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Leading through an overwhelming, post-COVID world (feat. Stephen Travers)

Apr 6, 2021

Are you or your employees feeling “so over it” and overwhelmed?

After a year of change, isolation and upheaval from the impacts of COVID, I’m hearing from almost every CEO that I coach the deep concern that they have about the overbearing stress employees are experiencing. And yet, we are conditioned by our past in how we deal with current challenges, and our past trauma in particular impacts the way we deal with conflict. 

In fact, according to the latest research, 90% of our experience of the present moment is informed by the past (Cozolino, 2017). If that’s true,

how can we shift our conditioned response to more effectively lead in today’s environment?


Enter Havening: a groundbreaking neuroscientific technique that can be used to treat the consequences of encoded traumatic or stressful memories.

“To haven” means to put in a safe place, and the technique was developed by twin brothers, Drs. Ronald and Steven Ruden, to help people process feelings of unresolved anger, fear or inadequacy using psychosensory touch.

We discuss the impact of Havening with Stephen Travers, Director of U.K. and International Havening, who is passionate about teaching others how to use the technique in their lives. He shares his insights on how Havening works and why the tool is crucial to both our personal and business development.

“Havening helps us to be at our best, in terms of changing what’s actually happening in our brains and bodies,” Stephen explains.


So what’s the science behind Havening?

When you experience trauma, receptors encode all of the emotional and physical stress your body undergoes and transfers that to the amygdala. Havening was originally created through research to understand how trauma and anxiety get encoded in the brain, and how to use delta brain wave patterns to shift those pathways.

Anytime you feel triggered, the brain is stimulated to remember the past. By using Havening, you pinpoint the trauma and are set free from continually re-experiencing the trauma in your life.


Here’s what Havening can help us learn as leaders:

Leaders, like all people, can be triggered and respond in what feels like an exaggerated way to the current situation because of this process of encoding trauma. Even if they don’t recognize a certain childhood wound as trauma, it can still show up in the workplace if a trigger reminds them of how their mother, father, or peer treated them. Surprisingly, this happens far more often than people realize.

Instead of responding to the current situation, leaders are essentially reacting from their past experience. Think about the last time you saw a colleague fly off the handle, and imagine that 90% of that response was conditioned from past experiences, not the present. We can see how this can be problematic in the workplace.

The good news is that executives don’t have to let traumatic experiences detract from their leadership. But the application of Havening is even broader. Practitioners are helping leaders deal with common stressful situations like public speaking, conflict, or constructive criticism using Havening techniques.

In our interview, Stephen also gives us a demo, of how psychosensory can heal stress and anxiety. We recommend watching the video recording of our interview to get a full perspective.


Curious to learn how Havening can transform your leadership and your personal development?

You won’t want to miss our interview with Stephen Travers on The Enlightened Executive.

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