Dyslexic strengths in the world of work

The Value of Dyslexia report goes into a lot of detail on the strengths that those with dyslexia have. I really encourage anybody of any background to have a read, especially those who interact with people with dyslexia – a real insight is provided! Specifically looking at pages 16-to-17 and 20-to-21, I will be going into detail of how my communication skills have supported creative problem-solving, cognitive flexibility, and visualisation/imagery. But at the same time, unfolding my use of the term ‘connecting’ that aids my expertise when interacting with my youth athletes.

It’s funny, when being sent this report and reading it, I noted how it resonated with my coaching, and learning within the Master of Science I am studying right now – it goes to show how relatable learning processes are in different areas, and how thinking is so complex. I am very driven by psychological perspectives and how as a coach I create thought provoking processes for my athletes. On page 16, Steve Hatch says “…make connections, understand people and to build a creative narrative” – I completely agree!!

My process of connecting and communicating:

  1. Gain trust.
  2. Understand who your athletes are (needs, type of person and level of ability);
  3. Meet needs and allow athletes to be expressive.

How does my dyslexic communication support me on this?

Manage people and organise the environment and motivate, use reflective practise on myself and others (re-understanding), and another visualisation, using ‘imagery’ – create a mental situation factor to aid the development of an athlete. My dyslexia, a lot of the time, works in patterns, and in fact, me over thinking things, but this like many others allows my processing of a task to improve. Once I have this, it’s to motivate, empower and simplify complex tasks into stages for effective learning, to essentially create an environment that making mistakes are ok! To be expressive and creative, again not to worry about mistakes that you may make. The whole process provides me a base to communicate, interact and develop my athletes into players I want them to be, that will aid them for the future.

My dyslexia has allowed me to have more of a connection with people, to be an influencer that people can trust, which supports my communication and interacting with people. This makes my life so much easier; I am not going to lie the process can take time but in the long run, do these skills help me in my role as a youth football coach? Yes! In an academic sense? Yes!

Advice…think about what people need? Are you an educator of some sort, or do you manage people? Use your skills to your advantage, and think back to a point where you maybe struggled, what would you have liked someone to do to help you? Can you use this to help others? And then gather your understandings and create a mental structure to support those in need, emphasis your enthusiasm and motivation, use your thought processes to your advantage to simplify for others and allow people to be creative with it – your expertise will only improve by reflecting on not only yourself but others as well!

Daniel Hiddleston, Youth Football Coach and guest blogger