Trauma and traumatic events are not selective. They are not specifically assigned to the meek or the mighty, the rich or the poor, the weak or the strong. Top Executives, people in powerful positions, top leaders are all subjected at some time or another to their own traumatic events.
The question I am posing is “can you still effectively lead when trauma strikes?” Not all leaders are in a position to take time off after going through divorce, suffering a death in the family, recovering from illness or an accident etc. …or worse still, there are many leaders who rather choose to simply ignore that anything has happened to them, because they are being depended on. Stiff upper lip and all that!
Probably the worst thing you can do, if you want to continue to be effective, is try to ignore that anything has happened. As a specialist Trauma Release Facilitator I have dealt with enough of these situations to hopefully offer a little more insight…
Recognise the problem
To ignore the effects of trauma on and in your own body and mind is potentially inviting a retroactive scenario when one day you simply can no longer cope, break down and henceforth become potentially totally ineffective as a leader, or even a balanced human individual in all the roles you occupy. Recognise that what you have had to face is a problem that you need to deal with.
Accept that there is pain
Face the situation – understand that you have a problem and are suffering pain. Realise that this is not only something you need to deal with, but those you lead can be adversely affected by the poor decisions or erratic behaviour that you may now exhibit.
Avoid the pressure cooker effect!
As I alluded to already, the suppression of pain can ultimately lead to the ‘pressure cooker’ effect. You are stewing inside day after day, until that one day comes when the lid blows off. Somebody, maybe a whole team, a whole company …or a whole country is subjected to the steam you’re blowing off and the effects can be devastating.
I have a favourite analogy about what often occurs in these situations …even if you are not stewing, you may be like a big old bear that just decides to sleep it off through the winter. You see this as season that shall pass and just go into a kind of mental coma.
The problem is when you finally wake up to your reality, you’re so hungry you are ready to kill to be fed the nourishment that you should have had all along. What can I say? …pressure cooker, or hibernation, both are simply delaying facing your pain head on and dealing with it.
There is no separation from pain
The body and mind are designed to create pain as a warning signal that something is amiss, whether it is physically or emotionally. Just as when we have a physical injury we have to face up to and treat pain, so does the individual who has suffered trauma.
It may sound ridiculous to some, but emotional pain only begins to subside when we embrace it, understanding that we cannot be separated from it. Your body and mind operate as one entity, they cannot be separated, regardless of where pain has chosen to strike.
I can help
I have, through my business Self and More, assisted hundreds of people to deal with trauma and achieve a holistic balance of body and mind through passive, effective, constructive techniques. Let me assist you, as a leader, to continue to lead effectively in a time of crisis.
No-one needs to suffer in silence, or try to be an island, by doing so you are simply disconnecting with the very people you need to be strong for. As a leader, you know that you need to keep your enemies close and engage them face to face.
When offered a ‘fight or flight’ option great leaders don’t flee …When the pain of trauma is your enemy, contact me and let’s fight it together.