Is anyone here a manager with Asperger's?

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managertina
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30 Oct 2012, 10:11 pm

I have tried to find info on this online. Not much out there. I could do with having fellow aspies to bounce ideas off of.



Vomelche
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30 Oct 2012, 11:28 pm

I suspect one to be



patdbunny
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31 Oct 2012, 11:57 am

I have been in the past. Two different industries for multiple years each. Does that count?



chiastic_slide
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31 Oct 2012, 2:23 pm

I turned down a secondment, as I am just not good with managing people or the social aspect, although I am friendly with colleagues I don't have much to say that is not work-related, and I would feel uncomfortable and lost, although from their point of view I am reliable and would be good at the number-crunching side of things. I did recently apply for an office manager job, but I did it for all the wrong reasons: someone I am forced to sit next to constantly sets my sensory radar off and the work environment is utterly horrid, (dirty, stuffy, noisy, a vent blowing cold air 24/7 that no one will shut off). I did not get to interview stage.



androbot2084
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31 Oct 2012, 4:55 pm

I became a supervisor on a job once. Some workers wanted me to run for President.



managertina
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31 Oct 2012, 11:43 pm

So, one of the first things I am dealing with is the so called "water cooler" gossip. Have to deal with it tomorrow at a staff meeting. And networking, also tomorrow. And the double message thing today. I apparently have just heard that some people ask to "tell". That is, say "Would you consider doing this?" rather than "Doing this is necessary." It did not dawn on me that my idea-generating process was seen as a "you have to do this" process. I am only mildly frustrated. And different people having different perceptions on what they should be doing so I have to round them all up to talk about duty rosters and supporting each other.

Have any of you been through this before?

And do any of you have tips on learning to read stress in other people's body language? And planning people's workflows to avoid burnout?

This being said, this place is wonderful in all other respects, and filled with people who are really are dedicated. My manager is awesome and supportive. I like the people who report to me. Sometimes, I feel like I report to them too. I feel it is a mutual process. Also, I get my own workspace where I am less interrupted. In one of my previous workspaces, I had to respond to a doorbell that alerted me to when people needed my help. Hearing the doorbell in the middle of being zoned in on payroll was... not wonderful.

Any management literature you would recommend?

This is really reassuring. There are so few places where people will understand Asperger's.



patdbunny
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01 Nov 2012, 10:57 am

managertina wrote:
And the double message thing today. I apparently have just heard that some people ask to "tell". That is, say "Would you consider doing this?" rather than "Doing this is necessary." It did not dawn on me that my idea-generating process was seen as a "you have to do this" process.

I've never been able to "read between the lines" on the questions that are actually "you have to do this". I have to follow up with questions/statements like - "So are we in agreement that this (add specifics so "this" is understood) is going to be implemented?" "What time frame are we looking at to implement this?" I have to have a concrete understanding of what direction things are going in. I have had conversations with others in supervisory positions including my supervisors, wherein I tell them I need direct statements. I need time frame expectations. I generally ping back to them my plan of attack and get an acknowledgement that they are in agreement/understanding of what my roadmap for the project will be. For me this has been a very successful approach. BTW - I never knew I was an aspie during those times. I just knew myself and what I needed to get the job done. Other supervisors/bosses seem to be very receptive and appreciative that they don't need to beat around the bush or p**** foot around. Personally, I wouldn't mention the aspergers at all. I would't want to be seen as using that as a reason for accommodation or excuse for lesser performance.

managertina wrote:
And do any of you have tips on learning to read stress in other people's body language? And planning people's workflows to avoid burnout?
I know I can't read body language, etc. unless someone is outright crying in front of me or otherwise behaving in an extreme emotional manner. I'm formulaic in "bonding" with others and gauge my success by their productivity and cooperativeness. I'll try to rotate 5-10 minutes of chit chat with each individual (of course this depends how many people you are in charge of). I pay special attention to make mental note (or in a pocket notebook) of something "special" with each individual and make efforts to mention that "special" thing in passing with that person (such as - how's the new grandbaby? How are you taking your daughter's move to college? Are you feeling better from yesterday's stomach ache? How's your bunyon? Is your husband's flatulence any better?) Say "thank you" and "great job" a lot and make sure to tie those statements in with a specific thing such as "that report was very thorough". And I'm big on little trinkets on occasion - cute pens and office supplies from the dollar store are cheap and easy. These "appreciative", "you're an individual to me" gestures seem to diffuse stress, etc. As for burnout - I dunno. I observe and figure if I can handle, then they can handle.

There's a book called Get Anyone to Do Anything that I found very helpful in learning Jedi Mind Tricks.



managertina
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04 Nov 2012, 12:33 am

I really liked your detailed reply.

I also liked your ideas about the little gifts for coworkers. Things like that could really go a long way. And your notes on the chitchat validated what I am doing already, so I am grateful for that. And being straight out with the employees is a good validator. I try to lay out the options quite clearly {there are a, b, and c possibilities. If a happens, this is the outcome. b=outcome, c=outcome}. I continue to be as clear of a communicator as possible, and have really come to see the value of that.

Yes, and having Aspergers is no good reason not do do your utmost or to try. I actually believe having Asperger's has given me some diligence to try things and be persistent enough to achieve. My only regret is that I did not know about my Asperger's sooner so that I could have worked through my problems a bit faster when I was living with family and friends in a more urban area with services, instead of being 1000 miles away. But it is only a mild regret, as I have said here that life is just that much better.

Thanks also for the reading reccomendation.

Tina



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04 Nov 2012, 10:20 am

I manage our technical group. Most (I suspect) are NTs; the rest may or may not have some kind of syndrome or disorder (I'm not about to ask).

The first thing I learned is that none of the management classes prepared me for any real-world issues.

The second thing I learned is to treat all requests from higher-ups like direct orders.

The third thing I learned is to prioritize my activities.

The fourth thing I learned is that not matter how well you do the job, someone is going to find some reason to criticize your methods.

The fifth thing I learned is that most critics can be ignored.

The sixth thing I learned is that no supervisor, co-worker, or "underling" can be your friend.

The seventh thing I learned is to document everything -- every meeting, every rumor, every email, every phone call -- and keep this information in a secure place, preferably away from the workplace.


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patdbunny
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04 Nov 2012, 7:10 pm

Fnord wrote:
The first thing I learned is that none of the management classes prepared me for any real-world issues.

Luckily, I never took any management classes. So no preconceived notions.

Fnord wrote:
The sixth thing I learned is that no supervisor, co-worker, or "underling" can be your friend.

I completely agree. You can come across very friendly, but keep the distinction at least in your mind. You will get thrown under the bus by who you thought was your work friend. You may have to seriously shaft your "friend". Keep real friends out of work.

Fnord wrote:
The seventh thing I learned is to document everything -- every meeting, every rumor, every email, every phone call -- and keep this information in a secure place, preferably away from the workplace.
100% agree. My second management position I was specifically hired on to document for termination of personnel.

Different methods work for different people. My first supervisory position, I had not yet learned you can get more flies with honey. I was pretty pressuring and mean. I got results, but I had to micromanage and be on top of things a lot more, and obviously people didn't really like me. I was respected by higher ups as I did get results. That method's a lot more labor intensive than figuring out how to be nicer and a better social engineer.



managertina
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04 Nov 2012, 10:46 pm

Am so glad that I got diagnosed and signed up with Wrong Planet.

Number three on prioritization has been a big learning event over the past six months, and I can't agree more. I took a management course and it was too easy. Very much a bird course. The good old agenda is the best friend. And I have lately started to briefly discuss monthly targets and priority projects with my manager.

Number six and Number 7 are hard for me right now, but important. The hard thing is is that my two coworkers look like best friends, and try as I might, they look made for conversation, whereas I am more quiet. And am more focused on keeping lunch hours to 60 minutes and being there at 9 sharp then they are. I do make honest efforts for conversation that is work related. One thing that is lucky though is that one individual has let me know about the different team dynamics and will hear out my solutions on the time to time basis that I need an objective set of ears. I am developing family outside of work (my real family lives 1000 miles away), and it is making altogether the best difference.

One thing that they do not teach in management class: how to ask a question so that you are really offering up a set of solutions and evaluating their pros and cons. This may seem like basic information, but was quite a revelation.

My question on Number 7 and notes is the following: do you take brief summaries and then document them later, after the fact? Or do you write all your notes there and then and just make sure that they are secure to store elsewhere? I am in a union environment and so far am lucky with a committed staff, so I have not had to make a great deal of disciplinary actions and unpopular decisions. I dread the day when I might have to fire someone, and that will require a good deal of documentation.

Yet another question: I know that there are different methods to preparing for a job review, but I have not really had all that many. My current job really only asks what you could do better, what you would like to do, and what you are doing well at. Literally, only three short questions. I am keeping/updating a list of things that have gone well, and will be making more formal notes based on my agenda lists, but what else have you found helpful? One of my things on my to do list is update the good ole portfolio.

I cannot reiterate how much I have found this all helpful.

Also, do you tend to deal with your employees as their issues come up? Or do you assault them with trends? After only two months in my last position, my supervisor had gathered two months worth of trends on things that I had genuinely not known due to it being my first permanent job, and by that point, I had to try and catch up for all that lost time, which was stressful. I try now to deal with stuff almost case by case and to let people know I spot the good as well as the bad. Which is harder to do than not saying anything, but more rewarding, and I am making every effort to keep a balance between letting them do their stuff and hovering.

Anyways, thanks for all of the tips!

This Aspie is really liking them!



managertina
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05 Nov 2012, 12:17 am

And,

patdbunny, in one of your previous posts, you mentioned about not mentioning the Asperger's due to having a good excuse for a lesser performance, is bang on with what I am worried about and is my only drawback to not mentioning it. My quirks are likely getting more known despite my attempts to fit in, but I have no desire to be seen as less driven and less achieving. The concern on the other side is that I was thought of as "weird" at my last job and want to do all that I can to avoid that now. Knowing about the triggers and all of Asperger's and dealing with them, including through the tips here, is helping immensely on the nuts and bolts side of the job, and so far, it looks like I might be more of a keeper now.



patdbunny
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05 Nov 2012, 2:03 pm

managertina wrote:
And,patdbunny, in one of your previous posts, you mentioned about not mentioning the Asperger's due to having a good excuse for a lesser performance, is bang on with what I am worried about and is my only drawback to not mentioning it. My quirks are likely getting more known despite my attempts to fit in, but I have no desire to be seen as less driven and less achieving. The concern on the other side is that I was thought of as "weird" at my last job and want to do all that I can to avoid that now. Knowing about the triggers and all of Asperger's and dealing with them, including through the tips here, is helping immensely on the nuts and bolts side of the job, and so far, it looks like I might be more of a keeper now.

I guess I see Asperger's as similar to being black, white, asian, hispanic, female, male, etc. What do those things have to do with your ability at the job? It shouldn't. If one is unable to do their job due to the Asperger's (or other factors), then it's simply they are not qualified to do the job - not because they have Asperger's.
I know I'm weird and have always been weird. But I'm really good at my job, so I don't worry about being weird. Right now in my current job, I have the BIGGEST potty mouth and drop F Bombs like crazy WHEN THERE ARE NO CLIENTS IN THE OFFICE. When there are clients around, I'm super uptight and professional. My personality is definitely seen as weird, but it doesn't seem to bother anyone I work with (including my prissy boss). If my boss were to approach me and tell me to cut it out, I would.
My experience has been - perform and perform well and weirdness doesn't seem to bother people so long as you're not offensive to anyone. I guess I've never cared about "fitting in", so I've never cared that I was "weird". I've been "weird" for as long as I can remember. For me, personally, it's easier to seem VERY "weird" than trying to be overly normal and coming across as "creepy weird". . . if that makes any sense.
I tend to address issues immediately as they come up. Some of the lazy/wiley ones pretend they don't remember the incident(s) you're addressing (or maybe indeed they don't know what you're talking about). I just think each incident as they come up is easier to deal with than a whole string of them at once. Kinda like in a personal relationship, if your SO doesn't tell you something bothers them and then brings up a bunch of stuff months later, it's hard to deal with. If it were brought to your attention immediately, you can deal with it right away instead of letting habit establish.
As for the documenting, you'll have to figure out a system that works for you. I keep a pocket calendar and write notes in it to keep track of what's of note on a particular date.



managertina
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13 Nov 2012, 12:19 am

Folks, it's the moment of truth. I have my job review on Monday...

So much rides on this.

I have not had a single serious discussion in the last six months.

YAY!

At my last job, it was a serious conversation every 5 or 6 days.

Let's hope it stays that way...



patdbunny
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19 Nov 2012, 1:25 pm

Welll. . . .
How did it go?



Jeff1981
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19 Nov 2012, 2:12 pm

I managed a dairy farm for about 18 months. Then the industry tanked and I was downsized. Now I run my own business.

In my case, the AS actually helped me manage the place- I just ignored all the social stuff and did the job. Production was up 30% from the person I replaced. Of course, the employees hated me because I didn't gossip with them. Tough for them I guess.