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When you have a disability, there are certain qualities that you develop in your everyday life. This can come from the exhaustion of having to be more reliant on others or the frustration of navigating an unpredictable limitation. Some of these characteristics can be especially beneficial as a business leader.
These four instincts of an entrepreneur with a disability inspire teams and stimulate productivity.
1. Maintaining patience
When living with a disability, you recognize that certain tasks that may seem simple to someone else will actually take you longer, or could easily go sideways. This might mean you have to be diligent, such as calling places ahead of time to see if they have accommodations, like elevators. You might even have to wake up extra early every day so you have enough time to get ready, which can quickly become tiring. These preparations naturally lead to becoming more patient.
As a business leader with a disability, tolerance is a key factor in being an inspiring boss. When you are understanding about projects taking more time than anticipated or are willing to push back deadlines when needed, it is refreshing to employees. Your staff will feel encouraged to put forth their best work because you have shown trust and empathy towards them.
Being patient also stimulates productivity. As someone with a disability, you have learned that getting frustrated when your ride is late, or that you are unable to read something independently, is more tiring than going with the flow. In business, when you calmly communicate with your team and are flexible, bumps in the road don’t affect you as much. This creates a positive work environment where everyone will be motivated to complete assignments to the best of his or her abilities.
Related: Employing Individuals with Disabilities May Solve Your Talent Crisis
2. Demonstrating resourcefulness
Analyzing what available assets there are to help with a limitation is a skill that is instinctual for you when you have an impairment. In life, your disability might require resources that are expensive or difficult to find. This can leave you feeling frustrated, causing you to look into government-funded aids or go through the process of hiring a caregiver. Doing your research to find support naturally makes you more alert and perceptive to what assistance is out there. When you are running your own company with an ailment, this resourcefulness leads to efficiency. Your instinct to evaluate further comes into play when you consider how to spend your business budget or how to best utilize your time. This allows you to have a firm grasp on all elements of your organization, ensuring that tasks run smoothly.
Providing your employees with ample tools, or simply the awareness that resources can be made available, will also foster inspiration. People are energized when they know their work matters and that they are being supported. That is why it is valuable to demonstrate your resourcefulness and encourage your staff to seek out the mentorship, means or assistance to accomplish projects.
Related: 6 Characteristics of Resourceful People That Bring Them Success
3. Effective delegation
Using your natural instinct to seek help or extra information in your daily life is how you can efficiently assign responsibilities. When you have a limitation, you might be used to needing someone else to open doors or read a menu, and you never hesitate to ask. There are always going to be gaps between what you are capable of and what you struggle to do. Instinctually understanding that you need people on your team to fill in these gaps will make projects or transactions easier. You might need to find an accountant or web designer who understands your limitations, and who you can communicate your needs to. When you delegate tasks to team members who can complete them faster, it is inspiring to them because it shows that you are confident in their abilities.
Perhaps you take on more of a managerial role instead of constantly trying to do everything yourself. Enthusiastically giving over duties makes everyone on your staff more efficient, and allows each person to shine in his or her own way. When you are more willing to lean on others, you build a productive environment where everyone contributes to carry out the company’s vision.
Related: The Art and Science of Delegation (Infographic)
4. Skillful time management
Instinctually, as a person with an ailment, you are a planner because you have to be on top of your medications, appointments, transportation and more. Without preparing for the day or week ahead, you can feel overwhelmed and confused when things take longer or go wrong. Your disability makes you organize your to-do items and outline your schedule. This organizational skill plays an important role when it comes to time management and how you run your team. When you are intentional with deadlines and give employees the freedom to work on their own, they will feel inspired by the synergy and trust between you. This also gives your staff the space to thrive while still being anchored by a time frame.
Conveying what hours you will be available at the start of each week will improve efficiency. It is typically easier for managers with limitations to do this since they tend to plan ahead. Sharing your availability ahead of time also benefits your workers, as they can make sure they finish tasks or come up with questions to align with your schedule. Organizing and detailing what you hope to accomplish each day will make you and your personnel far more efficient.
When you leverage the instinctual qualities that come with having a disability, you can manage your business in a way that motivates your team and creates productive results. Being patient when an employee needs more time to finish a project demonstrates compassion, which will be remembered and appreciated. Resourcefulness is the key to utilizing available tools so that your business may grow. Effective delegation creates an environment where everyone feels needed and you can accomplish more. Skillful time management relieves the stress of feeling overwhelmed and inspires staff to produce their best work.
While it may seem like having a limitation is hindering, you can utilize these natural talents and be a leader that empowers your team to achieve measurable results.
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