Your ability to detect the signs of burnout and intervene may be crucial in understanding your own situation or in providing needed assistance to key leaders in your organization.
Are you experiencing several or all of the following?
1. A Loss of Energy
You may sense a loss of physical, emotional or spiritual energy. You just don’t have the get up and go that normally characterizes you. You are physically, emotionally or spiritually tired. And the sense of physical tiredness goes beyond just having a hard days work. It’s something more pervasive. One day off or holiday doesn’t bring that sense of re-invigoration.
2. A Loss of Involvement
You start to withdraw from things you would normally be involved in. Signs of job burnout may include withdrawing from people or from certain work situations to be alone. You almost express an indifference to projects, programs and causes that normally would engage your interests and passions. You may even find yourself becoming cynical, irritated or seeing people as interruptions when it’s not the case at all. You’re going through the motions of leadership.
3. A Loss of Effectiveness
Your ability to perform as effectively as you once did is compromised. Your performance suffers. The quality of your work goes down. You’re not as sharp as you normally are. Your decision-making isn’t as crisp and decisive. Your communications are unclear and quality leadership is lacking. Others around you may be increasingly frustrated by your behaviors. Your burnout symptoms are beginning to affect them. It’s not that you lack these skills but that you seem unable to summon them when you need them.
4. A Loss of Health and a Sense of Well-Being
Stress weakens the immune system and our ability to fight off disease or minor health problems. You may have a sense of not just feeling as well as you normally do. That general feeling of malaise hangs on. You may experience any number of things happening to your body which don’t seem to tie together and don’t seem to have an explanation – poor sleeping, aches and pains, stomach problems, unable to relax and a host of others. You just don’t feel as well as you know you should be feeling.
The signs of burnout show up in different ways for different leaders and professionals. Some push through each day never willing to let their responsibilities or professionalism falter. Others are more immobilized by it. Most are unhappy, frustrated, and feel trapped with the lack of control over their own circumstances. Ask questions. Find a coach. Or if warranted, suggest the individual talk to a doctor. Ask how you can support them.
We Invite You to Contact Us
Over a number of years we have coached many leaders and executives experiencing overload and burnout. If you are experiencing these signs of burnout, an initial conversation will determine if and how we might assist you or point you to additional help.
Call our office at 705.687.2711 or contact us here.
You might also be helped in reading about how the body responds to stress. Leaders under stress often experience these characteristics.