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Dyslexia and coaching

Dyslexia has nothing at all to do with intelligence and it puts no barriers on success. Einstein is perhaps the most famous person to have dyslexia, but leaders in business, sports and the arts join him: Richard Branson, Lewis Hamilton and Cher to name but three.

Before, when it wasn’t properly understood or supported, limiting beliefs hampered self-esteem and personal trajectories. Today, people are finally starting to recast this difference as a strength: it is recognised for the creativity and energy it brings to organisations, homes and relationships. It should not only be celebrated, but actively welcomed and supported.

This Minute Hack article highlights the findings of two reports which found that Dyslexic Thinking skills were an exact match for the skills of the future (as determined by the World Economic Forum).

Coaching can help facilitate that change in perception. By recognising this difference as a strength, you can begin to unlock possibilities for yourself which had, before, been latent. It can also, with gentleness but impetus, help one out of negative patterns of thinking which are hard to escape if you’ve always felt you’ve been doing something ‘wrong’ or have been made to feel less competent.

I’ve asked Elizabeth and Amanda to share their experiences in two blog posts. Both were diagnosed with dyslexia as adults, and both share how this difference enhanced their experience of coaching and being coached, respectively.

And, if you’d like to learn more, this report by EY is worth a read, particularly for those working on strategies to improve neurodiversity.

In short, employers are encouraged to implement a neuro-diverse talent strategy focused on four elements:

  1. Building capability — Determine how dyslexic strengths can be deployed in the organisation to help meet business objectives.
  2. Targeting performance — Use assistive technologies, tailored processes and a specific strengths-based performance criteria to enable dyslexic individuals to perform exceptionally in roles.
  3. Driving motivation — Adjust workplace design and provide the support, coaching and mentoring schemes to build dyslexic confidence.
  4. Enhancing efficiency — Train managers to recognise, facilitate and accompany dyslexic strengths to achieve greater organisational and individual productivity.

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