In this interview Quint Studer talks to hospital CEO turned trauma expert Diana Hendel. After experiencing a deadly workplace shooting, Diana began studying how trauma impacts individuals and organizations. In assessing COVID-19 she quickly realized it has all the hallmarks of a traumatic crisis. This surprises people because they think trauma is a single horrific event. But the pandemic is traumatizing employees, leaders, and entire organizations—and all of us, collectively, as a nation.
Diana says it’s vital to make the distinction between stress and trauma. With short term stress, employees can usually power through. But once we cross over into trauma—and the duration, intensity, and frequency of change we face now makes this far more likely—we must treat the problem differently. Coping and building resilience is very important but insufficient alone in dealing with trauma that affects an entire organization. (Not that they don’t work.)
In this interview Diana reveals some of the ways trauma manifests in individuals and companies. And she discusses some tools and tactics that can help leaders of all types of organizations navigate through traumatic crises and periods of intense change. The good news? Not only can your organization survive trauma it can thrive on the other side—growing into a stronger, better, more unified version of itself.
Diana will be a keynote at EntreCon 2020. Click here to learn more.
Diana Hendel, PharmD, is the author of three upcoming books. One, Responsible, is a memoir about leading a major medical organization through a deadly workplace shooting. The other two, published by Harper Collins, are coauthored by Mark Goulston, MD: Why Cope When You Can Heal? helps healthcare workers deal with the trauma caused by COVID-19, and Trauma To Triumph guides leaders in navigating their organization through change and traumatic crisis.