"We come as a whole lived experience. And if people who are designated to be leaders don't understand how to engage and motivate that, then they're missing out on a huge piece of what they're there to do." - Erica Reed
What is trauma informed leadership?
Trauma-informed leadership involves understanding the impact of stress and trauma on employees and creating a workplace culture of belonging and psychological safety. As Erica Reed, a licensed clinical social worker and workplace wellness expert, states, "We bring our whole self to work," and leaders must consider the unique experiences of their employees in order to effectively engage them and prevent burnout.
Here are three tips on trauma informed leadership:
1. Effective leadership involves acknowledging and validating the experiences of employees. Trauma can come in different forms, such as grief, loss, or workplace bullying. Leaders must understand the impact that these experiences have on their team members.
2. Adopting a trauma-informed approach means creating a psychologically safe environment where employees feel supported and their voices are heard. This includes providing resources for employee mental health and wellness, such as counseling and training programs.
3. Cultivating empathy is a key component of trauma-informed leadership. Leaders who lead with empathy are more likely to establish trust and collaboration among their team members, which leads to improved performance and job satisfaction.
For more on trauma informed leadership, check out episode 7 of The Spring Forward Podcast entitled Leader’s Lens Part 3: How Trauma Informed Leadership Empowers Teams. And let's "Spring Forward Into Excellence!"