Jessica is a self-confessed start-up addict; a serial entrepreneur, founder and investor. With The Playbook, her current start-up, she successfully led a series A funding round for $18 million. 

Today, Jessica takes us back to her Q3 of 2017. 

She was the general manager of a company. After a dispute that was growing and growing. Jessica saw a side of her employee that meant she had to let go. 

The employee had been with the company for some time. She was ambitious and worked hard. 

But their relationship had taken a bad turn. The business was moving fast. And that meant that they didn’t have time to talk — until it was too late. 

With all of the emotions and insecurities at play — Jessica saw a side of herself that she didn’t necessarily like. And reaching this stage was a big hit to her confidence.

Because of this relationship dynamic, the rest of her team was suffering. 

By the time it came to letting her go — lots of damage had already been done. 

Jessica had a clear idea of what a manager should be, and after this moment, she no longer trusted that the image was true.

How does this play out for Jessica’s interpersonal relationship at work today?

Although, this happened 5 years ago. Jessica replays the complexities of this moment — and the emotions tied to it — often. 

She wants it out of her head, but her trauma remains. And with it, comes a lot of social anxiety. Will she encounter someone like this again?

As a result, Jessica hires strategically. Employing people on the basis that they do not have the characteristics she saw in her former employee. 

She lives in fear that she may see similar emotions surfacing in her team when times get tough. She steps back from managing her team, asks other managers to do the work, and avoids interactions that may lead to seeing that side of someone. 

How can you navigate this trauma?

Five years on, Jessica has made significant progress since that moment. 

Looking back, she sees the emotions and pressure of her environment — and understands that her fight response was a natural act of defense.

Even if it wasn’t the best reaction, it’s a human instinct to need to protect yourself. 

As this event has plagued her mind, Jessica has done a lot of reflection. 

She’s consciously working with that fight response (her Chimp, as we call it in the episode) and understood what those triggers are. 

So in this episode, we explore what Jessica wants to achieve by working WITH her trauma. And how to face the fear that she experiences.

We talk about,

  • What her triggers are
  • Embracing her fear and using it as a tool
  • What insecurities look like and how to manage them
  • What sharing vulnerability with your team can do for your culture

Trauma in interpersonal relationships in work can have a knock-on effect on your life. 

The conclusions that Jessica reaches in this episode, are a testament to the power of sharing your vulnerabilities with your team.