At AIS we often talk about the challenges people who stutter face in the workplace and explore ways to successfully navigate these challenges. In our latest speaker series we heard from George Daquila, a strong supporter of self-advocacy in the workplace, talk about his successes navigating stuttering and workplace challenges. George shared with us his story and the self-advocacy skills he found to be most useful at work and on job interviews.
Here are four tips from George on how to self-advocate in the workplace:
Tip #1: Be willing to disclose your stuttering
Willingness is step one. Ask yourself: “Am I willing to disclose that I stutter”? If the answer is yes, great! Check in with these 3 basic rules and you’re ready to go. If the answer is no, that’s ok too. You might want to then consider exploring with a good friend, trusted mentor or speech therapist what you need to do next to get ready to take that first step.
Tip #2: Start small
Start disclosing your stuttering with the people that you are most comfortable with. Reach further from there. This may mean talking to a family member first and then disclosing to a friend at work. Eventually you will build your support network at work and create a ‘stutter-friendly’ zone.
Tip #3: Continue to expand your comfort zone
Be it with voluntary stuttering, more disclosing, or creating mock interviews for people who stutter in your workplace (like George does), continuously challenge yourself and pushing your comfort zone will keep you in good ‘stuttering shape’. As George says: “the work is never done”, so find ways that you can challenge yourself that are safe, fun, and effective.
Tip #4: Turn stuttering into an asset
Stuttering really puts you through the ringer and has the potential to break you or make you stronger. Mental strength and resilience is an asset in any work environment, and framing it that way reminds you, and your potential employer, that you bring a set of strengths to the table that are indispensable .
To hear more about George’s story and the conversation of the night, click on this link, or watch the video below:
The American Institute for Stuttering is a leading non-profit organization whose primary mission is to provide universally affordable, state-of-the-art speech therapy to people of all ages who stutter, guidance to their families, and much-needed clinical training to speech professionals wishing to gain expertise in stuttering. Offices are located in New York, NY and Atlanta, GA, and services are also available Online. Our mission extends to advancing public and scholarly understanding of this often misunderstood disorder