Your ADHD Brings Value to the Workforce w/ Coach-Consultant Alex Gilbert
I wanna give a shout out to NANOVi an NG3 corporate entity who is sponsoring this episode! They make this amazing device that allows my cells to regenerate and get better after hard workouts and much quicker than normal. You simply put it on, breathe into it, for about 10, 15 minutes and it harmonically changes the cells in your body- it is pretty cool! When you think about harmonically changing your cells you might think about The Fly; yeah, This is nothing like That. It actually just makes you feel a little bit better, a little bit faster. Like, I did a 75 mile bike ride and training for the Ironman this past weekend and used it when I got home. I used it again this morning and I feel amazing. So thank you to https://eng3corp.com/lls/ for sponsoring this episode!
Alex Gilbert is a New Yorker, a Mets fan, a yogi, and a brunch enthusiast. She also has dyslexia and ADHD. After spending her career working in leadership development, she decided to start a consulting and coaching business that will help adults with learning disabilities and/or ADHD like herself who have been struggling in their careers. Her business, Cape-Able Consulting, was created to help them navigate their day-to-day workloads so that they feel supported and are able to reach their highest potential. Her biggest goal in creating Cape-Able Consulting is to change the stigma surrounding learning disabilities/ ADHD by reminding people what they Cape-able of. Enjoy!
In this episode Peter and Alex discuss:
3:42 – Intro and welcome Alex Gilbert!
4:00 – On why Alex started her business
5:40 – When were you diagnosed?
6:50 – On how the extra tools we’re given in school don’t really work in the real world
7:50 – What is the number one request you get from your clients?
9:53 – How there is no “quick fix” for those of us with ADHD, Dyslexia, and so on
11:26 – A little about Alex’s coaching techniques and how they’ve evolved
13:00 – About why it’s important to stop looking at yourself as if you’re broken
15:00 – Sometimes having Dyslexia and ADHD makes you the only good candidate for a job!
16:00 – On not eating the entire elephant at once/seeing the longer solution-solve/big picture
17:11 – Thank you Alex! Guys, as always, we are here for you and we love what the responses and the notes that we get from you. So please continue to do that, tell us who you want to hear on the podcast, anything at all, we’d love to know. Leave us a review on any of the places you get your podcasts, and if you can ever, if you ever need our help, I’m www.petershankman.com and you can reach out anytime via [email protected] or @petershankman on all of the socials. You can also find us at @FasterThanNormal on all of the socials. It really helps when you drop us a review on iTunes and of course, subscribe to the podcast if you haven’t already! As you know, the more reviews we get, the more people we can reach. Help us to show the world that ADHD is a gift, not a curse!
17:56 – Faster Than Normal Podcast info & credits
Hellooo everyone, I am thrilled that you are joining me today for another episode of faster than normal. If I sound like I’ve just been punched in the mouth. Well, I’m not that far off. Dental work this morning. And so I am going to be drooling and slurring some words, and we’re just gonna have a lot of fun. I can not currently cannot feel the upper part of my mouth, but that is okay, it should be a lot of fun anyway, and Hey, you get to laugh at me. So there’s a bonus even there. Um, I am glad that you’re joining us today on another episode of Faster Than Normal. It is exciting to as always to not only have the wonderful guests we do, but the audience that really makes this podcast what it is, and it means the world to me that you continue to download these episodes and listen to them. It really, really. And I am really, really grateful.
I wanna give a shout out to NANOVi an NG3 corporate entity is sponsoring this episode and you can find a link to them in the show notes. They make this amazing device that allows my cells to regenerate and get better after hard workouts, much, much quicker than normal. You simply put it on, breathe into it, uh, for about 10, 15 minutes and it harmonically, it changes the cells in your body. Uh, it is pretty cool. When you think about harmonically changing the cells you think about that will be the fly. This is nothing like that. It actually just makes you feel a little bit better, a little bit faster. I did a 75 mile bike ride and training for the Ironman this past weekend. I used it when I got home. I use it again this morning and I feel amazing. So thank you to https://eng3corp.com/lls/ for sponsoring this episode!
We have a fun guest today. We’re going to be talking to Alex Gilbert. I love the first line of her bio. Alex Gilbert is a New Yorker, Mets fan, a Yogi and a brunch enthusiast who also has dyslexia and ADHD. So with the exception of the Yogi part We’re we’re, we’re very, very similar people. I have been a long suffering mess fan all my life.
Funny story. I was a, I’ve been a Mets fan. I’ve publicly been a Mets fan since I moved out of the house, uh, moved out of my parents’ house back in like, I guess in 1990, uh, my father was born and raised in Brooklyn and my mother was born and raised in the Bronx. So until I moved out of the house, I wasn’t allowed to have a favorite baseball team, but it was secretly the Mets. And I remember watching game six, uh, give a shout out to Michael Sergio, uh, who is a, who’s a skydiver. You probably know, as a skydiver who jumped in to game six with a sign reading, let’s go Mets and scared the hell out of Keith Hernandez landing about two feet behind him. So I met him at the ranch during one of my jumps, really, really cool guy and holds an incredible distinction. And he also spent some time in jail for that because he didn’t give up the pilot who flew him there. So he’s not a rat, so he’s a really good guy.
Anyway, we’re gonna be talking to Alex. She is pretty awesome. She spent her career working in leadership development and she decided to start a consulting and coaching business that will help adults with learning disabilities and or ADHD like herself who have been struggling in their careers. And God knows that is a well needed business. Her business is called Capeable Consulting, but she spells it CAPE – A B L E. So cape-able was created to help them navigate their day-to-day workloads. They feel supported and able to reach their highest potential. Her biggest goal in creating capable consulting is to change the stigma surrounding learning disabilities and ADHD by reminding people of what they’re capable of. And that’s the part that really got me excited to talk to you. Welcome Alex. Great to have you here.
Thanks for having me. I also love that Mets intro it just, you can’t see my face, but I’m glowing. I just, I love Mets talk.
So, you know, it’s interesting. I was just talking to someone; it’s really hard if you go through life being told you’re broken and being told that all your positives are really negatives. It’s really hard to accentuate your positives when you grow up because you don’t believe you have any.
I mean, I think that’s really why I’ve wanted to do this for so long is because I was told so often as a kid, by teachers and other adults that I was stupid or less than, and I never really believed it and I really, I owe my parents for that. And it’s an amazing resource from teachers that I had who were really supportive of me and could see me for who I was outside of testing and scores and other things like that. You know, there are so many abilities that people with a learning disability or ADHD have that I want to help people embrace and understand that they’re so unique and special. And that’s what we should be focusing on rather than all of the downfalls of the pitfalls, because everybody has things that they’re not good at but for some reason, if we don’t fit in the box of quote unquote, normal people are the first to jump and say, well, you’re not good enough. And I hate that. So that was part of why I started my business.
When were you diagnosed?
So I was really privileged to be diagnosed at eight years old because my parents thought to get me outside testing and I had resources pretty much all the way through college. But when I graduated from college, all the resources that you have in school don’t exist in the workplace. So the tools that you use in school even apply to anything, the workplace. So I had that foundation early on and I’m really grateful for that, but that didn’t really help me in my career.
It’s a really good point. You know, we, we put a lot of kids on medication and we, we give them, you know, sometimes we give them these, these extra tools, they can get extra time on the test, things like that. But the real world, uh, it’s a little different, right? And the, one of the big problems is you have kids who are on medication, all their lives. And then when their insurance runs out, you know, they get off their parents’ insurance and they got nothing left and they’re like, well, now what they’ve learned nothing.
Right. Right. And that was, I, you know, I have a lot of friends who are resource teachers and in special ed. And I remember talking to them about how I was starting this business. And they said, well, you know, we really hope that you would know what to do once you graduated. And I think that’s the problem, you know, it’s like 18 years old, you’re good. You’re cured, but there’s no real cure. And even thinking about some things. Things that you mentioned about having extra time on a test? I can’t ask my boss for more time when he dropped something on my desk and says, I need it two hours. Right? That’s not realistic. And the mindset and the mentality and the anxiety that all stems through those conversations of do I share that I have a learning disability or ADHD, will they think I’m not good at my job? Will they fire me for those things?You know, There’s so much that is stimulated from those and spirals out of control and no one prepares you for that.
What do you, what is the number one thing you get from clients that you work with? What’s what’s, what’s the overwhelming, uh, thing they want to fix for lack of a better word, and it takes the bad word, but the only thing they want your help with.
I think people come in asking for someone to fix everything for them. And I think you using the word word fix is really important because I think that’s what people are looking for. A lot of, especially ADHD. People are looking for something that’s quick, you know, we’re, we’re usually hyperactive and want something that you can just check off the box and be done with it. But that’s not how life works in a lot of ways. And a lot of people have come to me, say, They’re disorganized or they don’t know how to talk to their boss or they’re really burnt out. And I really want to take a step back from all of that and start where they are, because we can’t really solve any of the problems that they’re coming to me with, unless we actually know what the root of that is. And so I start with the, uh, with my one-on-one coaching clients, I do something called getting to know you package. And we really start from the basics, because you had mentioned earlier about being put on medications and not having any of those tools when you get older and now you don’t have any, you know, you can’t afford the medication, what are you supposed to do? You don’t know how you think. You don’t know how you learn. You don’t know how you organize and everyone has those abilities, but we’ve been trying to fit into somebody else’s box. That’s not realistic. And so I really tried to take a step back and say, okay, what part of your day do you feel your best? What part of your day do you feel you’re struggling with? You know, and we really work backwards to get to know themselves.
Excellent, uh, answer, you know, I think that one of the big problems, um, is exactly what you mentioned. And then I am, I’m, I’m angry at myself now for using the word fixed, but the premise that there’s just this one thing that can fix me, right. That can. Right. First of all we’re not broken, so the fixing is, is ridiculous to begin with, but the premise that, and especially it’s, it’s sort of twofold. It’s, it’s a double edged sword. We go in eight. The concept of ADHD is that, especially like, you know, for instance, you have an argument, right. You in this argument. Okay. I want to, um, I want to clear the air and fix this problem and let’s.. I’m sorry. Let’s move on. And, and people that are usually often can’t do that and which usually people where they usually look at those people. You know, god, why won’t you let this go? Because they can’t, they need to be, to process their own way, as opposed to us just says, you know, and then, so that that’s that’s that in itself, you know, is the quick fix that we’re always looking for, but, but for ourselves, we can’t offer a quick fix to ourselves. We have to, uh, it’s a lifelong process. Just like you said, it’s, it’s similar in any way, in any way to, um, to, to in many ways to other, for lack of a better word diseases, you know, the concept of you’re not cured of being an alcoholic. Right. You’re not cured of things, so you’re not cured of being ADHD, but you can learn to utilize it to your advantage. And so that I think is the first lesson. If people aren’t coming to coaches or doctors to be cured you, you, you, you, you build to get cured of a disease that can kill you this disease. And I hate again, stop using that word. This is something that if we learn to use it, Can help us. And so I’m assuming, you know, when you, when you tell us your advisors to me to get that, that sort of first mind blown moment there, right?
Yeah. A little bit. And the thing is, it’s kind of why, like my coaching practices and philosophy is what it is. So I coach based on the theory of best practices versus best principles, because best practices. Which is a common term that’s used all the time, assumes that everyone could do the exact same thing and end up with the same results, but that doesn’t work and that doesn’t work for anybody, but that especially doesn’t work for someone who has ADHD. So I really try and go with best principles, which is we have the same goal in mind, how we get there, is going to be up to you and that’s the best way to move forward because that’s, what’s going to be sustainable and help you thrive as you move forward. And to really go through that emphasis of figuring out what your strengths are. I think a lot of people don’t necessarily know what their strengths are because they’ve been suppressing everything else for so long, because again, they’ve been trying to fit in somebody else’s box that’s not realistic to them. And you know, that’s something I want to really help people figure out is all of those amazing skillsets that they have because they have ADHD or a learning disability.
I would ask the question of that. It’s a hard thing to teach because when, when you’re drilled into, um, this whole, oh, I have, you know, I’m broken. Probably an example to, to relate it to something that I could deal with- I did this long bike ride this weekend and I have new new handlebars and the, the, I guess they need to be adjusted because the way I was holding it, I, my left finger left index finger went numb and it’s still three days later. Right. And so I’m hoping that it stops being numb, but you know, if you, I was holding it there for five hours and the result was no, it’s numb. If you’re told your entire life that you’re broken, you have a hard time believing you’re not. And even harder time thinking that, wow, this stuff that everyone’s not broken about, maybe that might not be broken. Maybe there’s something I could do with it. And so the hardest thing I think for you as a coach probably is changing the mindset before you even implement the rules, changing the mindset of stop looking at yourself like you’re broken.
Oh for sure. But I think that’s, that’s a lot of what comes into play is people feel broken. I mean, there’s such a high correlation between people who have a learning disability or ADHD and struggle with mental health. I mean, all of that horrendous language and all that demeaning and demoralizing language that’s been used on you for years is there, whether you go to therapy and talk it through or not, I mean, I had written on my blog this piece about my anxiety, my origin story, talking about my fourth grade teacher who would call me out and yell at me in front of, you know, the rest of my classmates. He would pull me outside and scream at me in the hallway. And I wanted to miss school all the time, because I didn’t understand why when I asked a question, he constantly made me feel stupid. So, you know, and called me stupid in front of my classmates over and over and over again. So, you know, yes, all of that is there, but it takes a lot of time to build forward and say, not only am I not staying, but there are so many things that I’m good at- really, really good at! I mean, I did last job that I had, um, before the pandemic I was working basically in a campaign role and I was offered this job six times. I turned it down five times, because I thought this was too overwhelming of a job. It was not the right fit for me, but the reason they were seeking me out was because of my dyslexia and ADHD. That I was the only person who could do this job because I could see the big picture and the little details all at once. I could simply. Everything that they were asking people to simplify. And I came up with it within five minutes. That’s unbelievable. And not everybody can do that. And that’s the kinds of things that I’m trying to help people point out is, you know, there are, there are things that are under your nose that you don’t necessarily know that you’re really good at, but let’s find them. Let’s help build your confidence in that.
I think the key of, of, of explaining to people, you know, again, I always go back to this analogy. It’s eating the elephant, one bite at a time, right? You don’t need to change your entire world. Your entire world will change as you start changing things slowly. Right.
Yeah. It’s small changes every day. And the thing is, that’s what makes it sustainable because if you, if you’re taking something and bake, bite-size pieces of it, you’re not looking at everything all at once and I think that that’s, what’s so overwhelming for someone who has ADHD is they have this analysis paralysis. There’s too many decisions. There’s too many steps. There’s too many things to go and I’m not, I’m not asking anybody to do that. It’s like, can we just take this one step in front of you? How does this feel? Let’s analyze it. How does it. How does this go moving forward? Is this something we can continue? You know, it’s just, it takes a lot of steps. And I think that people who are looking for support and looking for, help me to understand that this is a whole picture; that this isn’t something that’s a quick fix and we shouldn’t look at it as a quick fix. Because it, you didn’t even develop, you know? Yes. In some ways you develop different skills of ADHD differently throughout your lifetime, but it’s always been there, but that doesn’t mean that it has to be fixed, quote unquote the same way.
Yup. A hundred percent. How can people find you?
Sure. So I am my website. As you mentioned, I spelled Cape C a P E capable consulting.com. Or How can people find you? https://www.capeableconsulting.com @iamcapeable on INSTA @CapeAbleConsultingLLC on Facebook and Cape-Able Consulting LLC on LinkedIN
Awesome. Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us today. We really do appreciate it. Sorry to you and my audience if I slurred or spit, well, you can’t see me spitting all over the keyboard, but that is I’ve been drooling all morning. So looking forward to having you back at some point, and that was great guys. Thanks for listening. I appreciate it. It means a lot to me. It means a lot to the audience. You guys are the reason that we have this podcast, so that we’ll keep doing it. So please reach out if you have any guests, you’d like to see, we would love to know who they are and tell us about them and we’ll get them on the podcast just like we did here with Alex guys. Thank you for listening. My name is Peter Shankman. We will see you next week again, on Faster Than Normal. Have a wonderful day!
Credits: You’ve been listening to the Faster Than Normal podcast. We’re available on iTunes, Stitcher and Google play and of course at www.FasterThanNormal.com I’m your host, Peter Shankman and you can find me at petershankman.com and @petershankman on all of the socials. If you like what you’ve heard, why not head over to your favorite podcast platform of choice and leave us a review, come more people who leave positive reviews, the more the podcast has shown, and the more people we can help understand that ADHD is a gift, not a curse. Opening and closing themes were composed and produced by Steven Byrom who also produces this podcast, and the opening introduction was recorded by Bernie Wagenblast. Thank you so much for listening. We’ll see you next week.