What’s so special about the coaching auticon provides for our autistic consultants?

2 Unicus employees sit side-by-side working together. The nearest has short blonde hair and wears a black t-shirt and the far colleague has mid-length auburn hair and a white top

At auticon, each of our autistic IT and data consultants have the ongoing support of a coach throughout their employment with us. Many of our consultants say that having the support of their coach is something they most value about working at auticon. But what is coaching and what makes it special? 

What coaching involves

This is hard to pin down as it varies depending on what each individual will find helpful. Coaches spend time getting to know consultants and can adopt a range of coaching methods. They aim to work in partnership providing practical and meaningful support through regular 1:1 meetings – via video call, audio call, text chat or in person. For example, coaches might support consultants to:

  • Identify their strengths
  • Understand their neurodivergent condition(s) and any other co-occurring conditions
  • Manage anxiety or low mood through development of practical wellbeing strategies
  • Understand workplace cultures, expectations and helpful reasonable adjustments
  • Navigate communications 
  • Develop strategies to manage executive functioning 
  • Deal with organisational change

Coaches all work at auticon

Something that is of huge value with auticon’s coaching model is that it is completely embedded – our coaching team are all employees of auticon. This means the support really is built into the job, and that it can be truly flexible. Whilst consultants tend to have regular coaching sessions in the diary, they can also ask for ad-hoc support. This might be called upon if there has been an unexpected change with a client project that our consultant needs some support processing, or they might just feel their motivation dipping at a particular point of the day and would benefit from a quick light-hearted exchange of gifs with their coach to get them back on track. 

Coaches support our clients too

The fact that our coaches are auticon employees also makes them well placed to act as a bridge between our consultants and our clients. This means that coaches not only support our consultants, but also our clients. Before an auticon consultant starts a new client project, their coach will work with the client team to make sure they have a good understanding of the neurodivergent experience and what they can do to make their environment neuroinclusive. This ensures a good baseline understanding, and then the coach will also work with the team to help them understand the specific reasonable adjustments our consultant will benefit from. They’ll also make sure that the team appreciate all the strengths our consultant will bring – we know there will be lots! 

Coaches support effective Communication

In the same way that our consultants can contact the coach for ad-hoc support, so can the client.  For example, this could happen after a team meeting when the client is updating on current priorities. The client may ask the coach to check in with the consultant if they are concerned they haven’t been clear enough during the meeting, or perhaps they realised  the way they delivered the update may have caused undue anxiety. The coach can contact the consultant and double-check their understanding of the situation, discuss any concerns and provide feedback to the client if required. This 3-way communication option can be helpful to smooth over any communication difficulties. 

Coaches take a holistic approach

Another benefit is that our coaching team all have lots of experience working with autistic individuals, and enjoy supporting our consultants to thrive by taking a holistic and person-centered approach. Our coaches support our consultants in a rounded way, which includes helping to manage any co-occurring conditions, mental health concerns, life-work balance and anything outside of work that could be impacting on work.

Coaches encourage self-advocacy

An important aspect of the coaching support is that there is a clear focus on empowering our consultants and encouraging self-advocacy. Although the coach can support when needed, they don’t default to stepping in. We know that our consultants have amazing strengths and capabilities and are often quite happy to work independently with minimal support. Our coaches love seeing our consultants learning more about what they need to work productively and building the confidence to ask for the adjustments they need to allow their skills to shine through. But they are always on hand, and that reassurance counts for a lot.

Find out more about working at auticon UK on our website

Careers – auticon United Kingdom

Read our previous blog post on How does IT consulting work?

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