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Episode 29: Dave Thompson Episode 29

Episode 29: Dave Thompson

· 46:57

Welcome to episode #29 We’re thrilled to be joined by Dave Thompson today.

Dave Thompson is a self-advocate with ADHD, Dyslexia, and Sensory Processing Disorder. He has worked as an innovator, consultant, trainer, and strategist within the Neurodiversity Employment space since 2010. Welcome to the show Dave!


  1. Can you tell us about your experience with neurodiversity? When did you realize that you weren’t neurotypical? What challenges did you face? What is it like now?
    1. Diagnosed from 5 y.o.
    2. Disability lens - special education, deficit model - standard in New York
    3. New lens: potential - some things come easy
      1. Public speaking: Jim Carey impressions/plays
      2. Empathetic: natural tour guide
      3. See things differently: backward/upside down
      4. Building furniture without instructions
    4. Challenges
      1. Tying shoes
      2. Driving
      3. Distraction
      4. Noise
    5. Neurodistinct vs neurodivergent
      1. Individuals can’t be neurodiverse
      2. Everyone is on the neurodiversity spectrum
      3. Neurodistinct coined by Tim Goldstein - neurodivergent implies normality vs 
  2. What "work" projects are you concentrating on?
    1. Goal to help people have a better experience than he did early on
    2. Started with job coaching helping individuals
    3. Now fixing the workplace via Potentia Workforce
      1. Helping big companies become more neuro-inclusive (EY, Microsoft, IBM)
      2. Researched what worked well in Trailblazers and help other companies (Chevron, AIG) follow
      3. Train teams on how to include neuro-distinct individuals
      4. STARS program Support new hires, managers, and teams
      5. Empower program
        1. Measure how neuro-inclusive a company is
        2. Engagement
      6. What can companies do?
      7. Hiring
        1. Sending out interview questions in advance
        2. Strengths-based interviews
        3. Don’t copy-paste job descriptions - avoid having too many requirements and make it specific
          1. “Must be a strong communicator” is a terrible requirement
      8. Ongoing work
        1. Employee Resource Groups (ERGs)
          1. Peer support
          2. Mentorship
          3. Sharing tactics/tools
          4. Advocacy
          5. “No conversations about us without us”
  3. How about the rest of the time? What do you enjoy doing in your off time?
    1. Family man: wife and daughter
    2. Unplug completely - do the opposite of the work
      1. Get out in nature
      2. Walk dogs
    3. Music
      1. Upright bass
      2. Doesn’t sight read music
  4. What does your morning routine look like and how has it evolved over time?
    1. Realization that routine is important  came later
    2. Wakes up at 5:
      1. Walks dog
      2. Greets family
    3. Starts work at 7 am
  5. What do you do to optimize productivity during your working hours?
    1. Noise-canceling headphones + Brown noise/low-frequency binaural beats
      1. Sometimes heavy metal 
    2. Working from home
      1. Right lighting environment
      2. Unchanging environment
      3. Two monitors
      4. Standing desks
      5. Fidget toys
  7. What is one habit you'd like to remove from your life (either a bad habit or one that takes up too much time)?
    1. Candy
    2. Never unplug
  8. How do you switch off at night?
    1. Walk with wife
    2. Watch TV
    3. Go to sleep
  9. What resources (books, philosophies, apps, sensory toys) do you find most helpful for productivity and habit formation?
    1. Neurodistinct social media (TikTok, Reddit)
    2. Assistive tech: Trello
    3. Paper
  10. Where can people connect with you or find your work?
    1. Potentia Workforce
      1. Instagram
      2. LinkedIn
    2. Dave Thompson on LinkedIn
    3. PotentiaWorkforce: NDTC - neuro-distinct talent 
  11. Do you have any final words or asks for our audience?
    1. You’re not the (whole) problem 

Joey’s creativity course


Listen to Focus and Chill - productivity tactics for AuDHDers and other neurodivergent folks using one of many popular podcasting apps or directories.

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