"I'm So Frustrated With My ADHD Boss; I Could Scream!" 5 Keys to Working Effectively with Your Boss
Working effectively with the ADHD mind of your boss requires understanding and accommodating their unique cognitive and behavioral traits. Here are some strategies to help you navigate this working relationship:
Educate Yourself: Familiarize yourself with the characteristics of ADHD and how it affects executive function. ADHD is associated with lower levels of dopamine and norepinephrine, leading to restlessness, hyperactivity, and a constant need for stimulation. By understanding the neurobiology behind ADHD, you can develop empathy and patience toward your boss. Learn even more by clicking here and reading this Forbes article.
Open Communication: Establish clear and open lines of communication with your boss. Regularly check in to discuss priorities, expectations, and deadlines. ADHD individuals can benefit from explicit instructions and a structured work environment. Providing clarity and structure can help them stay focused and organized.
Set Clear Goals and Deadlines: Break down tasks into smaller, manageable subtasks with specific deadlines. This approach helps your boss tackle one task at a time, reducing feeling overwhelmed and increasing productivity. Using task management tools or apps like Todoist or Google Keep can assist in organizing and tracking progress.
Support Time Management: Help your boss develop practical time management skills. Encourage using calendars, reminders, and alarms to stay on track. Breaking tasks into smaller time blocks and using timers or the Pomodoro technique (click here for a recent blog on this technique) can enhance focus and productivity.
Flexibility and Adaptability: Recognize that your boss's attention and focus may vary throughout the day. Be flexible and adaptable when scheduling meetings or assigning tasks. Consider accommodating their peak productivity times, if possible.
Everyone's experience with ADHD is unique, so open communication and flexibility are crucial to tailoring your approach to your boss's specific needs. You can foster a productive and collaborative relationship by understanding their strengths, providing support, and fostering a positive work environment . . . or . . . you can be perpetually frustrated and angry. The choice is yours.
About the Author
John Seville is an entrepreneurial technology and business leader. He has successfully launched four businesses during his career, Computer Consultants of Colorado, Chief Technology Consultants, (the) Center for Transformative Coaching, and his most recent venture, Ascent Leadership Group, which he started in 2018 and serves as the Managing Principal. In addition to his entrepreneurial ventures, John has served in multiple corporate CIO and COO roles. In 2013, the Denver Business Journal (DBJ) and the Society for Information Management (SIM) nominated John for the Colorado CIO of the Year award. Connect with John by emailing him at john.seville@AscentLeadershipGroup.com.