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Transforming the Workplace: The Superpower of Dyslexic Thinking for Enhanced Productivity and Innovation By Leon McQuade 


Diversity is a hot topic in today's workplaces. Employers have sought ways to create a more inclusive environment where everyone can shine and showcase their unique abilities. 
Dyslexia, a neurological condition that impacts reading and writing abilities, is more common than we think and has been associated with many successful people like Richard Branson, Agatha Christie, Steven Spielberg, and even myself! 
Diversity is vital to creating a thriving work environment. Yet many people feel their unique skills and talents aren’t understood or valued by their employers. Dyslexic people, in particular, are often overlooked and misunderstood in the workplace. However, research has shown that dyslexic individuals can have incredible strengths in problem-solving, creativity, and outside-the-box thinking. 
This blog will discuss how dyslexic people can excel in the workplace and what employers can do to embrace and harness their unique talents. 

Dyslexia: A Blessing in Disguise 

It’s estimated that up to 10% of the population has dyslexia, according to the British Dyslexia Association and yet it is still largely misunderstood in the workplace. 
Research by LinkedIn and Made By Dyslexia found that many dyslexic people don't feel their skills and talents are understood by their employers and found that dyslexic people possess unique skills that can make them a valuable asset to any workplace. 
Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, has dyslexia and has spoken openly about how it has been a blessing in disguise. “Dyslexia was a blessing in disguise for myself,” the billionaire adventurer told Daniel Roth in a recent interview ‘This Is Working’. 
"I think we are all in life; if we have difficulties in one area, we'll excel in another area. And dyslexics, I think, more so than most." 
"Managers will find that dyslexic people are likely to excel at certain things in the company that non-dyslexic people can't excel at,” - says Branson. 
Branson's latest mission is to raise awareness and make dyslexic thinking a widely recognised skill. ‘Dyslexia is my superpower’ 

Embracing Dyslexia in the Workplace 

So why are dyslexic people often overlooked in the workplace? This is mainly due to a need for more understanding by employers. 
Dyslexia is often viewed as a deficit rather than a superpower. However, understanding and embracing differences in your workforce can unlock hidden strengths and open up opportunities for people who may have previously been undervalued. 
Managers can significantly benefit from being aware of an individual's neurodivergence, such as dyslexia or ADHD, as it enables them to provide essential support and understanding. 
Here are some ways employers can embrace dyslexia in the workplace and bring out the superpowers of their dyslexic employees: 

Dyslexia as a Superpower 

Dyslexia is often misunderstood as a disability that holds people back from reaching their full potential. However, People with dyslexia are often highly creative, innovative, and out-of-the-box thinkers. 
They are great at tasks that involve complex problem-solving, creativity, strategic thinking, and big-picture analysis. Dyslexic individuals are often empathetic and able to think laterally, which can be incredibly valuable in specific industries. 
They can visualise complex concepts in their minds, see things from different perspectives, and develop innovative solutions to problems that stumped others. People with dyslexia can be great at strategic thinking, problem-solving, and hands-on tasks that involve mechanical or creative skills. 
Most importantly, if people with dyslexia are given tasks they are particularly interested in, they will excel at them. This is because they are highly motivated by activities that stimulate their unique ways of thinking and learning. 
Valuable advice: you don't need to excel in everything, but rather focus on being exceptional in the areas that ignite your passion! 

Overcoming Challenges 

Despite their many strengths, dyslexic people face many challenges in the workplace. Many people with dyslexia struggle with reading, writing, and spelling, affecting their communication ability. People with dyslexia may also have difficulty following written instructions, completing paperwork, and doing tasks that require attention to detail. 
As a result, people with dyslexia may avoid tasks they know they will struggle with and miss out on opportunities to showcase their talents. Employers can help dyslexic people succeed by providing reasonable accommodations, such as assistive technology and clear instructions that reduce the impact of their neurodiversity. 
Valuable advice: don't be afraid to ask for help or accommodations that will enable you to showcase your superpowers and reach your full potential! 

Tech Solutions for Dyslexia 

One way to help dyslexic employees is to provide them with the tools they need to thrive. This might include assistive technology such as text-to-speech software or specialist coaching and training. Many dyslexia-friendly fonts and design techniques can help make written materials more accessible to dyslexic individuals. 
AI can be used as a machine to propel the abilities of people with dyslexia. Tools like ChatGpt can be utilised to make communication more efficient and accessible for people with dyslexia. With the help of AI, chatbots can transcribe voice messages into text, allowing dyslexic individuals to communicate effectively without worrying about spelling or grammar mistakes. 
For instance, 66% of dyslexic individuals in the UK believe that AI tools such as ChatGPT could be beneficial in supporting their career advancement. 
By embracing technology and utilising its capabilities, employers can create a more inclusive workplace environment for dyslexic employees. 
Valuable advice: don't let dyslexia hold you back; use technology to unlock your full potential and showcase your superpowers! 

Creating an Inclusive Workplace 

One of the most essential ways to embrace dyslexia in the workplace is to create an inclusive culture that values diversity and promotes equal opportunity. Employers can educate themselves and their staff about dyslexia, its challenges and strengths.  
They can encourage open communication, provide flexibility with tasks and deadlines, and offer training to help dyslexic employees develop more effective coping strategies. Most importantly, employers can acknowledge and appreciate the unique strengths and skills that dyslexic employees have to offer to the team. 
It’s also important to have a supportive and inclusive work culture where employees feel comfortable disclosing their dyslexia. Dyslexic individuals often have to expend much mental energy on tasks that non-dyslexic people take for granted, such as reading and writing. By creating a culture where this is understood and accommodated, dyslexic employees can feel valued and supported. 
Valuable advice: be open about your dyslexia and use it to enhance the team's diversity and problem-solving skills! 

Recruiting and Nurturing Dyslexic Talent 

Employers can also take steps to recruit and nurture dyslexic talent to gain a competitive edge. They can partner with organisations and networks that support dyslexia and look for candidates who have dyslexia as an asset. Moreover, employers can provide professional development opportunities, such as mentoring, coaching, and skills training, to help dyslexic employees reach their full potential. 
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has already shown it can be used to help individuals with dyslexia. Companies like Lexxic use AI and machine learning to provide personalised coaching for individuals with specific learning differences, such as dyslexia, ADHD, and autism. This software can assist employees in understanding their strengths and challenges and provide personalised strategies to help them excel in the workplace. 
Another way to embrace differences in the workplace is to recognise and reward diverse perspectives. Dyslexic employees may have different ways of thinking, problem-solving, and communicating. You can improve your company’s innovation and creativity by leveraging these unique strengths. Encourage employees to share their ideas and perspectives and facilitate a culture of collaboration and respectful disagreement. 
Valuable advice: don't just recruit for skills; embrace diversity and nurture talents to drive innovation and success! 

Change Starts with You 

Change needs to start with individual leaders and business owners to make a lasting impact. Self-awareness, empathy, and a growth mindset are essential for creating a more inclusive and diverse workplace. By embracing dyslexia in the workplace and harnessing the unique superpowers of dyslexic people, employers can benefit from increased creativity, innovation, and productivity. 
Hidden skills are all around us, waiting to be discovered. It is the responsibility of individuals to uncover them, while managers must find ways to harness their potential. Moreover, when it comes to areas where individuals may lack proficiency, AI and digital technology can offer valuable assistance. 
Valuable advice: embrace neurodiversity and create a workplace culture that values unique perspectives, strengths and abilities! 

Dyslexia: Unleashing the Superpower Within 

In conclusion, dyslexia is not a deficit but a superpower that can bring unique strengths and skills to the workplace. It’s simply a difference in the way individuals process information. 
Dyslexic people often possess creativity, innovation, problem-solving, and strategic thinking skills, making them valuable assets to any team. By embracing technology, employers can unlock the full potential of their dyslexic employees. 
Dyslexia may present some challenges. However, by embracing differences, employers can unlock hidden potential and create a more inclusive and innovative work environment by taking steps to reduce the impact of dyslexia, recruit and nurture dyslexic talent, provide the tools and support necessary for dyslexic employees to succeed, and recognise and reward diverse perspectives. 
By working together, we can unleash the power of dyslexia to build a better, more innovative future for all and help your company thrive by creating a more inclusive and successful workplace. 
I proudly embrace dyslexic thinking as my superpower at work. So, I'm curious: what is your superpower at work? What special abilities or qualities do you bring to the table that set you apart and contribute to your success? Share your story! 


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