A couple of months ago I got invited by Maja Brisvall, who works at Stockholm Resilience Centre and Shift, for two sessions with Kathryn Myronuk and Brad Templeton from Singularity University.

They were very interesting, and delivered by two highly intelligent persons with great insight. One thing that stood out to me was something that Kathryn said, on discussing group dynamics, team work and learning (and I’m probably paraphrasing like hell now):

You got to respect the neurodiversity of the group. Some people will be loud and seem to be the most ambitious, where others can be quiet for 10 minutes and then ask just one question, but wow, what a question!

And this really struck me: having been, like most people, in so many different contexts for learning – in school, work, conferences, workshops and more, some of the most obvious faults – or lack of successes – have been forcing people to have an opinion or conclusion right away. If you don’t ask a question immediately, you’re not interested or have nothing to contribute.

Or in the name of inclusivity, do a round of the entire room where everyone immediately has to have and express an opinion, take or query. That’s not how it works and not how it has to work. Humans are so diverse in how they are analyzing facts and impressions, how they gain perspective and clarity.

And I think this applies not only to learning but also online conversations as well, like Twitter, Facebook, YouTube comments (*shivers*) and more. One of the only things we know for sure is that people are very different, and we need to keep that in mind in our communication. Make sure that everyone gets a chance to learn, grasp and take it all in. To express themselves.

So next time you believe someone is a slow learner, doesn’t get it, is just provoking or similar, take one step back. Give them a chance, engage in constructive conversation and give them the room they need.

Respect the neurodiversity.


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