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Credit: eandt.theiet.org / Dickson Ross

Neurodiversity At Work: The Advantage Of Thinking Differently

How Different Brains That Think Differently Benefit Employers

My Key Take-Aways:  

  • It is critical to recognize need for accommodation for those with neurodivergent conditions.  This enables them to be themselves and use their energies for doing their best work and feeling their best selves. 
  • Keep this great quote in mind when you seek to understand and work with the neurodiverse: “The skills that autistic people bring are those that tend to be in short supply too. Every autistic person is different, but they tend to think in a different way from most people.”
  • Know how to recognize the benefits of “different thinking” which include: 
    • “Being able to process more information not only produces improvements in pattern recognition, it also allows more incredible attention to detail. 
    • “Incredible logical analysis, highly fact-​based, incredibly good error detection. 
    • Sustained concentration: hyper-focus on one area of interest. 
    • Those thinking styles can be incredibly valuable in areas that are systematic, that are structured and logical – like tech. Specifically: quality assurance, development, data, security and compliance.”
    • “Many autistic people approach problems differently from the way neuro-typical people approach them, and a good example of that is top down versus bottom up.” 
      • Top down, how most people think, means forming an overall impression first and then looking down into the details. This quickly leads to a broad conclusion, but confirmation bias means they don’t take in all the details as they should. 
      • “Many autistic people take a bottom-​up approach, which means taking in all the detail first and only then forming an overall impression.” You get a conclusion more slowly, but it produces a less biased analysis.
        • That approach requires more detailed, more precise and clear instructions. Give a dataset to most people and ask what they think of it and they’ll look at it and offer an opinion. 
          • Benefits of this approach:  
            • “When you force managers to think in those logical terms, and force them to prioritise, and you ask people to remove the ambiguity and uncertainty from their instructions, that is when everybody raises their game. It is a massive improvement in communication and clarity within the team communication structure.”
            • The neuro-diversity also adds more choice: sometimes managers might want a creative and quick first impression about some data and in another case a more detailed, precise analysis.
  • Create recruiting and interviewing processes that enable you to accommodate the needs of neurodiverse talent such as NOT timing responses online and not requiring written responses to every question.  This enable you to filter IN the talent and skills you need vs. losing out on the opportunity to find the folks to build the best teams and create the innovative solutions you and your business customers need to excel.

Neurodiversity at Work: The Advantage of Thinking Differently

#Neurodiversity; #Autism; #ThinkingDifferently; #Employment

Leslie Ochroch
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