It is more important than ever to learn how to identify burnout and especially, how to buffer against it. Drawing from her deep knowledge of human behavior, Stanford University-trained psychologist and Board Certified Leadership Coach, Dr. Jacinta M. Jiménez, will deliver a presentation to reveal 3 key science-backed steps to address burnout in uncertain times.
Her Book: The Burnout Fix
“It represents an erosion in values, dignity, spirit, will – an erosion of the human soul”
– Christina Maslach
When our psychological resources, our inner resources that we pull from to thrive and survive through hardship or adversity get taxed, that can set the stage for burnout.
According to the WHO, “Burnout is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”. Burnout is global. It crosses cultures and it has increased even more with the Covid-19 global pandemic.
Dr. Jactina refers to burnout as not being an on-off switch, but rather like a gas tank indicator. It can sneak up on you over time, so it needs to be monitored regularly. It is a mismatch between the nature of our work and our capacity as humans.
When looking at burnout, coaches need to address several questions:
Why: The bigger version of why our client wants to invest in wellbeing and buffer against burnout.
What: What is the client’s goal.
How: Take a look at the three R’s (Recognize, Respond, Replenish) as an antidote to burnout with your client. These can be thought of as proactive risk management before people get “burnt out.”
1. Recognize – Be able to recognize burnout. Have clients actively monitor for burnout and look at contributing factors. Assess how it is showing up for them and address it up front. The sooner burnout can be caught, the sooner something can be done about it with more psychological reserves and inner resources.
2. Respond – Work with clients to identify any of the following 6 mismatches that are causing the burnout, being specific and granular with the response. Burnout is serious, so we need to look at the “why:”
“Burnout is what happens when you try to avoid being human for too long” – Michael Gungar
There’s an umbrella understanding that the cause of burnout is that people just work too hard, but that’s not necessarily the case.
Burnout is much more complicated than overworking to the point of exhaustion. It can happen from any combination of these six mismatches between our jobs and our capacities as humans:
The Six Mismatches:
As a coach, which one of the six mismatches is the person you are coaching talking about the most? As an employer, which one of these are your employees talking about the most?
The more granular you can get with identifying the specific cause of the mismatch, the more precise a client’s response can be.
3. Replenish – How is your client incorporating a little respite into one’s day and recognizing where he/she is at. Resilience is how you recharge and replenish, not how you endure. Taking short breaks for mindfulness, meditating, practicing yoga, going for a walk, playing fetch with your dog, etc. Stress in small doses leads to growth and enhanced performance.
Chronic stress without recovery puts us in the Danger Zone. This can happen easily in today’s modern day working life where we are always connected and can always be working.
“When you stress you must rest” — Your body doesn’t know the difference between joyous stress or angry stress. Whether you just saw a bear in the woods, got scared, went into fight or flight mode, and your sympathetic nervous system took over, or if you just completed a challenging fitness workout, your body still sees this as stress.
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