Episode 114 – Unstoppable DEI Program Manager with Chelsea Hartner

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I am fascinated by the number of persons I have had the honor to interview on Unstoppable Mindset who have a diagnosis that was made during their adult years related to some kind of neurodivergent situation. Most all have said that the later diagnoses came about due both to a more educated world as well as a greater acceptance of what we view as mental disorders. Chelsea Hartner is such a person. Like others we have met, Chelsea has used her diagnosis to take a leadership position concerning educating others about and promoting acceptance of issues such as ADHD and autism.

Chelsea is quite engaging and was quite willing to tell her powerful story and how she became a DEI program manager for North America for Allegis Global Solutions, a leading workforce solutions provider to over 100 countries worldwide. She provides many insights into what companies, HR personnel and in fact all of us can do to create a more inclusive environment not only for persons diagnosed with any neurodivergent issue but for anyone who is different from what we think of as the norm of society.

This interview is powerful and will definitely inspire you to be more open to exploring hiring anyone different than you. I look forward to learning your thoughts.

About the Guest:

Chelsea Hartner is a dedicated leader, neurodivergent advocate, and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practitioner.

She currently works at Allegis Global Solutions, a leading workforce solutions provider to over 100 countries worldwide, as a DEI Program Manager for their North American region. She focuses on driving DEI initiatives that directly impact the organization’s people and culture. Through her work, she aspires to minimize obstacles for people of all diverse identities to have equitable opportunities to reach their full potential in the workplace and find belonging.

Chelsea’s recent accomplishments include earning awards in DEI in her previous role and achieving contest milestones for her efforts in supporting STEM recruitment. Additionally, Chelsea is most proud of an article she recently published on LinkedIn outlining how best to support folks with neurodivergence in the workplace using examples from her diagnosis journey entitled Neurodivergence: Inclusively Leading Evolution’s “Specialist Thinkers.”

Outside of her work, Chelsea is currently pursuing her MBA at Western Governors University. In her free time, she is an avid foodie and enjoys travel. She loves going to concerts, listening to podcasts, and spending time with her husband and two cats. As a 2013 vocal performance graduate from the University of Michigan Flint, she is also very passionate about music and the arts.

You can connect with Chelsea or stay up with her work by following her on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chelsea-hartner-vernarsky-a296b711a/

How to Connect with Chelsea:

My LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chelsea-hartner-vernarsky-a296b711a/
My article on neurodivergence: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/neurodivergence-inclusively-leading-evolutions-hartner-vernarsky/?trackingId=8t82dTuKTgKcgqAGi%2BQBXA%3D%3D

About the Host:
Michael Hingson is a New York Times best-selling author, international lecturer, and Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe. Michael, blind since birth, survived the 9/11 attacks with the help of his guide dog Roselle. This story is the subject of his best-selling book, Thunder Dog.

Michael gives over 100 presentations around the world each year speaking to influential groups such as Exxon Mobile, AT&T, Federal Express, Scripps College, Rutgers University, Children’s Hospital, and the American Red Cross just to name a few. He is Ambassador for the National Braille Literacy Campaign for the National Federation of the Blind and also serves as Ambassador for the American Humane Association’s 2012 Hero Dog Awards.


accessiBe Links
https://www.linkedin.com/company/accessibe/mycompany/ https://www.facebook.com/accessibe/

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Transcription Notes

Michael Hingson  00:00
Access Cast and accessiBe Initiative presents Unstoppable Mindset. The podcast where inclusion, diversity and the unexpected meet. Hi, I’m Michael Hingson, Chief Vision Officer for accessiBe and the author of the number one New York Times bestselling book, Thunder dog, the story of a blind man, his guide dog and the triumph of trust. Thanks for joining me on my podcast as we explore our own blinding fears of inclusion unacceptance and our resistance to change. We will discover the idea that no matter the situation, or the people we encounter, our own fears, and prejudices often are our strongest barriers to moving forward. The unstoppable mindset podcast is sponsored by accessiBe, that’s a c c e s s i  capital B e. Visit www.accessibe.com to learn how you can make your website accessible for persons with disabilities. And to help make the internet fully inclusive by the year 2025. Glad you dropped by we’re happy to meet you and to have you here with us.
Michael Hingson  01:20
Well, hi, once again, thanks for being here. And this is another episode of unstoppable mindset. Today, we get to chat with Chelsea Hartner. We’ve been working at this for a little while getting it all set up. We’ve had to postpone a couple of times for one thing or another. And we can’t even blame the weather, although it’s always fun to try to do that. But nevertheless, here we are. And Chelsea works in the world of diversity, equity and inclusion. I’m looking forward to having lots of chats about that. Dealing with neuro divergence, looking forward to chatting about that, and anything else that Chelsea wants to talk about. So Chelsea, welcome to unstoppable mindset. Thanks for being here.
Chelsea Hartner  02:02
Hi, thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here.
Michael Hingson  02:05
Well, then let’s just start by you telling us a little bit as I love to do about you growing up where you came from, and all those usual kinds of things that kind of got you started where you are.
Chelsea Hartner  02:19
Yeah, absolutely. So I have I’m born and raised in Michigan. I have stayed here pretty much my whole life. I’ve done some travel. But other than that, the Great Lakes keep calling me back. So I stay in this area here. Um, I grew up I was I was born in a city called Grand Rapids on the west side of the state of Michigan. You said you’ve been there? Yeah,
Michael Hingson  02:44
I did a speech there. Several years ago, the Lions Club sponsored me to come and do a speech. And there were some celebrations going on, I think was around September 11, actually, and it was a Boy Scout function. But they had me come and speak. So yeah, I’ve been there.
Chelsea Hartner  02:58
That’s Grand Rapids is one of my favorite cities. Still. I wish I never moved, but gotta move where your parents take you and your child’s parents. Yeah, those parents. But eventually, I ended up moving to a small town in Mid Michigan. And that was pretty much where I was born and raised, which is, it’s called a Wasco. It’s a small town just in the middle of the state. And then I grew up there with two older sisters, my parents, and I pretty much have always been involved with various different activities. I was acquired nerd. So I studied classical music since I was eight. And I’ve always been in choirs and performing and singing and doing community theater. And that eventually led me to college where I went and moved to Flint for the University of Michigan Flint where I studied vocal performance.
Michael Hingson  03:55
How’d that all work out?
Chelsea Hartner  03:58
Well, I’m in DNI now. So definitely was a transition for me changed
Michael Hingson  04:03
alone guy. Yeah. Why did you? Why did you do that? What What kept you from not only getting that degree, but then continuing down that path and being in a music career.
Chelsea Hartner  04:16
There were a lot of factors. I think, predominantly, one of the largest ones was it just really wasn’t the lifestyle at the end of the day that I really wanted. I had a lot of various life circumstances that kind of played into changing deciding to change directions after college. And one of those was deciding, you know, I wanted to have a family. I wanted to be a little bit more settled. I didn’t want to have to keep auditioning and never really know where where my next job is going to be because when you pursue things like opera, when there’s when when singers are at and Opera House performing, they’re auditioning for their next gig. So they’re auditioning for, they’re always auditioning, there’s never like consistency. And it just got to a point to where I just realized, I couldn’t do that it wasn’t something I want, I couldn’t afford to do that into. I just, I wanted to have a family and wanted consistency, I wanted benefits. And so at the time, I was selling suits, I was working at Men’s Wearhouse selling suits. And I was working very closely with my store manager. And he helped me to discover that one of my biggest passions was relating to people and building relationships and making an impact in people’s lives. And so I started to think about, well, maybe I want to do HR, maybe I want to go down that route. But it was really difficult to build a career and that when you don’t have a degree in it, it’s very, very hard. And then recruiting came up with a friend. And they were like, you don’t want to do HR HR is too much paperwork you want to do recruiting. So I started looking into recruiting jobs. And when I ended up finding a recruiting position, it ended up being pretty life changing for me because it eventually led me to D and I, while I was there, I was recruiting for the last five years. And as a recruiter, I was also pulled into a lot of conversations within diversity, equity and inclusion. And then I started leading it for my team. And then I was a chair for my team. And then I was pulled into our executive council right before I left for a program manager role in it. So it was quite a good zigzag. I call it a zigzag. It was a good zigzag to get to where I’m at today.
Michael Hingson  06:50
So when you were a Men’s Wearhouse, did you ever get to meet George?
Chelsea Hartner  06:54
Oh, no, he sadly was no longer there when he sold there. Yeah, I’ve heard I’ve heard so many good stories about him. No,
Michael Hingson  07:03
I, I remember some of the old original Men’s Wearhouse commercials with with him. And I know that he sold it. And he’s no longer there. But but I’ve occasionally gone to get some suits and things and Men’s Wearhouse. And I’ve actually found people who did get a chance to meet him. And they say the same thing that the stories have all been very positive.
Chelsea Hartner  07:26
Yeah, he was a he was a good influence on that store a good leader at that time.
Michael Hingson  07:31
Well, everybody moves on. So you know, so you. So you are now a program manager? So what is a program manager in terms of being different than what you used to do?
Chelsea Hartner  07:44
That’s a great question. So I have always done production roles. Sales is production recruiting is production. It’s all about how many? How many calls you make, how many people you talk to, you know, in recruiting, it’s, it’s always about how many people are you helping to get jobs, you know, there’s a lot of just milestones that you have to be hitting from hourly, weekly, sometimes monthly basis quarterly, you know, there’s just always, these are our numbers. And we have to maintain these numbers, or these are our daily goals and things like that. And program management is not production. So it is not like fast paced, it’s not urgent, it is very strategic, it is change management, it is building relationships, making changes and are making influential and strategic changes. And a lot of that is more spaced out over time. It’s a lot. It can be frankly, it can be slower. But it tends to be more rewarding, because the impact is bigger once like that program has been achieved. What are the whatever that might look like?
Michael Hingson  08:58
So is that a program essentially, within your company, as opposed to doing recruiting? Or do you still get involved in recruiting directly? Are you now kind of helping to shape policy in a lot of ways?
Chelsea Hartner  09:10
I’m more I’m more involved with our DNI specific initiatives. So it’s not so I don’t I don’t support recruiting anymore. I’ve done some, some additional updates, like on some of our recruiter training, but I haven’t showed that but I don’t specifically support that. So my primary focus in my with my team is within. So I guess I’m backing up a bit because it’s a lot easier to explain this way. So we prioritize our initiatives within three pillars. So we have workforce, workplace and marketplace. And each one of those has a different focus. And so it’s probably easier to think of it more like the people of the organization, the environment of the organization and how we impact our Customer, I specifically focus within the environment and the people buckets. And so my initiatives and goals are all about driving effective change in strategy across the organization as it relates to DNI for our people, that eventually will also impact our environment.
Michael Hingson  10:19
So for you, how did you get involved in really doing dei kind of work? It because that’s clearly a whole lot different than vocal and even directly recruiting and so on, what kind of was what pushed you to do that?
Chelsea Hartner  10:37
I had somebody pull me into it. Um, so I had an instance where I felt like I wanted to quit. And I wasn’t very, I didn’t feel like I was I was having a, I didn’t feel like I was fitting in with my team, I didn’t feel like I was making deep connections with my team, I was really struggling with being able to find meaning, just specifically within the culture of my team. And I went to one of the, like, there was only a handful of female leaders in our office at that time. And I mean, this was five years ago. So a lot has changed since then. A lot has changed since. And I went to, I went to her it and I just kind of shared with her what I was struggling with and where I was that and she said, you know, Chelsea, I think the reason why you don’t feel like you’re you fit in is because you’re not meant to fit in, you’re here to change things. And I’d really like you to, you know, join me in the next DNI call that I like, you can shadow me on the nasty and I call that I have with the company. And so that was really how I got into it. It really wasn’t anything that I had initially initiated because they didn’t understand it. I came from a background that didn’t even have DNI. So I had no idea what this even was. And I was in here I am thrown into a team that actually really, really does a lot of work within DNI. And but I was still new. And so I still didn’t understand it. And so ever since she pulled me into it, I started to shadow her meetings and listen to the phone calls and kind of the things that they were talking about it about, and I would translate it back to my office into my team. And then I eventually started to lead in that capacity across the team and help develop more diverse hiring initiatives. And then I started to help with just kind of thinking through diversity and inclusion and what that meant for our specific pocket of recruiting and, and training and development. And then eventually, an opportunity opened up at our sister company where I’m at now. And that’s how I eventually came over there. Because there, there was an opening for program manager and I had all this experience that I was doing on the side to my recruiting role that prepared me for this.
Michael Hingson  13:10
So the whole idea of recruiting and the whole environment that you had certainly had to help prepare you for doing this, which is I think what you’re saying,
Chelsea Hartner  13:21
totally, yeah, there’s a big element in recruiting that I think is highly underestimated. And it’s really just building true authentic relationships with people. I think that the best recruiters out there actually build authentic relationships with their people, they know their contractors, they have they have they build the rapport with them from the beginning throughout their contract work at the at the client. And that ultimately, at the end of the day was the most rewarding part about being a recruiter. But doing the work with my team ended up ended up supplementing my my y as Simon Sinek likes to likes to talk about the y and that that’s a really big thing with me is the y. And for me specifically, it got to a point to where I had I felt like I really mastered recruiting, I felt like okay, I’m good. I you know, I’ve hit some milestones, I’ve won some I’ve won some acknowledgments here. But I think it’s time for me to to look and see what else I could do that makes a bigger impact. And my why change for me in those five years of recruiting from making an impact with helping people find their next career to helping people in the organization find their next career because I wanted people in the organization to start feeling a better sense of belonging and to feel that there’s an opportunity for them across the organization. And so that kind of shifted for me, and that’s when I was like, Okay, I think it’s time for me to step out of recruiting and actually move into this other area.
Michael Hingson  15:01
Well, you also mentioned to me when last we chatted, and I think it’s in your bio, that you had a medical diagnosis that probably has had some impact on you. Can you maybe talk about that a little?
Chelsea Hartner  15:14
Yeah, definitely. Um, so in 2020, like most people, I started seeing a therapist. I think that there’s just a lot of things that were kind of kind of catapulting me to seek additional help. At the time, my fiance and I had to push our wedding back, because we were supposed to get married in 2020. And we had to push it back. And there was just a lot going on. And I was really struggling through it. And I started seeing a therapist, who I actually found through my company’s EAP program. So to anybody who’s listening or watching, if your company has an EAP program, I highly recommend that you look into it. He is EAP is part of the benefit program
Michael Hingson  16:04
understands, but it stands for oh, that’s a great.
Chelsea Hartner  16:07
Oh, you got me. I actually don’t know what it stands for. But I can share that with you.
Michael Hingson  16:12
Program or something like that. Yeah, I think
Chelsea Hartner  16:14
I pretty sure you’re right. But that’s how I found my my therapist, and she brought up to me I was having a pretty deep session. I don’t quite remember what exactly he was talking about at the time. And but she just brought up have you ever been diagnosed for ADHD? And I was really taken aback. I actually kind of got a little defensive. Initially, I was like, no, no, I haven’t. I haven’t been diagnosed for that. No, nobody’s brought that up. No, that’s not me. But my sister’s have ADHD. And she’s like, really, they have ADHD? And so why haven’t you know? Like, why haven’t you looked into it? Like have you just had has it just not ever come up. And it’s not that I hadn’t ever come up. It’s I think that my sisters when they were both diagnosed, they both encouraged me to look into it. And at the time, I was like, No, I’m not not hyperactive, bouncing off the walls, you know, all the stigmas that come with ADHD, little like young boys in elementary school. Like, that’s initially where my head went. And it was really awful. Like looking back, and realizing that this stigma that I had about ADHD actually limited me for so long with getting my own diagnosis, and potentially my own support for years. Could have really helped, but it probably in many ways did hold me back that I just didn’t notice. But after, you know, after she brought it up, I talked to my sisters about it again, because this was the first therapists like I’ve been in and out of therapy, I’ve always kind of like I promote therapy. And I’m a big, big proponent of mental wellness. And I’ve been and I’ve always seen therapists off and on, but none of them have brought this up. And so I talked to my sisters about it in more detail. And I started to do a lot of research, a lot of research, just an astronomical amount of research on what ADHD is, how the symptoms really show up, especially in especially for females or for people that are socialized as females. And I think that I eventually just kind of said, Okay, I think I’m ready to explore this a little more. So she referred me to somebody and it was confirmed that I have combined ADHD. And I got that diagnosis in 2020. And that definitely has impacted has played a major role actually, in my career and how I approach work, and just about everything that I do now, I think that it’s just having the blinders pulled off my eyes, has just really confronted me like I’m constantly in confrontation with it in a positive way, just like acknowledging the real elements of who I am for the first time in my life.
Michael Hingson  19:17
So you weren’t diagnosed for a long time. And I will tell you I’ve had a number of people on unstoppable mindset who have been in the same kind of position that is they didn’t get diagnosed until later in life for whatever reason. But how has it made a difference for you what maybe I should start and go back a little bit what are kind of the things that demonstrate and manifested that you had ADHD? So what what kinds of experiences do you did you have that led people to diagnose you with it and that is in terms of your, your personal experiences.
Chelsea Hartner  19:55
I think some of the most common ones for sure are impulsivity, impulsivity. He is a huge symptom in various ways. But for me, it was specifically within behavior. Like there’s just a lot of like behavioral impulsive, react like impulsive reactions, struggling with emotional regulation. executive function was a big one executive function by far shows up the most as a project program manager than I think I’ve ever experienced before. And I well, and that might not be true now that I’m saying not just because I know for sure it impacted my education, because I was a fairly mediocre student, I was very, very average. But I struggled in this in the school in the schoolwork. And in the classes that required a lot of steps, like math, chemistry, jump, like all of those ones, where there’s just a lot of steps, it was very difficult for me to actually put the right thing or to put things together in the sequences that it needed to do to get the correct answer. And I definitely struggle with over rumination. So I think one term that comes up a lot for ADHD within the ADHD community is rejection sensitive dysphoria. So like having this innate sensitivity to just rejection and just overwhelm and increased anxiety and a lot of times, especially within females, and people that are raised as females that we struggle with anxiety and depression. And oftentimes, those are comorbidities to our ADHD, but they can often disguise their ADHD symptoms, which is also one of the reasons why a lot of our diagnoses are in our adulthood, when our structure and our systems in place have been jolted like COVID, for example, when COVID came all of my structure and and processes and system and routine out the window gone. And it just made life hectic and chaotic and overwhelming, and very difficult for me to process. And that eventually exposed What I didn’t realize I had my whole life. Until that moment.
Michael Hingson  22:20
Yeah, it’s, it’s, it’s fascinating to hear about it. As I said, I’ve had other people on the podcast who have talked about it too. And that once once they realize, and once you discovered what was really going on, it had to bring some peace to your world, I would think sometimes. Well, at least you know what’s going on?
Chelsea Hartner  22:47
Yeah, you know, and I think and, you know, speaking vulnerably I would imagine, you know, anybody listening that this might, might resonate with them, I think that, um, initially, there was a lot of feelings of shame. If there was a lot of feelings of feeling just like I missed out, like I could have had, I could have had support, I could have had necessary accommodations, I could have had so much more help. Had I known sooner, I would have been able to explain a lot of the things that I don’t know how to explain an advocate for myself today. If I would have known years ago, because I would have been, I would have lived with it for so much longer. And not that I’m haven’t lived with it this whole time, but in the acknowledgement of living with it. And you kind of go through this feat, this period. I’ve heard I’ve heard other women express this, that you kind of go through this period of almost like mourning, because it’s like a total jolt to your identity. Like you, you don’t realize that it really does. It really it really does impact who you are and how you see yourself. And then when you end up having those neurodivergent moments are those ADHD moments. Initially, once you start with once you can identify them and you you’re able to acknowledge what’s happening or what’s going on in your mind or what you’re struggling with is a symptom of your ADHD or your neuro divergence. It’s kind of this initial feeling of just Shame, shame and upset, shame, disappointment upset, but then you eventually move through that. And I finally gotten to a point where it’s not that I don’t struggle with that because I definitely still do, but I’m able to acknowledge okay, like I have tools now to help me get through this moment to help me overcome this. And I can manage this moment And I know how to communicate this now to my manager on what I need and the support I’m looking for from them. And they’re able to help provide that for me, because I’m able to advocate better for myself. But initially, it was very difficult. So sometimes there’s peace, and sometimes there’s still frustration.
Michael Hingson  25:23
Yeah, hopefully it lessens over time, but we all get locked into the shoulda, coulda, woulda kind of thing really tends to create a lot of problems rather than dealing with acceptance and recognizing, okay, there’s nothing I could have done about this earlier, because I didn’t know. And now it’s time to move forward. But I would think that as you just described it, now that you have been given this, I’m gonna put it this way gift of a diagnosis that allows you to move forward and recognize more about you, that must make you a lot stronger program manager in dealing with diversity and inclusion in what you do on the job, because now you can deal with it from experience.
Chelsea Hartner  26:12
I appreciate I appreciate that. I hope it does. I mean, that’s, you know, I hope that, uh, I use it as that. Because there’s, especially within the disability community, it’s so diverse, like, there are so many different layers and intersectionalities that meet within disability and the fact that really, disability is a minority group that it can impact any single person at any point in time in their life is astounding. So it’s it’s definitely something that has catapulted like, the things that I struggle with, and what I look at, and how, and how it impacts me, has helped me be able to be a bit bigger advocate a stronger voice, for other people with disabilities and other dimensions of diversity. Because there’s just there’s there is a different kind of, to your point, there is a different tie to it. Now, I’m invested in it in my self, as much as I’m invested in it for others, but there’s but there is a different type, because I can identify a little bit closer to it.
Michael Hingson  27:25
The the whole idea of disability is so frustrating in some ways, because, as I put it, and I haven’t seen a better way to put it yet. We don’t recognize in the world that disability does not mean a lack of ability. And so unfortunately, if you were to be looking for a job, for example, and say you have a disability, you’ll probably just be dismissed. Because we have such a prejudice about the word, when in reality, disability does not mean a lack of ability. It is a characteristic. But it is only a negative characteristic if we choose to allow it to be and if we allow others to decide that it’s a negative and a problem. Because the reality what it really means is we’re different, in some ways, but everyone is different. I love to tell on this podcast that in reality, every single person with eyesight has a disability, you guys are light dependent. And you don’t get you don’t get along well without light in your lives. And Thomas Edison invented the electric light bulb and the others who were involved in that invented the electric light bulb to hide your disability and give you light, day and night. But the reality is it doesn’t change the fact that you have a disability, which gets to show up every time there’s a power failure or anything like that.
Chelsea Hartner  28:47
Mm hmm. Yeah, I’ve heard you mentioned that I’m former podcast and you know, and it breaks my heart because I can’t say that that’s not true that that has not impacted people because the reality is, is that the reason why people say that they struggle with disclosing that they have a disability is because of the fear that they could be rejected from a job that they might not get, that they might not get the promotion that they’re looking for, that they might not be taken seriously within their company is very real. I’m really thankful that I that I work for a company that’s that is very inclusive, we encourage people to become to work as their authentic selves. Which is why I I am comfortable with disclosing and sharing openly about my neuro divergence and what I need. And that is one of the things like the fact that other people do experience that in their careers motivates me that much more within within this field to continue to pave the way that nobody will ever feel that way. Wherever I work,
Michael Hingson  30:02
yeah. And the fact is that the barriers start to break down. When the person who is different, the person with a so called Disability is involved in a job, and others get to know them. And I realized that the fear and the stigma about disclosing any kind of disability is strong. For some of us, we don’t get that option. But but the fact of the matter is that once people really get to know us, and they accept us, then we have a much greater opportunity to disclose and educate. But the fact is that, again, disability should not mean lack of ability. And we’ve got to get society in general to accept that, which really means that we all have to work harder to educate, and to help people move along and become better and more informed than they are. And so bless you for what you’re doing.
Chelsea Hartner  31:08
Thank you, you know, you said two things that that made me think you said, it’s my ADHD coming in. So I’m trying to recall right now. So I’m just kind of tracing back a little bit. But one of the one of the things that you said, that just really stood out to me, and you said it a couple of times now is it doesn’t mean in a disability doesn’t mean inability. And I think that there’s a breakdown where a lot of people still struggle with just using the terminology disability. And, and I think that the more consistent that we can be, and the more the more visible that we can be, the less we are, the more we’ll continue to just break down those stigmas. stigmas, break down those those perceived notions of what that means. But the other thing that you mentioned was about the more they get to know you, right, and education. What I want to when I want to help limit is that that emotional way of education is on is on the person with a disability to educate their team like that that’s an emotional weight that they should not be carrying. That’s something that the leadership team needs to be prepared in advance on how to ensure that they’re leading inclusively, and that their team is prepared on how to be inclusive team members, to whomever that person is that’s joining their team. That’s where DNI comes in to help create policies, but to also help provide tactical tools that leaders can use to to build an accommodating and inclusive workforce.
Michael Hingson  32:44
I would say that, the more comfortable each of us are with our differences, however, then the better we’ll feel about being part of that educational process. I do think that, in reality, most of us are treated the way we are because of a lack of knowledge. And because there is fear, and I appreciate the fear. But the lack of knowledge is something that we’re in the best positions to address, and change. Not that we’re going to just go out and preach all the time, but but the fact is that we’re the best teachers, if we’re comfortable enough to be able to do that. And I think it’s something that we do need to, you know, to look at, we shouldn’t be hired as token teachers. But teaching is part of what we can do, and should do. So for example, I’ve talked to people who happen to be blind, who get very offended when someone comes up and talks with them about being blind. And what’s it like and all that and, and some of the blindness related organizations have helped create those frustrations because of how they’ve treated blindness. But the fact is that if we get comfortable ourselves and recognize that we’re the best teachers, and think about that and internalize it, then we are in a better position to move forward and help others understand really what’s going on. And the reason I stick with using Disability is what are their terminology is are people talk about differently abled, I’m not differently abled. The fact that I’m blind doesn’t make me differently abled, I’m still able in the same way I may use different techniques or a different product. But women and men do that all the time. Left handed people are different than right handed people in some ways, but you don’t call them differently abled. Chris, you don’t call them persons with disabilities necessarily all the left handed people are in a minority. But we’ve got to get beyond being uncomfortable saying that like it is
Chelsea Hartner  34:48
yeah. And that’s, that is my that’s my point is that the more transparent we can be, the more visible we can be. So that’s how we break down those two ears and stick are stereotypes and stigmas. And I do understand your point in regards to like the education of women. Because, you know, from somebody within DNI there, there is a lens there where there are certain demographics and certain identity groups that they’re tired. They’re tired of carrying the load of educating they’re sure. But I do think that there is an element of partnership and collaboration, that that some people that are comfortable with doing that can do that. But as a person of the DNI team, we don’t want to put that expectation on our people to do that is
Michael Hingson  35:42
correct. It is something that we should want to do and do when we can. But we shouldn’t be hired with that obligation in mind.
Chelsea Hartner  35:50
Right? Yep. And that’s why it’s really great when companies have employee resource groups or business resource groups, because employee resource groups will call them ERGs, and business resource groups, which are BRG. So, those groups of folks, when they have their communities, they’re great platforms for helping to drive that inclusive culture and break down those barriers even further, because now you have a community, a group of people within your organization, who are speaking loudly for who they’re representing, and helping to uplift and advocate for, for what they need.
Michael Hingson  36:31
Well, let’s really get to a slightly different subject and get to the meat of all this and get to the real realities that we have to face. You have two cats. How do they fit into ADHD? They’re always demanding.
Chelsea Hartner  36:44
Oh, I love my cats. They I mean, they love my ADHD because I’m always playing with
Michael Hingson  36:50
well, when and it’s always about attention demand from a cat, right? So same thing.
Chelsea Hartner  36:57
Oh, yeah. Yeah. Rosie and Cedric and they are care. They’re everything for me. I’m definitely a cat mom.
Michael Hingson  37:09
higher priority than husband since it fiance is now husband, right? Yeah. Did you guys get married?
Chelsea Hartner  37:15
We got married in April of 2021. All right. Yeah. So we got married a year later, we pushed it out to the spring. We were originally supposed to have a fall wedding and in 2020, and we had to, we had to cut the gasless which was really difficult. We had to cut it quite a lot just because of the requirements in the state. But we ended up having a beautiful wedding and the spring it was literally the only day the whole week. That didn’t rain. It was beautiful.
Michael Hingson  37:41
That’s great. Yeah, well, congratulations. So who has the higher rank in the pecking order? The cats who the husband?
Chelsea Hartner  37:50
Well, he would say the cats I don’t know if I would argue with him.
Michael Hingson  37:56
I know hard cats are pretty demanding. We have one or I have one. My wife passed last month. So it’s pretty sad. But the cat has decided that that I can serve its needs. So I am the the main person who carries out the wishes of she who must be obeyed at all times.
Chelsea Hartner  38:17
Yeah. Oh, you’ve been chosen?
Michael Hingson  38:21
Or co opted. But yeah. Well, so you in terms of all the fishes with disabilities and so on what what really got you to the point of accepting the ADHD and and that you really are different and that’s okay.
Chelsea Hartner  38:44
Yeah, so, earlier this year, my company invested myself and a handful of our enable ERG leads. So enable is our persons with disabilities employee resource group, and we had several people from the globe that got the opportunity to attend disability and virtually this year and the whole topic like every topic that that was aired for us to be able to watch virtually was all about disclosure and visibility and and especially the importance as it applies to those in leadership so like manager roles, executive leader roles, Director roles like that we it’s really, really important that especially when you’re in a quote unquote, leader role, that you are that much more visible and authentic, because if if you’re not, then you’re not really establishing that it’s safe for people to disclose their true selves with within the company. And there was a speaker, I wrote her name down because I knew I would forget. And her name is Ebony Thomas. She is the president Have Bank of America I believe a specific group, but I can’t recall, I didn’t write it down. But she works for Bank of America, me Thomas. And she specific I wrote verbatim, because they’re close it out to me. You can’t be your best self if you’re hiding yourself. And that just really, really resonated. But like it just I think that at that time, I was still fighting against who I was this ADHD, how I was really impacting me, especially as a new program manager, because I was still really new in my role at the time I got the opportunity to, to attend this conference virtually. And that just like, resonated against all the walls in my head in my heart. And ever since then I was just kind of like, you know what I’m not, I’m not doing justice to anybody else that might be struggling with the things that I struggle with, or going through things, even bigger than what I’m going through, if I don’t just step up and just own this, and visibly within my organization. And so that was when things really changed for me. And I just, I just decided, hey, this is who I am. And I have to own it, I have to own it in myself,
Michael Hingson  41:15
you internalized it and you made a decision. And that that’s, I think, the biggest key to so many different things. I’m writing a book about fear. And that’s one of the things that I talk about is internalizing and making decisions, we’re so afraid, and we’re taught to be afraid of so many things unexpected life changes, things that happen to us. And we just create these fears. And we don’t learn how to allow our minds to step in and go wait a minute, do I need to be afraid of this? Or can I use the fear to help be a a motivator? And can I use it to help me learn more and make more intelligent decisions? Because when we become as I call it blinded by fear, we tend to get to the point where we can’t make decisions, you clearly went a different way, which is great.
Chelsea Hartner  42:12
Yeah, I one thing that I definitely get from my dad is I am a bit of a fighter. I definitely have never, I’ve always been. I’m just really, I’m just really good at being able to, to shift the mindset, especially when it’s needed. And I think that I just hit a wall of, I can’t continue to be fixed mindset, like I have to, I have to open up I have to, I have to shift this or I’m just going to continue to spiral in anxiety and frustration. Until I until I own this and can accept this in myself. I can’t expect anybody else to I can’t expect anybody else to accept this part of me. Like I have to I have to accept it first.
Michael Hingson  43:05
I think you put it very well. mindset shift. It’s all about mindset. And it is all about adopting a mindset that allows you to move forward and do what you really want to do. And so you’ve you’ve taken ownership, you’ve changed your mindset. And that’s really pretty cool. Thanks. And I you know, you can’t, can’t argue with success with that. If If you had known at a younger age, about being ADHD, do you think it would have made a difference in what you’re doing and changed your path and a lot of ways?
Chelsea Hartner  43:43
Um, sometimes sometimes I do, and sometimes I don’t? What I be what I’ve end and I would I’ve ever gone into recruiting and staffing like would I have ever, you know, would I ever done those things? I have no idea. But some days, I think that had I known sooner, I probably would have gone to the unit to to a different university. Um, I probably would have stayed in music, at least for a while longer. I probably would have gotten my graduate degree in music. Because I would have been able to stick to it I think a little bit longer just just out of what was required for pursuing a graduate degree in music. There’s a lot of extra additional work that that you have to go to that you have to build on that. And I think that being in pursuing especially classical music, there’s a lot of executive functioning skills that you know, realize they’re really needed in that industry and really needed in that field that had I known sooner, I might have had this the toolbox to help me manage Ah, but I don’t know. But I don’t know if I don’t know if I would have stayed in music. But would I be in D? And I don’t know either.
Michael Hingson  45:09
Yeah, cuz again, we get back to shoulda, coulda, woulda really doesn’t help much? Well, you can speculate all day long. Yeah, but the other part about it is that if you really go back and look at your life, you can trace where you are from all the choices that you made? And would you have made different choices? Who knows? You know, maybe, but you also may have ended up exactly where you are. So it’s, it’s really just kind of one of those things you can think about. But that’s about all you can do with it, because you’re where you are, and you’re being successful, which is as good as it gets, I think.
Chelsea Hartner  45:44
Yeah, and I think it’s about really just trying, I don’t, I’ve heard this phrase before, and I, I feel really bad when I can’t credit people that I that I hear phrases from so grow where you’re planted. I think that that’s really, I think that that’s really instrumental, especially when, especially just in general, like, especially when your life took a turn that it wasn’t in that you had never intended it to take, right. Like I, I thought since I was eight, I was going to move to New York and be an opera singer and travel the world and, and that was just not what happened when I turned 22. You know, like, my life just took a different path. And I think that the beautiful part about being alive and going through the journey of living and of life is through the zigzags of the journey, it’s it’s never always going to be a straight path. And I think that I think that there’s a lot of growing pains that come through that but those growing pains turn into really beautiful into beautiful flowers. Like there’s, I know, that sounds so cheesy, I’m hearing myself say that out loud. But there’s, there’s a lot of really beautiful things that come from, there’s a lot of beautiful things that come from that element of, okay, this was a hard transition for me, but look where I’m at now and look what I’m doing now. And I know that there’s gonna be another one down the road, but then you know, I’m gonna get over that that hill, and there’s going to be something better on the other side again, and that’s just kind of how life seems to happen.
Michael Hingson  47:18
Well, again, it goes back to choices. And if you really go back and look at all the choices that you made, you will probably find that even though some of them may have been based on things that were unexpected that occurred. If you go back and look at the choices that you made, you can see why you ended up where you were, and you seem very comfortable with your job. And again, what more can you ask for?
Chelsea Hartner  47:47
No, you’re 100%. Right, I can definitely trace back to how I got to D and I like I can, I can identify certain mile markers in my life that were significant enough, that changed me enough to realize the importance of to realize the importance of DNI, to understand it to understand the various elements that that affect various demographic groups and various identities that might hold them back in the workplace that they might experience versus what I my experience in my lived experience. And those those mile markers on this journey have really, really directed me without me ever knowing it. And so to answer to that first question, yeah, maybe ADHD, if I would have known it sooner, my direction would have been different. But there still would have been mile markers, that still would have pointed me toward whatever I would have been or could have been. And that at that point in my life, but to your additional point, this is where I’m at now. And this is where I’m meant to be right now.
Michael Hingson  49:02
And that’s perfectly reasonable. And we we all too often tend not to be comfortable in our skins. And we really should look at all the blessings that we have that really brought us to where we are and a lot of times, we might find that we’re a whole lot better off than we thought we were.
Chelsea Hartner  49:20
Yeah. I’m not always. Yeah. But again, yeah, depends on the circumstance. Yeah, but
Michael Hingson  49:27
reflectivity and, and introspection can always help. It also may tell us, okay, here’s why I’m not really happy with where I am. And so what am I going to do about it? So again, it still gives you the opportunity to look at life and make decisions.
Chelsea Hartner  49:48
Well, there’s, I’m a full of quotes today, apparently, um, there’s okay. There’s a quote by Mary Barra, who I love and think she’s incredible. She’s the CEO of GM and or General Motors. And she said that she said before, that making or not making a not making a decision is still making a decision still
Michael Hingson  50:11
making a decision. Absolutely.
Chelsea Hartner  50:13
And that sticks with me, because I am all about, I’m all about that I can either I can either stay where I’m at, or I can continue to move forward, or I can run away. And I, and I think that that’s why I say like, I get a little bit of this from my dad is like, I’m a fighter, like if I’m put into a position where I have to make a quick decision for the better of my current circumstance, I’m going to do it, and I’m going to do it right away, I’m not going to wait, I’m going to take the initiative, and I’m going to do it. And I think that that is the beauty of like, you know, kind of talking about like that piece element of ADHD like that impulsive stride of my ADHD has really pushed me in ways, again, kind of looking back as mile markers that I never saw before. And like, in those circumstances where I have to make that decision. That’s, that’s right. For me for the betterment of my future trajectory. I’m going to impulsively do that, because I’m not going to wait, because I know that that’s the right thing to do.
Michael Hingson  51:20
So carrying on that, that whole thing a little bit, whether it’s a team decision or whatever, when you make a decision, what do you do when you discover that maybe it wasn’t really the best decision?
Chelsea Hartner  51:35
Apologize? Yeah, like ownership seems to be a common thread in our conversation today. And, um, you know, a part of Extreme Ownership is, is being able to own when you’re not when you’re not right. And, and I think that that is the element, that’s one of the elements of being in my role that is hard for me, because I do have to take into consideration before I just make a decision or before I just go, I do have to take into consideration. Okay, have I certainly have have I talked to the right stakeholders, have I gotten the right buy in have I put in the right plan to ensure that this doesn’t, that this isn’t like an initiative, that’s, that’s just going to hit the wall. And, you know, it’s going to make an impact for a week, and then everyone’s gonna forget about it, but that this is thoroughly implemented into how we do things across the organization. And that is the hard part about kind of like reeling myself back in. But when but when we are talking like specifically about life choices and making the right life decisions, and the confidence in that those are, those are two different elements of, of, of that impulsive drive. And controlling it is a little bit different. But I do have to be in the circumstance that it wasn’t the right decision. And especially as it applies to my job, I do have to be a lot more considerate, because I can’t just do things. That’s just not how business works.
Michael Hingson  53:10
Well, yeah. So one of my favorite books is a book entitled The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. And he talks a lot about decisions. And he talks a lot about teamwork. And one of the things that he really stresses is, when a decision is made, whether it’s an individual decision by a team leader, because it’s their job, or the team makes a decision. Everyone should I support the decision. If you find out it’s the wrong decision. You acknowledge that and then you reassess. And I think that’s the big issue. You you do take ownership. But the reality is that decisions also may be made that were incorrect, but you only the information that you had was what led you to make that decision. Right. So the fact is that while a decision may not have been correct, if it wasn’t just made arbitrarily without thought, then in reality, if you thought about it right then okay, it was the wrong decision. You own it, and you go back and you reassess, and you may involve other people or whatever needs to be done, but I’m you’re right, it’s all about ownership of what you do. Mm hmm. But that’s okay.
Chelsea Hartner  54:30
Yeah, no, I totally. I stand by that. And I’m, I’m a very I’m a fairly transparent person. And one of the things that I value in other people’s transparency and so when it comes to when it comes to decisions, and when it comes to, you know, needing to pivot or needing to, I say pivot and I just hear pivot from friends in the back of my head, um, but I don’t I’m not sure if you watch that show. Um, Hey, friends. Yeah, I just, I just watched that episode yesterday. So it’s an iron that when I said to that, but anyways, um, the but but that, but when you have to make a decision, being transparent about, hey, you know, we did this, or I made the decision that we should do XY and Z. But this wasn’t the best route. And this is why and this is what we found. And I think, and I think we need to work together as a team, let’s let’s work together as a team, take this feedback that we got, and let’s pivot, let’s move, let’s move this other direction. And I think that one of the things that’s really nice is there are various different program management styles that are in place that are very, very helpful with with that type of management style. And Agile is one of them, because you can kind of change as you go. So it’s not where you’re just like setting in stone, but you’re taking that feedback and you’re making changes as, as the feedback comes in, to help improve the program, whatever it might be.
Michael Hingson  56:05
Yeah, you, you always need to make informed decisions and be ready to gain and change. If the informed decision turns out not to be the right one, you move on from that and you go do what, what you need to do nothing wrong with that, and ultimately, leads to a stronger, more intelligent, not only person, but team. And it makes for a much better situation all around for everyone. And you get more respected if you acknowledge when maybe there was a mistake that was made. If you’re the person who ultimately has responsibility, you say, okay, didn’t do that, right, or there was a problem doesn’t matter whose fault it was, it may not have even been something that was directly your fault, but you own it. You go back and you deal with it.
Chelsea Hartner  56:54
I’ve always respected leaders that have upheld and Extreme Ownership mindset. And I think that some of the best mentors and leaders that I’ve worked with have have maintained that,
Michael Hingson  57:06
right? What if if you had to give some advice to hiring managers who are knowingly thinking about employing someone with neuro divergence, what would you what would you say to them.
Chelsea Hartner  57:18
So if I’m talking to managers who are specifically hiring somebody with neuro divergence, the number one thing that I’m going to recommend is that they do some addition, they do some research, they need to identify like, especially if somebody’s disclosed, specifically what they have, like, if they’ve disclosed, hey, I have ADHD, or they have disclosed, hey, I have autism, or, you know, whatever element that is, they need to start doing some of their own research. But they also need to be working hand in hand with the HR team to ensure that they’re providing the right accommodations in place for that person. A lot of elements of being your divergence have been neurodivergent, especially within from from research that I’ve read and gained a lot of folks within the autism spectrum. And within ADHD, which is also considered a spectrum disorder, there are sensory stimulation overloads, that they that they can experience. And that varies based on the person, the fact that it’s already considered a spectrum disorder means that each person is different. They need to also be having a maintaining one on ones with that person and providing consistent feedback with that person so that they’re not ever left wondering, Am I doing anything, right? Because I think that a lot of times, we we internalize a lot of things, there’s a lot of things that happen in our heads that don’t, that that you will never see. And a lot of that is because of just an internalization, an internalization that we’ve experienced our whole lives, that we will continue to maintain the rest of our lives. Because of how how we were treated in school, what we had to overcome in school, things that we that we struggled with, in college, you know, with our peer groups, there’s there’s a lot of elements there. So educate yourself work with your HR team, plan one on ones, I would also partner them with a buddy, I would get them partnered with a buddy because it’s very difficult for us to feel it’s very difficult for some folks within the neurodivergent community to feel comfortable with tough feedback. And with asking difficult questions, but when we innit, but when we have a built a good relationship with somebody, it helps ease that tension. And especially if there are like specific social norms that are important to be aware of that. Because there are some corporate cultures that are very just extroverted cultures that have a very high expectation of how people interact with each other around the office. It’s really happy to have a buddy in the beginning of their career that can kind of help break down some of those, those social cues for them so that they can understand that as they progress.
Michael Hingson  1:00:08
And again, the other. The other aspect of all of this is, of course, that when you’re talking to someone who might be considering hiring someone who they learn is a person with a disability and neuro divergence, in this case, specifically, that there’s nothing wrong with doing that everyone has gifts, and it’s all about finding the right gifts for the right job. And that, that if a person shows a resume that demonstrates they have the gifts that you need, then you don’t rule them out. You learn how to make it work, because everyone’s different. The fact is, even if you have 10, people you’re considering none of whom have neuro divergence. They’re all different, and they’re all going to behave differently and everything else. So we need to, again, get the stigma out of it.
Chelsea Hartner  1:00:56
Yeah, I think one of the things that I find really interesting that I wrote about this in my article that I posted on LinkedIn, about neuro divergence is that at the end of the day, neuro divergence and people that bring that part of them that bring that with them, because we can’t leave it behind us, like we come into the workplace, right? Like, we really are helping, like, when leaders can be very intentional about being inclusive leaders, they’re being very individual per person. And that’s really ultimately a true sign of a real inclusive leader is when they’re being is when they’re providing individual coaching, mentoring, manager, management, leadership, whatever, to each person individually as they are, and as in how they come to work every day. And neuro divergence, it kind of forces that because especially if like, our symptoms that are pretty, pretty obvious, or that our neuro divergence is obvious, because and that’s that’s not to exclude other other groups and other and other demographics and identities, I want to be very clear about that. That’s there’s no comparison there. Um, it My point is just that, at the end of the day, all leaders they really need to, they need to start thinking and having a very individualistic approach to their leadership style. And that was kind of the goal that I had when I wrote my article on LinkedIn about neuro divergence. And that’s just what stood out to me about what you just said, there’s nothing wrong with that. And those internal partners that we have, like our HR team, or dei team, our employee experiencing, like, those are the people that we should be connecting with and working with to help prep us and prime us internally, to ensure that when somebody comes in, they’re bringing their best selves to work. But they’re not staying in that position. My goal eventually, right, like, I don’t want to stay in this role forever. Like, we’re all we’re all progressing in our careers. And so I think, I think there’s also an element there of, we have to be we have to get past this, this point of, okay, I hired I hired somebody within this community or within this dimension. Okay, now what right, like I think a lot of managers at some points in time still can get stuck there. And it’s a matter of, we still need to be mentoring these people, we still need to be retaining and advancing and paying them equitably across the organization. And a lot of that is comes down to that individual leadership approach.
Michael Hingson  1:03:45
And I think one of my favorite ways to assess a leader is to also see that they recognize when they need to give up being the leader to let somebody else lead, and there are going to be times that you or any one of us with a so called disability may be the best person to take over in some particular situation that’s going on within the team. And the good leaders are the ones who are willing to recognize that and value it. And all too often we just let ego get in the way. You know, so it really is an issue. What would you say? And what kind of advice would you give to a person who is applying for a job? Who has a disability? Well, let’s deal with a neuro divergence type of disability, what would you advise them?
Chelsea Hartner  1:04:36
You know, I know it’s I know it’s difficult to self ID and know it’s difficult to disclose, but I really highly encourage it. If you get denied an opportunity because of it. You don’t want that job anyways. Yeah, like, flat out. You don’t want that job anyways, you want to work at the company, that when you disclose, they’re going to take it seriously and they’re going to prep their managers and you Our new team for your for you to be a part of the company. Because at the end of the day, if we continue to mask or continue to hide or continue to cover up our disability or neuro divergence, or any other dimension of ourselves, then we’re gonna continue to keep the stigma, keep the barriers, we’re going to continue to have equitable OR, or NOT equality, but but equitable opportunities taken away from us like we need. And we’re never going to really be able to truly get the support that we need and advocate clearly for that we have to be visible, we have to be out front about it. And I can’t I can’t repeat that enough. I know. And I say that as somebody who’s who has a job, and who’s happy in her role and works for an inclusive company. But I know that sometimes people are just, they’re in a box, they just they have to accept that job. But But I promise you that there, there are a lot of jobs hiring right now, like, come work for my company, like, you just you don’t you don’t need to settle for a job that isn’t going to respect to you. If you disclose that you have a disability, and they pull that job from you because of it.
Michael Hingson  1:06:19
And I’ve had that happen to me. But I’ve learned that here’s the other thing to do. I took a Dale Carnegie sales course. And my wife reminded me of this once when I was applying for a job, which is to do exactly what you said to disclose the fact that in my case, I happen to be blind. But remember that blindness, neuro divergence, disability in general, is a perceived liability, it isn’t really a liability. It’s a liability that people have created. And so the thing to do is for a person when they disclose is to also be prepared to or come right out and say, and here’s why that’s a value to you, the employer. And here’s what I mean, here’s what I bring to you. I did that once when I was applying for a job, and I talked to my wife and we have talked about told the story before but we, we were talking about it. And she said You’re a dummy. And I said why? Because I was talking about do I disclose I’m blind, she said, You always said turn perceived liabilities into assets. And when I went off, and I wrote the cover letter, for the resume that I sent, I specifically said, I happen to be blind. And the value is, for me, I’ve had to sell all my life just to be able to survive without going through the entire detail of it. I finally said at the end of it. So do you want to hire somebody who just comes into the office and sells for eight or 10 hours a day and goes home? Or do you want to hire somebody who truly understands sales for the art and science that it is and sells 24 hours a day as a way of life, you turn perceived liabilities into assets. And the value of that was by the way, for me personally, I was called Two weeks later. And they said because of that we want to talk with you and interview you. And I ended up getting a job and working there for seven years, eight years. So you know, the fact is that it’s a perceived liability most of the time for any of us. Is it a perceived liability if a company is on the second floor, and they a person in a wheelchair is applying. And there are no elevators or anything to get them to the second floor? Well, that’s not a liability, but it is something to deal with. And the company can either choose to or not. And the reality is should sit still figuring out a way to deal with it. It’s still a perceived liability. Mm hmm.
Chelsea Hartner  1:08:42
I love that. I love that so much.
Michael Hingson  1:08:44
It’s something that we all need to deal with. Well, this has really been fun. You wrote an article tell me real quickly about the article and how can people find it?
Chelsea Hartner  1:08:55
Yeah, um, so I wrote an article called neuro divergence, leading nature specialist thinkers. I wrote it, I’m LinkedIn, probably I write, I tend to write a lot of thought pieces for my company. But this one was the hardest one I’ve ever written. It took me months to finish it. And I started it in February of this year. And I didn’t really finish it until October. And a lot of it was just because I have a lot of personal anecdotes, and I share a little bit about my own journey and my own story. And it was really hard for me until you know, I was able to step into that Ownership mindset of I neurodivergent this is who I am until I was able to step into that. And again, it was attending disability and that really pushed me to do that, that I was able to actually complete this article and it’s all about leading leading you’re or the first half of the first bit of it is about your divergence. What is it right like defining it and then I’ll talk a little bit about my own personal experience with within companies and various roles that I’ve had throughout my time, throughout my life. And then I talk about just some, some things to, for leaders to consider for managers to consider. If they’re hiring people with neuro divergence. I, you know, I wrote this article with the mindset that or with with the thought in mind that there are, there are a lot of companies that have goals around hiring people with either disabilities or neuro divergence or whatever, you know, insert, insert the identity right into that, but there aren’t a lot of articles specifically centered around how do we ensure that these that the people that we’re hiring with either disabilities or neuro divergence are coming into our company and their their culture add, like they’re adding to who our company is, they’re adding, you know, they’re they’re providing value that we’re investing in them as, as, as people of the company that there’s retention advancement, you know, that, again, equitable opportunities are provided to them. There aren’t there aren’t a ton of that is specifically as it relates to neuro divergence. And so this article, by no means is all encompassing, because as I’ve already mentioned, especially for autism, and ADHD, those are spectrum disorders. So they’re very, they vary, our symptoms vary on on a scale, depending on the person. Which is why I highly recommend those one on ones doing additional research, don’t just rely on only what your HR can provide you is on the manager to do more to. But that’s pretty much that’s kind of the article in a nutshell. And I’m really proud of it, because it took so long. And there’s a lot of sources in there. There’s a lot of sources. So there’s a lot of additional research that you can kind of connect to out from it as well from just the the places that I was able to pull from.
Michael Hingson  1:12:08
So two points. Point one, the article is more powerful because you put yourself into it. And that’s great. And the second is really a question again, how do people find it?
Chelsea Hartner  1:12:21
LinkedIn and what do they search for? Really? Yeah, yeah. Ah, you could go to my LinkedIn page. Chelsea Hartner, dash Vernarsky but you should be able to just find me at Chelsea harder to spell that for me. Yeah. H A R T N E R dash V as in Victor E R N A R S K Y.
Michael Hingson  1:12:46
Chelsea C H E L S E A.
Chelsea Hartner  1:12:48
EA, correct? Yes. So sorry.
Michael Hingson  1:12:52
I figured that out.
Chelsea Hartner  1:12:55
Um, and you can go to my my LinkedIn page there and it is a featured articles. So it’s, it’s the first article that kind of pops up when you scroll through my my profile.
Well, that is exciting. Well, Chelsea, I really have enjoyed this. And I hope that you listening out there that you enjoyed it as well. We really appreciate you Chelsea coming on and sharing so much about yourself. I know that some of it was probably a challenge. But I appreciate you doing it and feeling comfortable enough to share it with us. I would love to hear from you out there. If you have comments, please let us know. You can email me at Michaelhi at accessibe A C C E S S I B E.com. Or go to our podcast page www dot Michael Hingson H i n g s o n.com/podcast. And of course, we really would appreciate it if you would give us a five star review. For our podcast today. Chelsea would appreciate it, I would appreciate it. Chelsea’s cats and my cat would appreciate it or they might come and haunt you if you don’t. But it’s possible you never know these these cats know a lot. But so we really would appreciate it if you give us a five star review from from listening to the state. But most of all, I want to thank you all for listening. And Chelsea once more. Thank you for coming on unstoppable mindset and talking with us today.
Chelsea Hartner  1:14:20
Thank you for having me. It’s the first podcast I’ve ever I’ve ever done. So I hope that I left a good impact for your audience.
Michael Hingson  1:14:28
You done really good as they would say.
Michael Hingson  1:14:34
You have been listening to the Unstoppable Mindset podcast. Thanks for dropping by. I hope that you’ll join us again next week, and in future weeks for upcoming episodes. To subscribe to our podcast and to learn about upcoming episodes, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com slash podcast. Michael Hingson is spelled m i c h a e l h i n g s o n. While you’re on the site., please use the form there to recommend people who we ought to interview in upcoming editions of the show. And also, we ask you and urge you to invite your friends to join us in the future. If you know of any one or any organization needing a speaker for an event, please email me at speaker at Michael hingson.com. I appreciate it very much. To learn more about the concept of blinded by fear, please visit www dot Michael hingson.com forward slash blinded by fear and while you’re there, feel free to pick up a copy of my free eBook entitled blinded by fear. The unstoppable mindset podcast is provided by access cast an initiative of accessiBe and is sponsored by accessiBe. Please visit www.accessibe.com. accessiBe is spelled a c c e s s i b e. There you can learn all about how you can make your website inclusive for all persons with disabilities and how you can help make the internet fully inclusive by 2025. Thanks again for listening. Please come back and visit us again next week.

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