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9 Comments to
5 Tips for Working With Someone With ADHD

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  1. Ask them to describe conditions wherein they’ve found they’re peak productivity

  2. With HIPPA laws in place, knowing someone’s diagnosis of ADHD is rare. I would probably be more understanding of the needs of someone diagnosed, if I knew that they had a problem. There are some people who are slackers too. So how do I tell the difference?

    • It’s true that you won’t know someone’s diagnosis unless they choose to share that information with you, although you might pick up on signs of possible ADHD. On the other hand, if someone is behaving in a way that’s consistent with ADHD and it’s causing problems, there’s no reason not to try some of these strategies and see if it works.

      Even if people don’t have ADHD (or if they don’t or you don’t know they have ADHD), you’re still going to get better results if you help them create the conditions they work best under. So a less catchy title for this blog might be “5 Things to Try If You’re Working With Someone Who Has Behaviors Consistent With ADHD, and If These Things Work Keep Doing Them, and If Not Don’t, Regardless of Whether the Person Has an Official Diagnosis or Not.” 😉

      As far as the difference between people who have ADHD and people who are “slackers,” I think it’s never helpful to see someone’s behavior as a result of “laziness” and stop there — whether ADHD is involved or not. “Laziness” isn’t really an explanation for anything. It’s just a way of saying someone isn’t doing something we think they should be doing. To actually get anywhere, you have to ask why they aren’t doing that thing, and ADHD may or may not be part of the answer to that question.

      • Neil,

        Thank you for responding, and yes, I understand better now.

  3. I work with a woman who has ADHD. I believe it is very severe and that her medication needs to be changed. She shares TMI with me, telling me about the frequency of her sex life with her husband, her bathroom details with IBS, non-stop chatter, has to speak to every person who passes her desk and will say hello again even though you have greeted each other in the morning, it’s like you never have. She inserts herself into every conversation that is between two people if it is near or around her, and constantly wants to know what everyone is doing, going, etc. It is exhausting, intrusive and I am going out of MY mind with this constant over excited person. She is a 60 year old woman that should know by now how to monitor her medication and learned a few things this late in life, right?? Whenever she is involved with any action that involves other people, sh takes way too long to explain by over explaining things by being way too detailed. So much could be said by being concise and succinct and quit wasting others time. I think the thing that bothers me the most is her assertive intrusive manner when she hears two people talking quietly, about something that does not involve her whatsoever. She is disrespectful about people’s relationship/friendship and instead of understanding people have a relationship that they share, she inserts herself consistently into a conversation giving her opinion about subject matter in which, nobody invited her to. She is so distracted by her own mind and cannot stay on task with any of her work, and can never meet a deadline. She constantly goes in 12 different directions, most of the time with things that have nothing to do with her job. I wear earpods and listen to music, but she does not always respect that either. I only need to spend one day a week in her work area, but I am ready to explode and say something. I feel I am normally a compassionate person and not all of this behavior is uncontrollable. I don’t see her making any attempt to control herself. I keep praying for tolerance and kindness and so far I am hanging on but close to the edge of talking to her like a five year old.

    • Oh my gosh inquisitive, this almost sounds like you are describing my coworker. My coworker comes out very loudly and announces to anyone and all that the reason she can’t do this or that or why she doesn’t excel at certain tasks is because she is add/adhd. So the entire world knows. But even if she didn’t admit to it, most customers still guess because she’s all over the place. To the employees working with her, we all have to work double hard to keep cleaning up after everything she has left behind. My other coworker has said “it’s like following behind a 2 year old in a room full of knives” Yes that is the stress every single day. I feel like I am slowly losing my own sanity as I’m following behind this person non stop, 5 days a week, cleaning, fixing, protecting her feelings, etc etc.

      • The recommendations suggested would be appropriate for someone who has seniority or authority. Being on a peer level and managing one’s own workload with interruptions, disruptions, last minute changes, and ongoing inconsistencies makes for a chaotic environment.


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