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My Employer Understands My EF Challenges

Hello, executive function community!

We are Casey Anley (educational psychologist) and Catherine Davis (counselling psychologist) – new recruits to the team at Connections in Mind. 

We both happen to be South African, with a huge passion for all things executive functioning. We joined Connections in Mind this year, and for the first time, we were welcomed into an environment where our EF challenges were not only heard and understood, but celebrated! This speaks to the theme for the February 2022 theme for our Connected Club – Relationships & Trust, which of course extends not only to partners and families, but also to the workplace. 

Connections in Mind is made up of people from all types of training and specialisations, and we have ranging neurodivergence and executive functioning profiles ourselves. Whilst the team (by nature of our interest in this topic) are very aware of how such challenges can play out in the workplace, there is a sense of continued commitment to really practice what it means to support neurodiversity. 

What struck us both when we started at Connections in Mind was the growth mindset that is at the heart of all operations. We have both come from working environments where one fears making mistakes, and if they do happen, there are desperate attempts to try fix them on one’s own, where shame and fear of consequences follow mistakes – a hallmark of fixed mindset thinking. All of a sudden, we entered a space where teamwork and the attitude of ‘how can our team work towards the outcome that we want? prevailed. We can both recall variations of the question: 

‘What do you need from us to support your strengths and challenges?’

Amazing! This encouragement of open communication, encouragement to voice our needs and concerns, and a nurturing environment to work collectively together is a game-changer as an employee with executive functioning challenges. This acceptance makes one feel heard, understood, excited and motivated to collaborate with a team to make a real difference in the lives of people with executive functioning. 

There is an understanding that we are all human. We all have our own skill sets we bring into our work. 

Everyone brings their own personality, experience and operating style, alongside their unique strengths and areas of challenge, to their work – and this is a good thing! Strong teamwork can arise from capitalising on strengths and passions, as well as uplifting others to benefit overall cohesion in the business. By embracing employees for their ENTIRE skillset (strengths AND challenges), employees learn that they can bring their ‘humanness’ to their work – where learning is inevitable and encouraged, and they will not be punished for challenges they have had to mask in the past. 

So if you are reading this – as an employee who wants to discuss their challenges with their boss and colleagues, or as a boss wanting to provide support for their employee’s executive functioning challenges –  have a look at our support options:

Connections in Mind also offer training for companies:

  • Understand and empower employees’ executive functions – management or company-wide 
  • Information on workplace accommodations
  • Support packages for your employees with our Connected Club – weekly support and strategy sessions,  monthly events and courses, and accountability in a buddy system for the work-from-home employee. 

Get in touch!

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