Roadmap to Trauma-Informed Leadership with Carolyn Swora

Do you utilize your head, heart, and body as centers of intelligence when showing up as a leader? How do you allow people to show up? Do you create safe spaces where people can evolve despite their traumas?

In this episode of the Inspirational Leadership podcast, I speak with Carolyn Swora, a certified Dare to Lead™ Facilitator, as well as a Trauma-Informed Leadership Consultant. She works with small, medium and large organizations across Canada and the United States on becoming more compassionate, human and empathetic places for members of staff. Carolyn uses the Enneagram Personality System to help clients deepen self- awareness into their behavioral patterns. She has a Master’s degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology and has studied Resilience and Workplace Culture Transformation. She has also developed her own transformational leadership development methodologies, which she breaks down in her second book Evolve: The Path to Trauma-Informed Leadership.

Listen in to learn about the three centers of intelligence and the importance of recognizing your dominant one as a leader. You will also learn about three types of traumas and how to be trauma-informed as a leader.

Key Takeaways:

  • The head, heart, and body centers of intelligence and how to recognize your dominant one.
  • How to be a trauma-informed leader by recognizing how to create a safe space for people to evolve.
  • How to invest in self-awareness, self-regulation, and co-regulation practices to become an intentional leader.
  • How to embody your imperfections to allow authenticity to show up and be in a space of receiving.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • [02:12] Carolyn shares her history with team environment building and passion for bringing people together.
  • [05:13] The pivotal moments that motivated her to make changes in her professional life.
  • [09:17] The three centers of intelligence and how you perceive the world from your dominant center of intelligence.
  • [17:21] Understanding the meaning of trauma-informed and how to be a trauma-informed leader.
  • [20:47] Three types of traumas – collective, situational, and racialized traumas and how they show up.
  • [25:46] The importance of self-awareness, self-regulation, and co-regulation practices for great leadership.
  • [30:15] How to use your power to close the existing gap by inviting more people into the discussion.
  • [31:53] The power of self-awareness in helping you learn to receive both positive and negative feedback.
  • [38:47] The mindful practices to consider to create space for peace and quiet.

Standout Quotes:

  • “When we talk about being trauma-informed, it’s about being mindful of your own actions, how you’re showing up, and creating a space for others to be able to show up so they feel seen, heard, and valued.”– Carolyn [17:36]
  • “Our intention is always going to be different than our desired impact.”– Carolyn [26:08]
  • “The more power and privilege you have (positional or not), the more accountability you have to close this gap and welcome people into the discussion, an understanding, or sharing so that both experiences can be valued.”– Carolyn [30:55]

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Resources Mentioned:

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