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Organizational Trauma Symptoms

Excerpt from "Organizational Trauma and Healing" by Pat Vivian and Shana Hormann, 2013

•Everything is considered urgent

•Taking on an aggressive posture (as a way of guarding or protecting themselves from the harshness of their environment)

•Advocating all the time (instead of some or most of the time)

•Trouble creating and maintaining routine structures (due to sensitivity to crisis)

•Almost everything is contextualized as a power dynamic

•Limiting beliefs that they are powerless and victims

• Hypervigilant and overly attentive to internal dynamics

•  Judgmental about how peers live out organizational values

• Focusing inward because it’s easier than facing experiences of defeat externally; this results in people walking on eggshells (i.e. afraid of being judged or critiqued about their level of passion for the cause)

•Discouraging atmosphere if organization’s high ideals are combined with the chronic experience of falling short

•Processes geared towards crisis response vs. routine and sound planning

•Boundary-less or conversely, hard lines in the sand

•Unrealistic expectations

•Pervasive fear

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