- Burnout sneaks up on people
- You're often the last to realize that you're suffering from burnout
- It's a leader's duty to spot and treat burnout in their people
Three signs of burnout -
- Lost confidence
A burnout intervention is like any other type of behavioral intervention. They're designed to affect the actions that individuals take with regard to their health
The goal is twofold: 1.) to promote healthy stress mgmt. behaviors, such as priority setting, distraction mgmt. & productive self-talk, and 2.) to discourage inappropriate behaviors, such as thinking traps, withdrawal and over-work.
- Prepare in advance - a.) What signs of burnout have you observed in them? b.) What behaviors are contributing to their burnout? c.) What changes do you want them to make? d.) What's the reason behind each change?
- Develop an action plan - outline a.) the specific steps you want them to take, b.) the specific steps and support you're offering, c.) "if/then" contingency plans, and d.) milestones intended.
- Choose the right time - avoid the end of day and week when their psychological capital is depleted. Early in week and early in day is best.
- Be direct and to the point - explain right up front your concern for their well-being and behaviors that need to change
- Present your plan - see #2 above
- Collaborate on the plan - encourage their input and turn the plan into a joint effort. Focus primarily on "if/then" contingency plans.
- Take ownership - probe for behaviors of yours that may be contributing to their burnout. Be open to any behavioral shifts YOU may need to commit.
- Set clear expectations - specify the behavioral change and milestones you'll hold them accountable for
- Establish positive expectations - people tend to rise to positive expectations
- Ask for their commitment - seek their personal accountability
- End with their "why" - reinforce the compelling reason they have to address their personal well-being
There are 3 outcomes to an effective burnout intervention -
- Clear plan - w/out precise direction, contingency plans & milestones - it's just talk
- Compelling reason(s) to act - w/out motivation...their "why" - it's just wishful thinking
- Mutual accountability - w/out joint accountability - it's just going through the motions
COACHING POINT - Be prepared for "can't...because" thinking.
"Can't...because" thinking is an objection raised by the employee. Ex. "I can't take time off because I've got too much to do."
"Can't...because" thinking is often linked to thinking traps like catastrophic thinking.
First, deal with the thinking trap by introducing a more balanced, rationale way of thinking.
Next, collaborate with the employee on "if/then" plans. Ex. "If you feel like you have too much to do, then let's work together to reprioritize your to-do's."
Finish with the reason to act. Ex. "You won't be at your best until you recharge. I need 100% of you...not 50%."
COACHING POINT - burnout interventions can also be proactive. Consider clarity checks as a proactive burnout intervention.