Thursday, July 14, 2011

Casey Anthony is Scheduled to be Released from Jail on Sunday, July 17

Casey Anthony is scheduled to be released from jail on Sunday and several people have asked me my opinion of the situation. I recorded my thoughts on what I think she'll do in this video:

My iMovie audio is out of sync with the video. Hang in there - this is short. I'm a psychologist not a techy! :) Thanks for watching it!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

5 Surprises About AD/HD in the Workplace

Do any of these statements apply to you?
  • "I know what I want to say but I can't get the words out."
  • "I have trouble getting the little things done each day."
  • "I get really frustrated when I have to wait in line." 
  • "People accuse me of lying but I'm don't lie." 
  • "Crowds and noisy places bug me." 
  • "My teachers didn't like me in school." 
The above statements are what adults I have diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) have said to me as I interviewed them during my evaluation. I was recently interviewed by D Magazine for an article called "AD/HD in the Workplace."

Approximately 5% of the adult population is estimated to have AD/HD. It wasn't long ago that AD/HD was seen as a childhood disorder where symptoms were thought to disappear with the onset of puberty. Clear scientific evidence shows that AD/HD continues into adulthood. While most adults were diagnosed as children, there are many adults who are undiagnosed.

Symptoms of AD/HD that you probably already know are:

  • Difficulty concentrating and paying attention to details.
  • Trouble sitting still for long periods of time.
  • Short fuse.
  • Putting things off.
  • Tardiness.
  • Forgetfulness in daily activities.
  • Getting criticized for interrupting people.
  • Being disorganized and having a messy car, home or office.
  • Starting projects without thinking through the steps.
  • Failing to finish tasks.
  • Click here for a longer checklist.
Adults with AD/HD are more likely to:
  • Buy on impulse and have trouble saving money.
  • Receive speeding tickets.
  • Be involved in car crashes where they are at fault.
  • Smoke and/or use drugs.
  • Exhibit road rage and aggressive driving when angered.
  • Get fired or quit a job out of boredom.
  • Be disciplined on the job by a manager or supervisor.
  • Have higher marital dissatisfaction although not a higher divorce rate.
    Here are 5 surprises about AD/HD:
    1. AD/HD does exist and is not a conspiracy by scientists to medicate people. It is a real medical condition that is biologically based.
    2. AD/HD is not simply a lack of willpower.
    3. Bad parenting does not cause AD/HD. However, studies show a genetic predisposition for AD/HD within families.
    4. Adults with AD/HD are not stupid or lazy. Recent studies reveal that people with AD/HD actually tend to have above average intelligence but it does not show because of the AD/HD.
    5. AD/HD can be treated without medication. New research indicates that you can improve brain functioning with direct, deliberate practice. This is called neuroplasticity. Relaxation, concentration and other self management exercises can improve the ability to sustain attention in some people.

    Before starting any medication you should be properly diagnosed. Anxiety, depression or learning disabilities can be disguised as AD/HD. In my clinical practice I use the Quotient/ADHD System to assess for AD/HD in children, adolescents and adults.

    To stay in the Smart Zone learn more about AD/HD. If you think you might have it, get tested by a qualified professional. It could help you refocus your career and personal life.

    All assessments for AD/HD should be comprehensive and also assess for emotional factors and the influence of present stressors. Your quality of life, your effectiveness at work and home, and your relationships can benefit from knowing if you truly have the disorder.

    Friday, July 8, 2011

    How to Answer: 'What Have You Been Doing Since You Were Laid Off?'

    I enjoyed being interviewed by Kaitlin Madden for this article. She makes great points about how to answer the question about being laid off in a job interview.

    AT&T - How to Answer: 'What Have You Been Doing Since You Were Laid Off?'

    Also, if your spouse has been laid off here are a few tips from one of my previous blog posts for helping him or her deal with the change.

    Thursday, July 7, 2011

    How to Stay in the Smart Zone

    I enjoyed being interviewed by Colette Harrington for her show "Sweet Carolina" on WLCN while I was in Charleston, South Carolina a few weeks ago. We talked about the Casey Anthony trial, balancing work and family life, emotional intelligence and how to stay in the Smart Zone.  Click here to watch it.

    Tuesday, July 5, 2011

    6 Ways to Keep Meetings From Getting Off Track

    Check out my #1 tip for keeping a staff or board meeting (or even a family meeting) on track. Click here to watch the short video:

    Many of you know my Director of Client Relations, Zan Jones, who books me to speak at conferences around the country. She has worked with me for 6 years.

    When she first began working with me I noticed she would sit quietly in meetings. She has an outgoing personality so this surprised me. When I asked her about it she shared how one of her bosses in her prior corporate job used to attack people personally in meetings and embarrass them horribly if they made statements he didn't agree or that weren't 100% accurate. Because of this she was guarded about what she said in meetings.

    Think of all the good ideas Zan's boss missed out on because people were afraid to speak up. If her boss had focused on the issues rather than the people his meetings may have been a more productive.

    Stay in the Smart Zone by using the following Smart Moves for keeping your meetings at work and at home on track:

    1. Focus on what is right rather than who is wrong when dealing with confrontational issues. Address issues, not personalities. Ask "What" and "How" questions instead of "Why" questions. Ideally the conversation style should be open with quick and honest communication.
    2. Take it offline. It's okay to acknowledge issues that aren't on the agenda and tell the person voicing the issue that you'd like to discuss it after the meeting.
    3. Hug the Tree. This is the concept of sticking to the main point in a meeting. Think of the tree representing the topic and the tree branches other tangents. When having group discussions don't allow the conversation to go off point by discussing an old issue or something unrelated. Avoid "war stories" from the past that take the discussion off track. I discuss how to hug the tree in this video.
    4. Recognize what high emotions mean. Regardless of personality type, as long as a person is communicating with high emotion, he or she does not feel understood. And before someone can trust others he/she must first feel understood. Without trust among meeting members there will be suspicion within the group and less cohesion. Click here for a short video on emotions and trust where I talk about this in more detail.
    5. People will behave differently in a meeting setting than they behave one-on-one. Peer pressure and intimidation affect how people interact in a group. Be cautious about calling on a new person in the meeting unless you've given him/her a heads-up beforehand. What is no big deal to you could be really embarrassing to a new person.
    6. Set a time limit and start on time. Not only should a time limit be set on the meeting itself but time limits should be set for each agenda item. This will keep the meeting moving and forces the meeting leader to be organized. Staying on one topic too long or not knowing when the end is near will send your meeting attendees to browsing their Blackberries. Consider starting a meeting at odd times. In his book, Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, Verne Harnish says to start meetings at a time like 1:07 pm vs. 1:00 pm. He says that irregular starting times are more memorable.