Fitting Into The Group
Description: In this episode, Melissa and Maribeth (from ADD Professionals) examine the characteristics of how the ADD mind works in groups and share strategies to work well with others.
There are three characteristics of the ADD brain that are great advantages, but in a group setting, they can really work against us. In fact, they can make us seem like that “weird person who must have ADD!” These three characteristics are:
2. Intuitive Leaps
1. Hyperfocus. Hyperfocus is our ability to focus intensely on something that we are really interested in. ADDers can, when in hyperfocus, get twice as much done or think twice as fast in half the time, compared to most brains. This can be a great advantage, particularly when a deadline is looming or creativity is needed.
However, when in hyperfocus, ADDers can appear to others to be inattentive, inconsiderate or pushy. This is because we are “hot on the trail” of an idea or project that can appear to be more important than them.
The tipping point here is to be aware of how we are coming across to others. We can stop and take a moment to make a considerate comment, letting them know that we are aware of and appreciative of their contribution. We can do this without loosing our hyperfocus, and it will help us to stay in the group “flow” so to speak.
2. Intuitive Leaps. Most people think in a linear fashion – A B C D. ADDers, however, often think in intuitive leaps. We can go from A to Q to Z, intuitively filling in the spaces. This is where creative ideas come from – that seemingly “out of the box” thinking that results in new ideas, innovations or humor.
However, when we are in a group that is doing ABCD thinking, blurting out a “Q” can make it seem like we are not paying attention or “getting off track” when the group is still at D. Awkward!
The tipping point here is to be aware of the “leap” that our brain has just made and just quietly make note of it. Then we can wait and insert it when the group gets to Q, being careful to fill in the gaps, so others can see how logical it is.
3. Distractibility. ADDers are often distracted by something that can get us “off track”, thinking about something seemingly unrelated to the conversation. Again, this is where great, creative ideas come from!
However, when the group is on a schedule, a comment about this tangential, “off the track” thought can seem like an interruption and be very irritating. This is what often times seems “weird” about ADDers. It is also what can make ADDers feel weird about themselves!
The tipping point here is to be aware that we have been distracted and are “off in another world” thinking about something that, to us, is very logical, related and important. Just stop and quietly, take note of it. Then return to the flow of conversation, waiting patiently to include that thought when it is more appropriate.
ADDers have an important place in group functions. We offer great “out of the box”, creative ideas, and can remain enthusiastic to the end. By remembering how to present these ideas in an appropriate way, we can more successfully remain a part of the flow of a conversation or project. It is a great feeling!