[blockquote author=”” link=”” target=”_blank”]Coaching is a growth opportunity. To develop new skills, new ways of thinking and new strategies to overcome challenges.[/blockquote]
We are often asked why our autistic candidates need coaching if they are so talented?
Coaching is about thriving instead of surviving. An individual receiving coaching has the opportunity to explore who they are as an employee; the natural talents they offer, where they are heading professionally and areas and patterns of behaviour which might not be useful to getting there.
At Xceptional, we see coaching as one of the critical pillars to building success.
Every autistic individual is uniquely different, as with any person in our global community. However as a general rule, like with many neurotypicals, self-advocacy does not come naturally for many autistic people. Through coaching, they learn ways to build structure, routine and rituals to exercise and build a growth mindset whilst becoming more resilient.
Without resilience, the workplace can be an overwhelming and anxiety-producing environment. Resilience is like water; you need to have it before you need to use it. By having the skills to overcome adversity, see positive opportunities in life and change the narrative individuals are willing to take personal risks.
[blockquote author=”Maria” link=”” target=”_blank”]My job coach is someone I can talk to all day. I feel very comfortable sharing because she is a good listener and gives advice that helps me think of a solution for every problem. She acknowledges my concerns, then walks me through it and she makes me feel that we are in this together. She also consistently tells me that she is so proud of me because of the development or progress I am making. My coaching journey helps me be better for my job and especially for myself.[/blockquote]
How does our process work?
All candidates are supported throughout their employment journey. A comprehensive onboarding assessment and report is completed before commencement in a role and this forms the basis for future coaching. Xceptional provides management support from within our job coaching team to ensure the employer is supported and has training from the very beginning, and then throughout the key stages of an employment journey.
Our Job Coaching sets each new employee up for success. The coaching may focus on:
- Problem solving
- Communication and social skill development in the workplace
- Facilitated communication between employee and line manager/mentor
- Renegotiation of workplace modifications
- Organisation and prioritisation in the workplace
- Self-advocacy and asking for help
- Managing expectations, workload and stress/anxiety in the workplace
- Dealing with conflict in the workplace
- Managing change
- Contributing to team discussions and goals
- Professional goal-setting
What are some of the challenges faced by autistic people once they are in employment?
The challenges faced by autistic individuals, like all members of the community, vary; and no one should make assumptions about what someone can or can’t do. Some autistic individuals are creative, some have amazing attention to detail, some are natural leaders, others have a natural aptitude to data, problem solving or coding. Some common challenges can include:
- Communication and self-advocacy
- Social interactions
- Sensory overload in the workplace
What support do managers need?
Many managers seek assistance and reassurance that they are doing the right thing and providing the right support. They always want the best for their teams and the individuals working for them, and they benefit from simple strategies to help build their management tool box. Some of the strategies we focus on are:
- Ask the person
- Be willing to make reasonable adjustments to better support the individual including flexible work hours, location, office environment
- Support the individual – everyone responds to different management styles
- Learn to understand the function of a behaviour
- Know your employees preferred communication modes and use them
- Use scaffolding supports
- Universal design benefits everyone
- Build relationships of trust and have the difficult conversations regularly
- Become comfortable with direct communication
Xceptional ensure regular contact between our job coach, employees, managers and mentors. Our job coaches have extensive experience working with autism and are available for 12 months from the commencement date of each new employee.
If you would like to find out more about Xceptional’s candidate care and coaching, you can email us on firstname.lastname@example.org.