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Trauma Informed Empathy (TIE)

A diverse group of employees working together in a harmonious and supportive workspace, representing the concept of a trauma-informed workplace.

Over the past several years, the workforce has experienced the collective trauma of the pandemic and its repercussions. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) In the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, global prevalence of anxiety and depression increased by 25%. As leaders, we need to approach our workforce with empathy.

For those in healthcare, the concept of trauma-informed care may be nothing new. Trauma-informed care recognized that more often than not, someone has experience trauma in their life (usually, but not always in childhood) and it can lead to negative health outcomes. A trauma-informed response shouldn’t just be utilized in the healthcare setting, it can be utilized in any workplace. Trauma-informed responses shouldn’t just be limited to those patients/customers we serve, it should be applied to those we work alongside and lead.

We wrote the last post about the importance of empathy. The next step in that concept is Trauma-Informed Empathy (TIE). The broad definition of trauma is an emotional reaction to a terrible event. While empathy is to share and understand the feelings of another. Trauma-Informed Empathy is an approach where we come to conversations and situations with grace, starting from the assumption of trauma. TIE believes we recognize and are sensitive to the feelings, emotions, perspectives and experiences of others. TIE understands that with acceptance and listening can lead to healing.

Let’s take care of those we lead in the workplace.

Reflection Question: What will I do as a leader to recognize and empathize with the trauma that those I lead have been through?

Topic Next Week: Trauma-Informed Empathy Leader Actions and Team Exercise

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