There are times when we’re recording an online Assembly or bitesize video or dedicated podcast episode and we just think OMG EVERYONE IS GOING TO ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS.

And that’s the case with this interview with consultant and founding director of About Consulting Group, Jon Dunckley.

Because this podcast is all about neurodiversity.

(Its origins lie in this comment by Planner12 posted at The Big Tent last year.)

And, as Jon (who is autistic) says very early on in the episode, neurodiversity matters to me, you and everyone.

After all, we each have a way of thinking that’s unique to us. We all occupy our place in a neurodiverse world.

But if the way we think is plotted on a spectrum, most of us would be considered ‘neurotypical’.

Yet plenty of us – at least 1 in 10 in the UK – function, learn and process information differently from the neurotypical.

Neurodifference and work

We may be neurodifferent but, despite thinking differently, we’re expected to adapt and succeed in a world that’s geared towards neurotypical people.

And that’s why we thought Planner12’s question – and the thread that their comment sparked – was such a great starting point to consider neurodiversity and its consequences personally and professionally whether we’re neurodivergent or neurotypical.

Because even if we’re not neurodifferent ourselves, people we work with will be. Either way, what do we need to consider about day-to-day working life so we each get the chance to thrive, contribute and gain fulfilment from work?

What do we mean by neurodifferent? What conditions are considered neurodifferent? If you’re neurodifferent, do you mention it to your employer? Do you need a diagnosis? What’s your approach to studying and sitting exams? How should you adapt your leadership style for a range of neurodifferent conditions? And how does your condition influence the way you manage your team?

Invaluable insights and practical tips

In just under an hour, host Richard Allum and Jon explore just about everything you could possibly want to cover.

Expect talk of autism, ADHD, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, dyslexia and dysgraphia. Learn about TIC syndrome, the ‘Pygmalion effect’, why people with ‘spiky profiles’ are good for business. Plus why job adverts should (a) encourage applicants with spiky profiles and (b) be really clear about what a job will actually involve.

And there’s so much more.

In fact, this is an area we’re going to explore more – and not leave it too long before we do. So if you think of anything that the Assembly could explore once you’ve listened please get in touch and tell us what you think.

Now, tuck in to this latest episode. We think you’re going to love it.

Listen to the Assembly

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A few of links mentioned by Jon during the episode

British Dyslexia Association: Dyslexia-friendly style guide

The Neurodiverse Workplace by Victoria Honeybourne

Think Human Business Writing course

BTS podcast: Neurodiversity and studying for regulated exams

PFS Power: Working with vulnerable clients

Cornell note-taking system (YouTube video)

Online Assembly: Design principles for reports

Get into the right headspace for tax year end. An online Assembly. 1pm on 19 January 2023. Featuring Rebecca Timmins of Time to Think

Tax year end. ALREADY?

Yes. But it wasn’t just any old hour’s worth of tax chat (attractive though we know that would be). 

No. This is all about getting in the RIGHT MINDSET for 2023’s tax year end deadline. 

(Like a HIIT workout. But without the HIIT bit. Or the workout.)

What it involved was coach and facilitator, Becca Timmins, being joined by Kez Condy and Jo Parkes from Navigatus, Zoe Hitchcock from Crowe UK and Emery Little’s Satu Flynn to discuss how they were getting in the zone for this year’s tax deadline.

The audience were invited to tune in as the group answer three questions:

By sharing their insights and experiences from last year – combined with your own contributions in the chat – everyone taking part – on screen or off it – gained ideas, tips and techniques that could prove invaluable in countdown to the tax year deadline.

For the first time in three years paraplanners from all over the country were able to gather for real for the Paraplanners Assembly’s Big Day Out at FarmED near Chipping Norton in Oxfordshire on 15 September 2022.

Learning objectives

We opted for a blend of small group sessions – which we called Crop Rotations – and all-together sessions.

Crop rotations: Morning

For the pre-lunch sessions, we split the Assembly into three groups: Barley, Oats and Wheat.

Participants were assigned to a group and each group rotated around the three topic sessions. Conversations in each topic session were facilitated by hosts and experts. Each session lasted for 45 minutes. The topic session for rotations 1, 2 and 3 were:

What will consumer duty mean to you?

Experts: the lang cat’s Mike Barrett and Mel Holman from CATS.

The art of challenging conversations

Expert: Becca Timmins from Time to Think and Emery Little led a session on challenging conversations.

Pep up your paraplanning processes

Experts: LIFT Financial’s Jonny Stubbs and Chris Baigent-Reed from Jigsaw Tree.

After lunch, participants were assigned to a NEW group: Apples, Cherries, Pears or Plums.

That’s because we combined two groups for the session on report writing but – by the miracle of organisation – ensured each group gets a technical Q&A all to itself. So the topics for rotations 4 and 5 were:

Technical Q&A

Panellists: Les Cameron and Neil MacLeod from M&G Wealth, and Transact’s Brian Radbone and Barnett Waddingham’s James Jones-Tinsley.

Three things that get in the way of clear, compliant and client-friendly report writing

Experts: Melissa Kidd of Motem with Mel Holman from CATS.

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A discussion about the challenges of managing a paraplanning team remotely. This was recorded during the pandemic.

Learning objectives

In this session we covered…

By Rachael Hurdman – Business Coach and consultant, Founder of Arch Inspire

Further to the July Howwow on building and managing paraplanner teams, here is a summary of the key themes we discussed, which I thought would be helpful for you all.

The purpose of paraplanning in your business…

The Player/Manager dynamic

Assert yourself and the team

Communication, Communication, Communication

a) Successes – capture and what what’s gone well and the resulting impacts

b) Learns – ensure all team members are sharing learns to support each other and work as effectively and collaboratively as possible

c) Concerns – ensure there is open dialogue where people feel comfortable to share concerns/issues to get support and help from the team (this doesn’t happen enough in businesses and can result in conflict, tension and stress if things are left unsaid for too long). Encourage and promote a culture where concerns and problems are shared openly

You can find out more about how Rachael and Arch inspire supports businesses, teams and individuals by visiting and connecting with Rachael on Linkedin.

Sharing practical tips and experience on how to build and run a paraplannning team.

Learning Objectives

In this session we covered…