February 26, 2011 at 4:21 am #89208
AnonymousInactiveFebruary 26, 2011 at 4:21 amPost count: 14413
So my new boss and I have a huge personality conflict – we are polar opposites. She admitted a few weeks ago that she has ADHD. I am very methodical and like to organize my thoughts before speaking, while she blurts out all of her thoughts. We frustrate each other and I’m afraid it’s going to affect my ability to keep this job. Does anyone have advice as to what I should be aware of, how I should behave…how do I keep up with her frantic pace? Our communication styles are so different and I’m scared she’ll just make a rash decision one day to turf me. I’m still too new on the job to say much of anything…but this is causing me a lot of stress.
I’m begging for advice. I love my job and really want things to work out between my boss and I.
Many thanks in advance!REPORT ABUSEFebruary 26, 2011 at 12:27 pm #101305
trashmanMemberFebruary 26, 2011 at 12:27 pmPost count: 546
hi hope this helps. you are on the right track . learning about adhd is the best thing you can do for her and you.I would say start by asking her things about adhd. ask her if there are things you need to know about her adhd. she will love to tell you ,but she will have to know you care. maybe point out that you hurd that people have very high IQ. when wanting to change point out things she has done you aree with. keeping a talk of any kind on a positive note will be key . if she does not like what you have done ask her what she has done. so remember keep things liteand positive. and the more you read here and anyother place you find . same as for her the more you learn about it the easyer it will be to come up with things to deal with her in the moment . to start you will have to change she is the boss . imput your ideas into a?. you could try with starting out with.I was thinking if we
whatever it is . what do you think . she will say something impulsive. it is ok if you leave her in a place where she can change her mind she might supprize you. you might have to let her have the credit so you will have to ask why you idea is better . is it to be right or because it is the right thing for the company. remember try to keep it very positve. I can’t stress that enough. good luck. REPORT ABUSEFebruary 26, 2011 at 3:14 pm #101306
AnonymousInactiveFebruary 26, 2011 at 3:14 pmPost count: 14413
Hey Karen, I’ll just say I agree with trashman and do some research, as you are. I’m a boss (supervisor) and I have ADHD, mostly inattentive type, so the hyperactivity isnt really there. I do exhibit impulsivity a lot though and often speak without thinking. I also over analyze which leads to the appearance of procrastination. The spiral down effect often leaves me looking frantically for quick solutions and I place pressure on myself and my assistant. Fortunately my assistant is very understanding of my condition and we joke about it from time to time.
I realize as I go through life we all have our little gifts; I truly believe each one of us has a bit of something, whether it leans toward an Attention, Obsessive, Autistic spectrum, or some other characteristic imbalance. Each of these positions has their accompanying gifts and if we can learn to utilize each of our differing perspectives in the work place we will balance each other out.
I know it’s easy to talk about and it would be naive of me to assume you don’t already know and appreciate this.
Hope you can find a way to stay happy and secure with your job.
Sorry for the sermon : )REPORT ABUSEFebruary 28, 2011 at 4:16 am #101307
AnonymousInactiveFebruary 28, 2011 at 4:16 amPost count: 14413
Thanks guys! I really appreciate your advice. It really has me thinking – I realize I’m the one who will have to adapt to this situation. I’m certainly far from perfect, I’ve got loads of my own flaws that probably drive my boss nuts. I’m a perfectionist, my attention to detail often causes me to get caught up in the small stuff and I’m no saint – lack of patience is one of my biggest weaknesses.
I’m not comfortable bringing up the topic of ADHD with my boss because I have a feeling she won’t even remember that she’s the one who mentioned it to me. She would think I’m accusing her and be highly offended. (She’s already accused me of being critical – I methodically outlined some upgrades via email that she requested, but her perception was that I was “telling her what to do”. Farbeit from me to tell my boss what/how to do anything. I’ve been second guessing myself at every move lately, which is extremely stressful. I find by the end of the day, I’m ready to snap…which really doesn’t bode well for my homelife.
I’m just going to ride it out, take your advice (and that of anyone else who’d like to share!!!! HINT, HINT!) and see how things go.
Again, thank you! And feel free to give me a sermon! My daughter was diagnosed with NLD (Nonverbal Learning Disorder) about a year ago, so I know what it is to be dealing with an imbalance that has a huge social impact. I’ve spent hundreds of hours researching NLD so I could be the parent my daughter needs. I talk to anyone who will listen, because I want to make her life easier by taking the mystery out of the disorder. So I’m anxious to learn all I can about working for/with someone who has ADHD (inattentive AND hyperactive)
Looking forward to learning more.REPORT ABUSEMarch 6, 2011 at 4:12 am #101308
AnonymousInactiveMarch 6, 2011 at 4:12 amPost count: 14413
Her accusation that you’re judging her (being critical) is the paranoid anxiety we with ADD/ADHD have to live w/on a continual basis. Low self-esteem and poor sense of self is a part of our disorder….depending on what type of feedback we received from the adults surrounding us during our childhood, can enforce these negative, self-critical thoughts (we also project our negative thoughts about ourselves onto others….in our twisted, confused logic, we see others as constantly judging us in a negative light because WE judge ourselves negatively).
I have ADD (but have trained myself to keep order and simplicity….chaos scrambles my brain and makes me unproductive) and work with two bosses who are ADHD (one is inattentive and one is hyperactive). None of us take medication for our disorder….probably because we’re all in a similar age group and have learned how to positively compensate over the years before this disorder was finally respected by the medical community. I’ve discovered that, like every team in a work environment, we all have our individual strengths and weaknesses….in having to work closely together in a small office environment, we’ve learned to create an intricate dance of lending our strength to help equal out another’s weakness….we’re also very open and honest in our communication with one another, and this seems to be what contributes most to our success. Another part of this disorder (which is rarely discussed) is occasionally coming across as insensitive with our comments to others and not realizing it. If my feelings are hurt, I’ll speak up about it right away (you have to address it then because the moment won’t be remembered by the ADHD person)….I also tell new office mates that I have ADD and that I can sometimes come across as insensitive, and to PLEASE tell me immediately if I’ve unknowingly hurt their feelings or offended them in some manner so that the situation can be resolved immediately.
What I read in your posts, Karen, is a true to desire to understand your boss’s disorder, but resentment is quietly building. This doesn’t bode well for you, her, your job, or your home life….you’re right, you’re in a very stressful situation. It takes courage, but perhaps you and your boss could agree to a meeting outside of the workplace (a quiet coffee shop would be ideal….not a meal, definitely not a ‘happy hour’ setting) — a neutral setting that’s not intimidating to either party, to lend a more relaxed atmosphere and more conducive to open/honest communication — and discuss your concerns w/your boss in a non-threatening manner. Making clear statements helps ADHD individuals work more successfully w/individuals. If you don’t feel comfortable meeting w/o a 3rd party present, then maybe an office mediator who doesn’t align with either party would be helpful.
If things continue to spiral downward, then you might have to resort to looking for another position w/another boss….especially if you’re working for a boss who doesn’t take responsibility for her ADHD disorder….you shouldn’t be doing all of the bending and ‘trying to understand’ (she needs to understand that others’ work habits vary from person to person….and that your organizational skills could be an asset for her in appearing more professional….by catching details that she might miss). You both have much to learn from one another, but it’s a relationship, and as any worthwhile relationship it takes work and a period of time to figure where all the pieces go to make the best fit possible. Good luck!REPORT ABUSEMarch 6, 2011 at 5:34 am #101309
SaffronMemberMarch 6, 2011 at 5:34 amPost count: 140
I have actually watched two people in important positions in my workplace who are like you and your boss learn to work together effectively. One is a brilliant but notoriously verbally impulsive and frenetic department chief (with major ADHD) and the other is an equally brilliant, methodical and thorough, doesn’t-suffer-fools-gladly director who reports to that chief. It was visible hell for both at first.
What I’ve observed is that the chief now comes to that director often for sober advice and for help with work-related problems that require extra patience. The director has adopted kind of a subtle “loving parental” demeanor toward the chief, and it is clear that her skills are at the chief’s disposal without judgement. The director seems to enjoy the role of wise advisor and good-naturedly shakes her head at the chief’s antics now the way my grandmother used to shake her head at me when I put my raincoat on inside-out as a kid because I liked the colour of the non-slicker side better.
I can tell you that your boss needs to know more than anything that you are there to support her and to feel that your presence helps her to be more effective. If you can get her to trust you, to perceive that you accept her and see good things in her, to feel good with you and to feel that her weaknesses are gladly compensated for by YOU, you will become indispensable to her. You have the capability to either drive her around the bend until it ends badly OR to show her that you are in her corner and that she needs you.
Do be aware that, as someone with ADHD, your boss is extraordinarily attuned to your tone of voice and every nuance of your body language, and she *will* somehow pick up on every silent put-down that runs through your head. Think of her like you would a young person, if necessary, to ensure you are imparting patience and supportiveness in your interactions with her. Ponder what her weak areas are, and decide that you are going to offer help (in a form that makes her look more effective, not less!) wherever you have the opportunity to do so.
This can work. I’ve seen it. Let us know how it goes.REPORT ABUSE
How to Work with a Boss who is ADHD2011-02-26T04:21:48+00:00
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