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Disability Narratives

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Audio clip: Paul’s manager was not just understanding about his dyslexia but sees how it is balanced by the strengths Paul brings to the team.

Yeah, so there's a couple of things. Most, mostly it's down to understanding. Understanding that sometimes there will be spelling errors, or stuff might not make sense. But also understanding that I'm never going to be able to take minutes from a meeting. I can either be involved in the meeting, or I can sit and try and take notes. I can't sit and - I really can't sit and take notes and be involved. Even when I'm having a one to one with my staff, they get a scribbled note, but they'll never get detailed minutes and things like that. So, that kind of understanding.

So describing my issues to my managers has been - in anything but the broadest terms is quite difficult, because I don't know what normal is, for want of a better word. Their support has been more around accepting the errors I make, and the weaknesses I have, in return for what I bring to the team in my strengths. So it's more that sort of understanding that. And it's understanding around things like I might be distracted, or wander off sometimes, or what have you, but that's not me being lazy or whatever. Just them seeing that what I do bring to the team and what I do - the work I do produce - and they're not just - A lot of it really is around good management. What I see as good management. It's seeing people's strengths, seeing that not everybody works in the same way. And it's that kind of understanding they, they've given more than anything.

It's partly them balancing them against each other, but also not necessarily expecting me to do the same as other people. And I think a lot of it is down to - in my opinion - just general good management practice. Value the strengths of each individual, and compensate for the weaknesses. Ensure that when you've got - if you've got two people with different strengths, there's no point in trying to get them to do the same job, give each one - whilst they may have the same job description and same job title, give each one what they're strong at. And try and - the weakest bits, try and - If neither of them are strong at something, then try and balance that, and give them - or support them, and whoever's the strongest at something, if there's things that has to be done, but - not just expect everybody to be the same. It's just good management anywhere, in my opinion.