Is your HR department or managers pushing some of your most talented and productive employees right out the door?

Recently I spoke with a handful of people dealing with managers and HR departments that are so confused.

The work is getting done, and done well, but it is not in the way that the manager or HR department understands and believes is the “right way.” I see this most often when managers have never actually done the job that they are managing people to do.

Let me help you identify what this is. This is a breakdown in communication.


I know from my clients and my own experiences that being dyslexic, autistic, or having ADHD means you kind of speak and think a little bit of a different language. Let’s call our communication “outside-the-box talk,” lots of verbal communication, photos, phone calls, text, short emails, and short messages.

While on the other hand, managers and HR people communicate in what I would call “word box talk” lots of documents, emails, and messages.

Because of these very different communication styles, it’s easy to have breakdowns, especially if people aren’t aware that that’s what’s happening.

Then they start to blame the neurodiverse person for the whole communication issue. And that’s kind of silly considering there are multiple ways and styles to communicate. Trust me, I have been bouncing between many of them my whole life.

Having been brought into a few of these conversations at the company level I have found three common solutions:

  1. Educate the company and person about the communication breakdowns and implement shifts in everyone’s communication styles with each other. Compromise is evolution in this situation.
  2. Relocate the employee to a new manager or team with a manager who is better able to communicate in outside-the-box talk.
  3. The employee goes in a new direction with a new company. Either by termination or the employee resigns.

Don’t lose your top talent to your competition, every team needs a few outside-the-box thinkers to help them grow, thrive, and analyze.

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