What is trauma informed leadership?


What is trauma informed leadership? In today’s episode Judith Germain speaks to Kelly L Campbell about trauma-informed leadership. Kelly shares her personal journey, including starting a successful digital marketing agency in her 20s, but eventually feeling unfulfilled and selling the company. This led her to become a trauma-informed leadership coach, focusing on helping leaders integrate their own past trauma and lead from a place of greater self-awareness and empathy.

Key Takeaways

  • Trauma-informed leadership is about understanding what might be happening internally for people and leading with compassion
  • Epigenetic research suggests some leaders may be hormonally imbalanced due to childhood trauma, impacting empathy
  • There is hope for more conscious leadership from younger generations who are discussing emotions/trauma
  • Becoming trauma-informed involves training to recognise trauma responses and practicing the mindset consistently


What is Trauma-Informed Leadership?

  • Understanding what may be happening internally for team members/employees and leading with compassion
  • Asking for consent, using thoughtful language, holding space for people’s humanity
  • Not assuming everyone is “damaged” but recognising how past experiences shape current behaviours

Epigenetic Research on Leadership

  • Research suggests some leaders were flooded with cortisol/adrenaline from childhood trauma
  • This hormonal imbalance may limit ability to feel empathy or lead consciously
  • Controversial idea: Should leaders have hormonal testing for fitness to lead?

Hope for Conscious Leadership

  • Younger generations are more open to therapy, discussing emotions, doing inner work
  • This gives hope for more trauma-aware, high-conscious leaders in the future
  • Though the shift is happening, location/environment impacts one’s perspective

Becoming Trauma-Informed

  • Training to understand trauma, recognise dysregulation
  • Practicing the mindset with one’s leadership team

In this conversation Kelly explains that trauma-informed leadership is about understanding how past trauma can impact people’s behavior and responses, and leading with compassion, consent, and consideration for employees’ and clients’ humanity.

Kelly shares new research on how intergenerational trauma can impact leaders’ brain chemistry and hormonal balance, potentially making it difficult for them to feel empathy and make decisions for the greater good. She suggests this research could have implications for how we evaluate leadership capabilities.

Kelly L Campbell speaks and writes about trauma, leadership, and consciousness – ‘The new TLC’. Kelly is a Trauma Informed Leadership Coach to emerging and established leaders who know they are meant for more. 

Maverick leadership is all about thinking outside the box and challenging the status quo. It’s about having the courage to take risks and the confidence to lead in a way that is authentic and genuine.

But amplifying your influence as a leader isn’t just about having a strong vision or a big personality. It’s also about having the right leadership capability and being able to execute on your ideas and plans.

The consequences of not having the right level of influence as a leader can be significant. Without the ability to inspire and motivate others, you may struggle to achieve your goals and make a real impact.

How Influential Are you? Take the scorecard at amplifyyourinfluence.scoreapp.com and see. 

Kelly L Campbell can be found on LinkedIn here. Her website can be found here.

You can listen to Episode 433 on any of the popular podcast platforms or apps (including Spotify, and Audible). If you prefer to listen to your browser you can do that below. Enjoy!

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Maverick Paradox Media is for the pathologically curious who seek to learn from lateral thinkers, including how to execute maverick thinking. We provide a Maverick perspective on the world arounds us. 💢 I am the leading authority on 𝗠𝗮𝘃𝗲𝗿𝗶𝗰𝗸 𝗟𝗲𝗮𝗱𝗲𝗿𝘀𝗵𝗶𝗽 and Founder of Maverick Paradox Media. It is because I am passionate about demonstrating that Maverick Leadership exists everywhere and understand that we can all learn from diverse and differing voices that I founded Maverick Paradox Media. Maverick Paradox reaches thousands of leaders and business owners, empowering and inspiring them to think differently, challenge often and increase their leadership capability. 💢 Maverick Paradox Media consists of: ✅ The Maverick Paradox Podcast (on all popular podcast platforms/apps – available episodes here: https://www.maverickparadox.co.uk/maverick-paradox-podcast-available-episodes/) ✅ The Maverick Paradox Magazine I also write for The Maverick Paradox Magazine and you can find those articles under my name Judith Germain.


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