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Opening Doors to New Possibilities

There's No "I" in Teamwork ...
And Other Principles of Professionalism

by Michele Novotni, Ph.D.

When Hillary* met with the rest of the editorial team, it was all about Hillary. She talked constantly about her story ideas and gave others little chance to speak. When they did, Hillary found a million reasons why their ideas wouldn't work as well as hers. Soon Hillary, who believed she was the team’s most valuable member, found herself off the lineup and out of a job.

Like many with AD/HD, Hillary didn't realize that succeeding on a team requires a heightened awareness of others. You have to be able to listen, contribute ideas and provide task support based on what you've heard. Remember, there is no “I” in teamwork.

Managing yourself and your own tasks is difficult enough when you have AD/HD. The added complexities of different personalities and interaction styles can be overwhelming. But these days, many companies prefer that people work in teams, because productivity exceeds the results of individuals working alone. If your company values and requires teamwork, here are important principles to keep in mind.

Appreciate your unique gifts and talents as well as those of your co-workers. Lead with your strengths and encourage other team members to do the same. Cherish diversity rather than bemoaning what you or others are not. Not everyone is "detail oriented." Nor is everyone an "idea person."

* Not her real name

Michele Novotni, Ph.D., is a psychologist, coach, author, and international speaker specializing in AD/HD. She is past president of the Attention Deficit Disorder Association (ADDA), and is in private practice in Pennsylvania.

This article is published by permission from ADDitude Magazine ©2004. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited. Subscribe to ADDitude online or via toll-free phone 888-762-8475.

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