We don’t tend to think of the workplace as a place where we need to overtly work with trauma. Trauma belongs in the domain of mental health. It belongs to your therapist, and not your leadership consultant or your executive coach. But here’s the truth: adults spend most of their time at work. Workplaces need to become places where we not only grow and develop—they also need to be places where we can heal and repair what has been hurt.
A basic definition of trauma is that it is an experience or event that overwhelms your capacities to depend upon or protect yourself. Trauma impacts the way we behave, the way we interact in relationships and the way we can learn and grow. And shifting from ‘what’s wrong with you?’ to ‘what happened to you?’ is needed in our places of work.
While much of the trauma that we think about is acute trauma or one-time trauma, like car accidents, a lot of the trauma that we experience is actually repeated trauma. With repeated trauma, our brains and bodies shift to protection. And this efficiency and repetition of protection becomes our way of living in the world—it becomes our personality. It becomes the way we lead.
Listen in as Linda Conyard, Australia’s leading pioneer advocating for trauma-sensitive change and informed responsiveness to trauma in the workplace, talks about how to overcome the traumas in your life in order to lead in a healthy, balanced and authentic way!