more at www.razcoaching.com/about Or sign up for the weekly blog or purchase my new book Happiness+Passion+Purpose.  It is packed full of exercises and strategies you can put to use immediately.

 

 

 

 

Presence:  Best Gift to Give!

Presence: Best Gift to Give!

Give the gift of presence this holiday.  It is what makes for lasting memories as the gift that truly keeps giving!

Practicing “Mindfulness” as the Key to a Peaceful Holiday Season

“The most precious gift we can offer others is our presence.
When mindfulness embraces those we love, they will bloom like flowers.
— Thich Nhat Hahn

This holiday season is a great reminder of what truly makes memories that will last a lifetime. It isn’t the number of gifts we receive but rather the time we spend with our loved ones. In short, it’s the act of being present.

A person struggling with ADHD or other executive functions may need direction this time of year on how to become connected to the true gifts of the holiday season of love joy and compassion. The term “mindfulness” is the energy that helps us recognize the conditions of happiness that are already present in our lives.

As Thich Nhat Hahn, the renowned Vietnamese Buddhist teacher would remind the world to do — Be present, be in the moment and Enjoy life.

Here is a list of some ways you can help create a peaceful holiday: being mindful can bring you joy in every moment.
  1. Be connected to your breath.
    Conduct a simple breathing exercise of inhaling and saying to yourself, “I am here” Then, breath out and feel the air leave your body for a few seconds. This can bring you back into the moment and leave you feeling connected with yourself, again.

2.  Pick a healthy way to take care of yourself. Take a walk.
Walking mindfully and slowly while paying attention to the sensations on the bottom of your feet offer other personal experiences. Notice how the body moves as you walk with awareness. Take one step at a time.

  1. Prioritize your time.
    Start each day with a few minutes of quiet time. Reflect on the day ahead to help you prioritize your tasks and stay in tune with your emotional state. Recognize important things that need to be done. Identify any stressors and decide how you plan to address them. This process can help you follow through successfully each day.
  2. Actively listen to one another.
    As students get excited for the holidays and receive an academic break from school, it can be a stressful time in the household. Elementary students are exploding with boundless energy while anticipating once-per-year events. High school and college students are studying frantically for their final exams. Parents are preoccupied with navigating their holiday to-do lists.

The combination of feeling overwhelmed, being excited with the seasonal events and the reality of academic stress can severely affect family relationships.

Now is the time to encourage one another to identify the feeling.

What emotion are you experiencing? Are you sad, stressed, angry, anxious, joyful, disappointed, excited or embarrassed? Accept the authenticity of your feelings and express the emotions verbally.

By expressing your feelings it can release negative emotions. Also, by being an active listener, you can demonstrate that you are present and validate the needs of others.

When you practice mindfulness, you are in a state of concentration. Because you are aware, and can sustain that awareness, it is said that you are concentrated. By being fully concentrated, you have an opportunity to make a breakthrough – and to achieve insight.

This practice of cultivating stillness in your life, loving speech and deep listening will bring joy and happiness to others and yourself. This holiday, achieve the true gift of happiness and joy by being in the moment and being present for others. It may be the most joyous season yet when all feel that their needs are being heard and therefore met.

Michelle R. Raz, M.A. Ed., is a professional executive function coach and educational consultant. Raz Coaching specializes in helping people with executive function challenges associated with ADHD, PTSD, Stress, TBI’s and ASD find careers they will love and land them. Read more at www.razcoaching.com/about Or sign up for the weekly blog or purchase my new book Happiness+Passion+Purpose.  It is packed full of exercises and strategies you can put to use immediately.

 

Coming Home For The Holidays!

Coming Home For The Holidays!

Coming Home for the Holidays!

The holidays are approaching and I am so excited to see my college kids! Well, sort of.   We have gotten used to a routine without them and honestly a much cleaner house. Do you have this kind of conflicted tug on your heartstrings when family comes home from college and kids are home from school breaks?

Home for the Holidays with ADHD (more…)

When ADHD Becomes an Excuse

When ADHD Becomes an Excuse

When ADHD Becomes an Excuse

Has this ever happened to you? You are on the phone talking to your spouse and you stop mid-sentence and start to look for your phone to see if you have a text message. You panic while you are still in conversation and say, “ Honey, I can’t find my……?” And then you suddenly realize it is in your hand!!!!  Could ADHD become an excuse for you?

ADHD excuse

Is this just plain absent-mindedness or ADHD working memory?
Or is this you?

Do you find yourself making excuses for your “loudmouth” that shocks people into a burst of nervous laughter? You realize right AFTER you said something that the person you told it to was taken way off guard, shocked or insulted because you have that gift of reading people’s facial expressions AFTER you blurt out something without thinking it through first. But you know it is too late to go back. You have seen this expression many times before. So first, you apologize, “Hey, I have ADHD and we tend to act before we think!”   You try to smooth it over and then walk away with that dreaded feeling that you just once again inserted your foot straight into your mouth.

What is the fine line between taking ownership of your ADHD and using it as an excuse?

You wish it weren’t this way, but throughout the years, you have done this and you say the only thing you remember from your conditioned childhood is that you do things differently and sometimes offensively because you have ADHD.

It’s just who I am…..

it is common for parents to focus a lot on their ADHD children in an attempt to normalize their actions as much as possible, but it can backfire as they get older and become young adults. So much so that the person can get confused with their actual condition as most of their lives they heard that they could not do certain things normally because they are dealing with ADHD. At other times, they might have been constantly reminded about the diagnosis. In both cases, there are high chances of believing that they are not capable of doing certain things, internalizing negative perceptions about themselves. People start giving their condition as an excuse to others, saying they cannot do something because they are dealing with ADHD.

“Yes, I know I make a lot of mistakes but that’s because I have ADHD.”

Or you might hear, “I keep forgetting the formulas; I have issues remembering things because I am dealing with ADHD.” – all these and various other excuses could be potential scapegoats expression when they are trying to avoid doing something.

Focusing too much on the ADHD symptoms can lead to negative consequences – short term as well as long term. Therefore, it is essential to understand the difference between empathizing and making them feel low. Focusing on their symptoms to help them deal with them is different than making them think they are incapable of doing a certain thing. And there is a grey boundary between these two things. Understanding the difference between the explanation and an excuse is important as the difference is subtle.

Here’s how you can help

It is essential to look at different ways you can assist. For instance, your 10-year-old wants to go out for a movie with friends. You are worried because he gets hyperactive at times and when he is in that state, it can intrude in people’s personal space. Yet, you don’t want to stop him just because he has ADHD. The solution is to explain your concern instead of showing it as an excuse. Sit with him and describe the issue about him getting hyperactive. Don’t just show him his problem, also provide him opportunities or ways to role-play and offer solutions when he gets too much energy and needs to move around.

Focus on the solution of how they CAN do something. You can use role-playing for behavior outcomes. This strategy can be used for children and adults. It can help to bridge the desire to use ADHD as a self-defeating symptom and see there are other possibilities. You can also discuss strategies that help thinking patterns with a distraction or fidget toy. This can help the mind focus more. By considering strategies and resources to help the symptoms of ADHD, one can need to rely on it as an excuse and focus on what they can do IN SPITE of ADHD.

Raz Coaching specializes in helping people with executive function challenges associated with ADHD, PTSD, Stress, TBI’s and ASD find careers they will love and land them. Read more at www.razcoaching.com/about Or sign up for the weekly blog or purchase my new book Happiness+Passion+Purpose.  It is packed full of exercises and strategies you can put to use immediately.

My Story My Purpose My Drive

My Story My Purpose My Drive

I want to share with you my personal story of how I became an ADHD coach

My daughter is the story behind my story, my purpose and my drive to be an  ADHD coach.  She  was in fifth grade and we had been traveling in South America for four months during the school year. I worked with her during our home-school sessions and got to see how she was learning in a one on one environment. It was clear that she understood the concepts being taught. She was getting good grades in this environment.

Back from our travels, she settled back into the classroom but soon began to fall behind academically. It didn’t match up to me, and I couldn’t understand what was going on. I really did not know much about ADHD. (more…)