How can dyslexia improve our changing world of work?

There are two things we now know to be certain: Traditional workplace careers are changing and dyslexia is still one of the most common learning disabilities in the world. So in what ways are these two factors connected?

As our world continues to change and evolve, the need for a creative, diverse workforce is more important than ever. Luckily for us, the skill-set required for this changing landscape is often where dyslexic individuals shine.

Shockingly, only 3% of the public believe that dyslexia is a positive trait. Valuable dyslexic skills are often missed, as people tend to focus more on what dyslexics cannot do well than what they can do well.

A recent report from Made by Dyslexia and Ernst & Young addressed the value that dyslexic strengths can bring to our changing workplaces The report presents some encouraging findings surrounding dyslexia and our future within the workplace.

Many people may hear “dyslexia” and assume someone struggles to read and write. While this may be true some of the time, the benefits that a dyslexic brain has far outweigh the negatives.

What dyslexic individuals lack in reading comprehension and processing information, they make up for in original thinking, problem-solving and creativity – all of which will be crucial in our future moving forward.

The growth of technology has led to industry disruption, the likes of which we’re already seeing through companies like Tesla and Uber who are revolutionizing the motor and transportation industries. As a result, many different industries are changing and evolving as our technology grows at such an exponential rate. Technology is, therefore, creating new jobs while displacing many others, so there is understandably a change in demand for “traditional” skills. These days, flexible, multi-disciplined and collaborative job skills will become paramount, and they are also what many dyslexic individuals possess.

The Made by Dyslexia report found that dyslexic individuals often excel at reasoning, connecting, exploring, imagining and visualising. Perhaps most surprisingly, they also often excel at communicating (effectively dispelling the myth that since dyslexics can struggle with reading and writing, this makes them poor communicators). People management, oral expression and visualisation, in particular, were credited as some of the communication skills that most dyslexics are exceptional in.

Ultimately, it’s clear that both employers and employees need to better understand dyslexia. The difficulties, yes, but also the benefits. For instance, many dyslexics credit their creative skills, interpersonal skills and big-picture thinking as some of their strengths, skills which are highly sought after in some of the world’s biggest industries. If we’re all going to be successful going forward, it’s imperative for both parties to better understand which strengths everyone is bringing to the modern world of work.

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