When a client asks, "Should I tell my boss about my ADHD?" my answer is almost always "No." Many ADHD adults who have just received their diagnosis are so relieved and elated to know—finally—the source of their symptoms that sharing the news of their diagnosis with the world seems like a natural, liberating thing to do. They tell family, friends, and the boss, often believing that the big guy will tolerate their tardiness or missed deadlines now that he knows what's causing them.
The problem is, the boss might not. Not everyone is positive or knowledgeable about ADHD, and you don't want your boss thinking you are making excuses. Even if he does know about the condition, he may not have the time, resources, or inclination to help you overcome workplace shortcomings.
The better option is to take steps to improve your performance without telling the company that you have the condition. You can often correct some of your workplace deficiencies on your own—by using a planner or programming your iPhone to alert you to deadlines. Or you can ask your boss for help, without handing him a doctor's note saying you've been diagnosed with ADHD. Most bosses and companies are eager to accommodate an employee's request, if you can show how the change will enhance your performance. What boss worth his bonus doesn't want to get more work out of his staff?
The following step-by-step plan will help you get services at work without having to spill the beans. It will also help you manage a meeting with your employer if it does become necessary to disclose your condition.
Next: Identify Your Needs...
This article comes from the Summer 2009 issue of ADDitude.
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