Please help – judgment and decision-making at work

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This topic contains 22 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  carriebgood 4 months ago.

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  • #121882

    carriebgood
    Participant

    Hello,
    This is my first time posting here, and it’s a doozy. Sorry about that…
    I’m 33 years old (5 years post-dx and about 3-4 months post really recognizing all the effects ADHD has on my daily life). I started in a stressful middle-management type position a year ago. The person who held the job before me was there for 25 years and had a lot of institutional knowledge in her head (and not much written down). I’m doing my best to get up to speed, but my direct manager is constantly frustrated with me because of my inconsistent ability to understand when to seek her input or share information with her, and when to proceed independently (I seem to always do the opposite of what’s expected). I don’t know how to get better at this without getting a very specific job description in writing. She knows I have ADHD but doesn’t know much about it. She is very kind and empathetic, but I always feel like I am trying her patience, and as though the next mistake I make will be the one that makes her give up on me. I’m desperate — please help me explain to my boss that I can’t just know when to loop her in and when to figure things out on my own – I’m missing the part of my brain that can make those decisions! (I know that’s not scientifically accurate; I’m just really frustrated and confused right now). And that having poor judgment and decision-making abilities is not a character flaw; it’s literally something I don’t have control over… Thank you so so so much in advance for your replies. I have a meeting with her on Monday morning and would really like to be able to explain myself calmly and rationally, using data rather than an emotional appeal.

  • #121883

    InnatentiveMom
    Participant

    I dont think explaining that to her will solve anything, I think you need to create a plan that works for both of you. I would suggest writing down as many examples you can think of where this has happen6in the past. Then try to group them into specific categories that you can use to create guidelines for yourself. I.e. If a situation has over $x impact or x legal implication I will loop my boss in immediately. If not I will include it in our weekly update. Once you come up with the guideline(s) I would suggest meeting with your boss and acknowledging the issues you’ve had and presenting your proposed solution. She can then agree or offer alternatives (maybe she wants a daily bullet list email update on non urgent items for example). This process does a few things: it opens the dialogue for you both to discuss and resolve the problem and it shows her you are working to fix it, not putting it on her to deal with. Good luck!

    • #121901

      carriebgood
      Participant

      THANK YOU!!! Your answer is extremely helpful; I can’t thank you enough!

    • #122554

      R2
      Participant

      I love the matrix method too! Using your analytical skills to create repeatable procedures is brilliant.

      It’s be good to include your matrix as a step in a procedure using Lean Methodology. I’d have to stick to that simple procedure religiously for every case, no exceptions.

      Frequent communication is great as well. Ask for brief weekly meetings. It’s easier to organise communication in a smaller chunk of time. I use a bullet journal to be sure I don’t miss any thing.

      Your mind may also scan for threats like mine. I constantly feel I’m about to be fired while my boss thinks I’m doing a great job. Let her know you need frequent feedback. This also might be one ADHD thing to explain.

  • #121911

    Dizzy
    Participant

    Carrie..you said: ”

    I’m doing my best to get up to speed, but my direct manager is constantly frustrated with me because of my inconsistent ability to understand when to seek her input or share information with her, and when to proceed independently (I seem to always do the opposite of what’s expected).

    Spent many years in the business world..may I make a suggestion?

    When you are dealing with a task, come up with your own solution (or
    approach..whatever the case may be) and then check it over with your
    manager before proceeding. She may also have input that will improve
    your results.

    I’d tell her that I just want to run my plan by her, and then ask
    her if she wants you to keep her informed of the progress. In time,
    you will learn when she wants to be involved, and when she doesn’t.
    She will also appreciate the fact that you acknowledge the situation,
    and are taking the initiative to improve. You will gain confidence,
    as well.

    Whichever way you choose to go, I’m sure it will all turn out fine
    in the end. Recognizing our own limitations, and working to improve
    in those areas is a prescription for success.

    Mike

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by  Dizzy.
    • This reply was modified 4 months, 2 weeks ago by  Penny Williams.
    • #121964

      carrie.goodwiler
      Participant

      Thank you, Dizzy!!

    • #122626

      Jcjackson
      Participant

      Me too. Its so frustrating in the moment, I get young tide and say, nevermind, then walk away

  • #121917

    damnmouse
    Participant

    I had this same thing happen to me fairly recently in my life. Was a middle-manager and everything. I went through the same set of fears you seem to be, like, whether I’m working at the patience and understanding of those around me or if I’m actually doing a good job. I actually wound up quitting from stress, though retrospectively I was never disciplined by my supervisor and lived with the perception that I was inadequate and that everyone hated me in that role. After leaving I came to see that wasn’t true and many were surprised I was leaving, which surprised me. That said, I made the kind of mistakes and inefficiencies anyone with ADHD might.. if I could give my past self any advice it would be to not let that destroy me emotionally and to just keep doing the next right thing.

    • #121920

      carriebgood
      Participant

      I’m just blown away by the amazing people in this community. Your advice is excellent, damnmouse (and that’s a fun username, too) 🙂

    • #122491

      Aspliff
      Participant

      Well put. Have to learn to only deal with the stress we absolutely have to. the rest life is too short for, and does take more of a toll on us than a “normal brain”(for lack of a better word). Waste of time. I am 41 and it took many years to get to the level of comfort and being happy with who i am. If you are growing, we should all be learning more and more about this subject and ourselves till our dying day.

  • #121950

    Penny Williams
    Keymaster

    Try to set some rules for this decision. What guidelines mean it’s something to share with her and what guidelines mean that isn’t necessary? Having concrete rules will take the need to make a decision out of the equation.

    Penny
    ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

  • #122133

    carriebgood
    Participant

    UPDATE: The meeting went really well!! She does not in fact hate me (f#* rejection sensitive dysphoria, am i right?!) and thinks that I am doing a great job in the role for the most part. We just need to work on coming up with a better system for communication, and we’re both confident in our ability to do that. Thank you SO MUCH for your support; you all helped me go into the meeting with a plan, and it worked!

    • #122434

      bec_ru
      Participant

      Congratulations carriebgood!

      Great advice by all!

    • #122627

      Jcjackson
      Participant

      How can I do this with someone who would say something rude and not hear me.
      My manager is on then off, and she expects me to never make a mistake.
      She was aware 2 days after I told her, and im sure she’s forgot. Ill feel strange telling her again. What could I do to get my leaders to care and try to help me be the best I can.

  • #122447

    Dizzy
    Participant

    UPDATE: The meeting went really well!! She does not in fact hate me (f#* rejection sensitive dysphoria, am i right?!) and thinks that I am doing a great job in the role for the most part. We just need to work on coming up with a better system for communication, and we’re both confident in our ability to do that. Thank you SO MUCH for your support; you all helped me go into the meeting with a plan, and it worked!

    Sweet!

    Don’t know if it’s an ADHD thing, but it seems we often get an idea in our
    head (like our boss hates us) and it turns out to be completely incorrect
    once the truth of the matter is revealed.

    Presumption, based on facts not in evidence, has sadly been the basis
    for many wars, ruined marriages, etc.

  • #122456

    LuannKelly1980
    Participant

    Hello, and congratulations on your diagnosis at an e as early age. It was because of problems at work that I saught answers about my own mental health and was diagnosed with ADHD Innatentive Type. That was in 2014. I also had stress related depression and anxiety disorder from the long term mental work and home stress. I am now 57. In hind sight, I can see how the ADHD affected all aspects of my life and work. Number one, is make sure you are in a job you LOVE. Do you love this job? Is there enough autonomy to take advantage of your hyper focus abilities? Is creativity allowed or encouraged? Best of luck to you in your journey of discovery!:)

  • #122460

    DeanSpeedRacer
    Participant

    Thanks everyone for the posts. Really helpful posts.

  • #122487

    Aspliff
    Participant

    I fully agree with the 2nd reply about getting a plan of guidelines. Great advice and advice that all o us with ADHD should be using daily. There are definitely different ways to go about this, but all of need to be practicing something like this in our professional and personal lives. We just have to. Oh well.
    This is a great community and glad I found it.

  • #122625

    Jcjackson
    Participant

    So I hesee a lot of you say something similar has happened to me.
    Girl, your situation with your boss. Mine also knows of my anxiety anadhd. Of course, two kind weeks ok, then like always she changed back to singling me out. Expecting me to be perfect.
    Its been something I’ve work through it. I am by your side. Ill exchange any good stuff I learned or what not to learn.
    Ugh, I feel somewhat shameful when I talk to her.

    • #122731

      MrObvious
      Participant

      So one thing I’ve learned is people don’t care beyond their own cares for the most part. Are you sure that your boss is singling you out? One thing that I have learned is that people knowingly or unknowingly smell weakness in confidence. If you know you are doing your best and have a good system in place then don’t worry about it.

      If your boss has said before they like your work then I wouldn’t assume the worst. Sometimes they are hard on you to push you to improve to see if they can give you a good raise and promote you.

      If you have concerns about that flat out ask if you haven’t already, how they feel about you. Ask if there are certain behaviors that annoy them. It takes balls to ask but if you do it in a way that shows confidence and you’re being understanding it will help in the long run.

      I had a senior person (not management) get into micro managing me and it pissed me off. I would be glad when he left for the day. I talked to him and that helped some but one day he tried it and I just was especially upset and went to my desk. He realized he screwed up and came by a few minutes later and I said I was not having a good day and ever since he has been better. Sometimes you have to show that it upsets you within reason. That was an extreme example.

      Hope this helps.

  • #122942

    mgaskins
    Participant

    Didn’t I see recently that 504 benefits can apply at work? Have you investigated?

  • #122968

    BlackADDer
    Participant

    I have found that it is next to impossible to commit to performance-based indicators for work performed. That means I have gravitated to roles that tend to be open-ended. The usually are ones that aren’t project-based and rely on providing support roles across the organisation, where you have no fixed or time-based goals. Right now, I am providing a help-desk support to a mediumish-sized local government agency. There is a primary need to provide operational advice and fixes on-demand, not to arrange to work to a plan.

    Saying that however, I have always found that if I provide enough evidence-based results to bosses that there is a minimal risk of having conflict with line-managers. That means having to provide a regular report on activities and outcomes and reporting on ‘extras’, items that have come up and may or may not be resolved. I have had to invent some methods of quantifying things that take place that aren’t even obvious to others and find metrics that are suitable to make an impression. A monthly report with clear graphics and a comparison between previous months or other periods means that you have solid evidence that work is taking place and can be measured.

    I am hoping that this is of some use. If you are required to also direct and monitor the work of others, I’d suggest looking to other supervisory staff that have a rep as being honest performers – not just stars or those who are the best performers. You need to have their advice on how to deal with difficult situations or difficult staff as that can be the worst problems. Ones where you have to maintain a regular focus and constantly monitor someone. Not our strong points as we tend to BE that person.

  • #122993

    carriebgood
    Participant

    Ok so I want to reply to everyone individually but I can’t figure out how to on mobile 🙂 I just want to continue to say THANK YOU!! I’m in awe of the excellent ideas and support that continue to flow in. I LOVE the idea of making my accomplishments visible and presenting reports to my boss. I think I can do that!! Y’all are the best.

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