If you’re wondering how to stay on top of your leadership development, consider adding a trauma-informed lens. Trauma is an invisible force that shapes the way we live, love, and make sense of the world. It’s a deep, emotional injury caused by the perspective of experiences that we have throughout our life. What’s unique about this time in history is that on top of the collective trauma people are experiencing, there’s a barrage of individual traumas both big and small. Over the past year, I’ve experienced over 13 deaths within my network and I’m still trying to figure it out. The key is that I know that I’m not alone.
As I work with hundreds of leaders over the course of the year, I’m convinced that trauma-informed leadership is not a luxury. It’s a necessity. Healthcare, first responders, the military, and many other sectors have been incorporating this as part of their leadership for quite some time. If you’re new to this terminology, don’t worry.
Being trauma-informed starts with having an understanding that troubling behavior is not necessarily caused by laziness or lack of care. Trauma can stem from natural causes, accidents, catastrophes, and intentional acts. There can be individual traumas, interpersonal traumas, developmental traumas, and traumas caused by adverse childhood experiences.
To cultivate a trauma-informed culture, we need to understand that individuals who experience trauma may have difficulty regulating their emotions. We may see this in the form of temper tantrums, being tardy, withdrawing, as well as being defensive. While these behaviors may be tolerated or even ignored, there might be so much more happening behind the curtain and there may be the opportunity for greater connection and nurturing of our common humanity.
I’ve been in the workforce for a little while and I know that the old beliefs were to check our emotions at the door, but we’re learning more from experts like Mark Brackett and Susan David that we need to acknowledge what it is that we’re feeling and reach out to one another. We can take a step further for personal and social responsibility. If you’re a team leader or an executive leading an organization and you’re wondering how to start incorporating a trauma-informed lens within my culture, start with Dare to Lead.
I have had the blessing of leading several teams through the Dare to Lead curriculum this year. The learning has been deep, rich, and impactful. If you’re ready to take that next step in 2022, be sure to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any other questions for me, don’t hesitate to reach out via phone or email. I look forward to hearing from you.