Career Coaching: Managing Impulsivity at Work!

By Diksha Dua, Leadership and Career Coach

As a career coach, working within a neuro-affirmative approach, I often mull about how I can provide more effective support and co-create ideas per my client’s communication style. Neurodevelopmental disorders can often be characterized by symptoms such as inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity. In the context of work conversations, impulsivity often manifests as challenges with collaboration, blurting out thoughts, struggling with articulating perspectives at meetings etc. These behaviors can hinder professional relationships and productivity.

Here are five strategies that can be further tailored to support you with your work:

  1. Prepare for Situations: Self-awareness is key. Being aware and accepting of situations that trigger you could help you plan your support tools more effectively. Make a conscious effort to actively listen to your colleagues so that it takes the pressure off of an immediate need to respond.
  2. Plan Your Contribution: Rely on non-verbal cues to help you highlight your interest and engagement (Nodding, maintaining eye contact, taking notes etc.). Before meetings, write-down key points you want to make or during the meeting, key questions you want addressed. This can help you stay focused and on track per your agenda.
  3. Pause and Regroup: If you find yourself struggling to maintain impulse control during a conversation, develop a signal or phrase that you can use to request a brief break or ask for clarification. For example, you might say, “Excuse me, I need a moment to gather my thoughts,” or “Can you please repeat the question?” This allows you to regroup and respond more thoughtfully.
  4. Practice Role-Playing: Engage in role-playing exercises with a trusted colleague or friend to simulate work conversations. Practicing these scenarios can improve your ability to control impulses and respond effectively.
  5. Prioritize Yourself: Prioritize your comfort and capacity to be present. Do bring in fidget toys like spinners/stress balls to redirect energy, take notes to support yourself, or take breaks if you need a moment to ground within conversations. Don’t hesitate to access workplace resources, such as Employee Assistance Programs or HR support, where available. These resources can offer guidance and assistance in navigating challenging workplace interactions.

Remember that managing impulse control is a skill that can be developed over time. Experiment with these strategies and adjust them to suit your specific needs and preferences.

If you or someone else you know is struggling with questions about work, building a productive career or managing impulsivity in work relationships, please reach out to to book your sessions with me, Diksha Dua. I look forward to working with you and supporting you with your goals! (P.S. – Keep an eye out for my next blog post on perfectionism in the workplace)

#careercoaching #impulsivityatwork #leadershipcoaching #collaboration #possibilitiesclinic #adhd #autism

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