Last updated: December 23rd, 2019
While my website ADHD Boss was never actually intended to help people deal with bosses who have ADHD, I’m in a good position to give my opinion on the topic.
I have ADHD. I hire people regularly. And, I’ve also spent 10+ years working for others.
So, here are 5 crucial tips to help you deal with a boss who has ADHD, and even come out on top.
Tip 1. Tell your boss about your true needs
If you’ve figured out that your boss has ADHD, then I don’t think your boss is doing a good enough job.
ADHD is a neurodevelopmental disorder. But, it’s usually a manageable condition, and shouldn’t cause severe problems in the workplace.
If ADHD does cause significant problems in the workplace, then you shouldn’t have to deal with those consequences.
So, talk to your boss and let him know what’s up! What do you need from him in order to ‘fix’ the situation? Is your boss too disorganized, forgetful about small tasks, or just a little bit wacky?
You have to talk to your boss about the problems that you believe he’s causing, otherwise he might not even realize there’s something wrong.
Tell your boss what you need from him in order to make your situation work, or else you could just be wasting your time.
Side note: If you’re worried that your boss will hate you for confronting him about his ADHD – tell him that you chose to speak with him directly rather than report the issue to HR. He should be grateful for that.
Tip 2. If your boss can’t remedy the situation, ask for a considerate increase in compensation
If your employer’s ADHD is adding unnecessary work or stress to your daily life, then you should ask to be compensated for that.
Ask for a salary increase. A bonus. Extra vacation time. Go after whatever benefits you want if you truly think that you deserve them.
If you can rationally explain to your boss why you deserve some sort of extra workplace benefit, there’s a decent chance he may give it to you.
Tip 3. If your boss’s ADHD is unbearable, then you have to get rid of him (Quit or change departments)
If your boss’s ADHD really is that bad, which I can completely understand, then you should stop wasting your time working for the man or woman. Plain and simple.
It’s completely possible for an employee and employer to not have any good working chemistry together. That’s a really bad scenario. It happens much more often than people realize.
If you find yourself in this situation for whatever reason, then it probably isn’t worth sticking around.
You can either quit your job outright, or ask to be relocated to another department, office or position. There are always going to be job options available to you.
Tip 4. Stop being so ‘nice’ to your boss
Are you overly considerate, friendly or submissive when your boss demonstrates negative behavior caused by ADHD?
If so, there’s a chance that you could be reaffirming your boss’ negative behavior without even realizing that you’re doing it!
No, this doesn’t mean that your boss’ behavior is your fault. You can’t control how other people treat you.
But, you can choose to:
- Have more control over your own behavior
- Express your true thoughts and feelings more openly – regardless of what people may think
- Avoid putting yourself in difficult workplace situations such as these to the best of your ability
One of my favorite books about this topic is called No More Mr. Nice Guy by Robert A. Glover (Amazon). The book is 100% applicable to both men and women.
Reading No More Mr. Nice Guy will help you avoid getting in situations where you feel forced to supplicate to other people’s negative behavior.
Yes, when ADHD isn’t being properly managed, it’s almost always thought to be a negative characteristic in the workplace. Employers have to be held responsible for their own behavior, even when it comes to ADHD.
Tip 5. Consider securing a new job before you use any of these tips
Alright, so here’s a harsh reality:
Unfortunately, bosses have the authority to terminate employees for almost any reason.
There’s a slim chance that you could be fired for calling your boss out on their ADHD. The odds of your termination increase considerably if your boss has an ego.
Or even worse, your boss could choose to be passive aggressive about this, and make your life unpleasant for the remainder of your employment.
I don’t think this is fair, or a very nice thing to do in the least bit. But, I also think it’s important to be realistic about the situation that you’re in.
However, I also believe that you are the only person in a position to know the ideal move to make.
If you’re going to use any of the tips found on this list, keep in mind that securing a new job before confronting your ADHD boss is probably the best form of ‘insurance’ you can have.
Dealing with an ADHD boss 5 tips conclusion
Dealing with an ADHD boss at work can be really entertaining, or a total nightmare.
Unfortunately, it’s usually the latter in most cases, since your livelihood depends on your boss’s competence in the workplace.
While I had a little bit of fun with these 5 tips, the points that I make are serious.
You have to demand more from your ADHD boss. ADHD bosses can’t allow their behavior to cause significant problems in the workplace. Especially when employees are forced to deal with the consequences.
And, if your job situation simply isn’t working out for whatever reason (after you’ve tried talking with your boss) – then you should demand more from yourself.
It may be worth finding a better boss and a better job if you have to.
Oh, and there’s always the option of becoming your own boss, which is the best choice of all. Because, when you’re your own boss, you suddenly get to be the one who’s in complete control of your own destiny. No more ADHD bosses to worry about…
Unless you’re the ADHD Boss, of course.