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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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