Recognize Trauma

Extreme consequences can occur from pent-up trauma, including workplace violence. Often more subtle events occur. Here are some examples of how trauma can manifest itself in the workplace:

  • Decreased Productivity – individuals may experience difficulty concentrating, making decisions, and completing tasks.
  • Increased Absenteeism – individuals may take more personal days.
  • Presenteeism – physically present individuals in the workplace may be emotionally disengaged from their tasks.
  • Communication Difficulties – Individuals may become irritable and have difficulty interacting with colleagues and supervisors. This can lead to conflicts or problems with authority.
  • Decision-making Impacts – Individuals may experience lapses in judgment or difficulty in problem-solving.
  • Increased Sensitivity – Individuals may react inappropriately to stressors in the workplace.
  • Perfectionism or Overachievement – To gain control of their situation, individuals may feel the need to be perfect.

When you recognize these traits, in yourself or others, practice empathy.  Awareness is the first step and a willingness to change is the next.  

There are many ways you can develop your ability to face trauma in healthy ways. You might try meditation, yoga, walks out in nature, silent retreats, running, and regular physical exercise. Aromatherapy is another healthy way to help develop your less stressful response to stress. Massage therapy can be very helpful, particularly after sitting in front of a computer for hours or spending time cramped in a plane to visit clients.