Interview Spotlight With Toni Horn
After 17 years working for Barclays, Toni Horn founded Think Differently Coaching CiC because she’s passionate about diversity and equality for those who are neurodivergent. She is an advocate for Neurodiversity and is dedicated to promoting inclusiveness and creating a more diverse and accepting society. As a neurodiversity training designer and coach, Toni Horn would be responsible for creating and delivering training programs that promote awareness and understanding of neurodiversity. The goal of these programs would be to help individuals and organisations understand the value and strengths of neurodiverse individuals and to create more inclusive and supportive environments for people with neurodiverse conditions.
Thank you for interviewing with us today, can you introduce yourself to us?
I’m Toni Horn, founder of Think Differently, I am also a mum of 2 boys and a wife to Dave.
Can you take us through your journey to where you are now?
As a Dyslexic woman, I am passionate about neurodiversity inclusion and understanding. I masked my dyslexia for most of my professional life and understood the workplace challenges. I want to see culture change across all organisations where every manager is a role model of inclusive leadership, I worked for Barclays for over 17 years, and during 15 of those, I felt alone and ashamed to tell others about my dyslexia due to past stigma and not really understand it myself, so I was always living with imposter syndrome.
Once I did discover who I was, I said it out loud, and it felt amazing to be my authentic self at work and with my friends and family. This led me to become part of the Neurodiversity focus team at Barclays, and I led the Neurodiversity support pillar for 1000’s neurodivergent employees. I started Think Differently Coaching as I wanted to bring neurodiversity support to the employees and organisations that don’t have such sizeable corporate backing.
At the age of 40, I was diagnosed with autism, so I also discovered that; late diagnosis in a woman is becoming increasingly common as we learn more about it.
Have you ever had a mentor?
If so, how has this benefitted you, either personally or professionally? Yes, I think it’s really important to have a mentor; this is someone you can learn from and, at the same time, bounce ideas off; it is really important to have someone you trust.
What outlets do use for marketing?
LinkedIn, Facebook and Instagram
What or Who has inspired you most recently?
TV series Inside Our Autistic Mind, this 2-part documentary was informative and beautiful at the same time; it was a small insight into autism and how autism is different for everyone.
What is the best piece of business advice you have received to date?
Keep to your brand and keep it true to yourself!
How do you create an evenly balanced work and personal life?
Since owning my own business, I make sure I have the time to be productive and also have time for my family and friends; I have a strict no-weekend work; this is my time with my boys to create memories; I also make sure to I have at least one day in the week I do the school run, I think it’s important that they see mum at the gate at least once in the week.This misconception of 9-5 working is the best and most productive, but for me, I get my ideas later in the day, so I jot them down so I can start on them first thing when I know my brain as a dyslexic is at its most capable and I have most of my mental power. The best thing you can do is understand how your mind works and what times of the day you are most focused, that’s when you’re most productive.
Name a seminal point in your career so far?
When I was appointed co-chair of the Neurodiversity group at Barclays leading the support, this was a light bulb moment for me and drove me to drive my passion into work.
What gives you ultimate career satisfaction?
Impact, the impact my training can have, every time I deliver a half days CPD training module I know this will support someone and help change their experience in the workplace or the moment I deliver a lunch and learn session, and you see someone discovering something about themselves and being able to relate to what you are saying, coaching Neurodivdgent individuals and helping them with workplace strategies to help make them more productive and make things a little easier for them.
Are there any leading entrepreneurs or SME leaders that you admire and if so, why?
Not at the moment
How do you define your own success?
The moment someone reaches out to say thank you
Finally, what can we expect from you next?
At present I am designing a Neurodiversity Coaching workshop, This workshop is for coaches who want to become a certified neurodiversity coach, who want to help and support our neurodiversity community to thrive in the workplace.