Peers in the workplace that are recovering from trauma will have difficulty verbalizing their emotions or even a simple thought (VanderKolk, 2014).  There is an uncertainty about life that confuses as they sort through their trauma.  With time and repetition, their communication patterns will slowly form into crisp, clear, confidant responses.

Confidence often comes after strategy. Chess is a great example of strategy. Wikipedia enlightens on the historical game of chess, once called curling:

a great deal of strategy and teamwork goes into choosing the ideal path and placement of a stone for each situation, and the skills of the curlers determine how close to the desired result the stone will achieve.

Workplace culture words optimize strategies. Teamwork helps but listening and comprehension is key.  A safe environment and it’s objects enable trust. Interiors or dwelling spaces communicate a context to influence communication, confidence. 99% Invisible provides a concrete example of this. In his podcast on broken glass, Roman Mars concluded:

…architecture is personal.  The strangest part of our interaction with a built-in environment is that what can be so evocative and meaningful to you can mean absolutely nothing to someone else (Mars, 2012)

Our sensations are always ‘on’.  Before logic kicks in, your sense concludes a trigger response like:  fear, rage, lust, to care, panic or to play and engage. Workplace culture words engage behaviors that bring out one’s worst or best self. Individuals struggling with trauma have difficulty with this. When we design spaces that support wellbeing it triggers a sense to act on healthy behaviors. A sure way to workplace culture words that emulate the meaning of crisp.

Language improves self-esteem, creates motivation to learn, engages a cooperative attitude, defuses power struggles, and teaches conflict resolution skills.  I know this first-hand.  Through my post-traumatic years I was tongue-tied.  To change language it took trial and failure. Appreciation for peers who used supportive words enabled growth. Crisp communication skills followed years of perseverance and awareness to my surroundings, people, and behavior.

Similar to the sport of curling, work with a team, take turns, and determine the purpose.

GIG Design | Occupational Performance


destructive adjectives  supportive adjectives

defiant   courageous, bold

hyper    high energy

quiet    thoughtful, inner-directed

clingy    connected, bonded

tattletale    justice seeker

stubborn   focused, committed, determined

fussy about details    discriminating

talks back    courageous, honest

finicky eater    future gourmet

dawdles    creative, observant

slow poke    deliberate

nosey    high curiosity

naughty    likes attention, persistent

mouthy    expressive, assertive

spoiled    loved

mean    power seeker

crabby    speaks out needs

sneaky    inventive, creative

compulsive   efficient

silly   fun loving


DESIGN^hear | Consider acoustic needs to support optimal listening within supportive, team roles.


DESIGN^interceptive | Consider natural environments prior to engaging in challenging activities to body sense needs.

Tippet, Krista, (2014, October, 30). Restoring the Body: Yoga, EDMR, and Treating Trauma []. Retrieved from

Chess. (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved December 7, 2012, from

Greenspan S.. (Producer). (2012, Nov 29). Broken Window  [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from

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