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How Leaders Can Aid Exhausted Teams
When we disregard our physical and psychological needs and sacrifice them on the altar of productivity, we become less productive. Burnout and exhaustion are endemic in the business world. Leadership coaching can help leaders develop techniques to avoid both while passing on what they learn to teams.
“Burnout is due to lack of respect for your personal boundaries.” – Unknown author.
The global pandemic made us acutely aware of employee and leadership burnout. However, the phenomenon is far from being new. It’s also not a consequence of the global pandemic, though COVID certainly aggravated it and made us all more aware of the problem.
Fortunately, this increased awareness resulted in a renewed focus on burnout and burnout management. Leadership coaching specialists have devised new ways for leaders to exercise self-care and manage employee burnout.
We now know more about how to manage burnout.
What can leaders do to keep exhausted teams firing on all cylinders? Can they keep employees from falling victim to burnout? Here are some techniques and skills they can learn to cope with exhaustion and avoid burnout.
Being a Role Model
Leaders are not therapists. Leadership coaching also won’t turn them into therapists, but it can give them the tools they need to effect relevant change on employees and support them psychologically.
Leaders lead by example; reports observe how they act and whether their actions are consistent with what they preach. Intelligent, self-aware leaders know what they do matters more than what they say.
Exercising self-care is how leaders can convince reports to follow suit and take care of themselves, avoiding burnout. Self-care is essential, and leaders should include it amongst the basic values of their organizations.
Over time, as employees assume psychological ownership of these values, behaviors that stave off burnout and exhaustion will become ingrained.
If leaders ignore self-care and become tense, irritable, or volatile, employees will likely follow suit, and burnout and exhaustion practically become guaranteed results.
In addition to driving employees to burnout, rash leadership decisions and long-term inconsistencies undermine trust and morale.
Heading off Burnout
Executive coaching encourages leaders to recognize the impacts and significance of prevention. Burnout is an ailment that’s easier to prevent than treat.
What can leaders do to prevent burnout and exhaustion while presenting positive examples? They can demystify both by talking about them and presenting them as things people should work to avoid. Leaders can encourage employees to observe known prevention techniques.
Looking out for each other is perhaps the best, time-honored way to diagnose and prevent burnout and exhaustion. We’re notoriously bad at self-diagnosis, but we can see the signs of burnout in others more objectively. These signs include:
- Lack of motivation
The next step is to remove the stigma of burnout and encourage people to talk about their problems.
Mental Flexibility and Vulnerability
During times of stress, maintaining mental flexibility is more challenging. Leaders should place extra focus on giving and receiving feedback and admitting what they don’t know.
Executive coaching values leadership vulnerability as it builds trust and lubricates the cogs of cooperation. Flexibility and vulnerability allow leaders to change their minds as new information comes in. Thus, they can better adapt to developing situations and retain edges in decision-making.
When they show vulnerability by admitting mistakes, leaders destigmatize errors and sow the seeds of cultures based on honesty and mutual understanding.
Being Emotionally Open
In the context of leadership, emotional openness doesn’t translate to leaders sharing every fear and negative thought they have with their followers. However, if someone mentions they can tell they’re having a bad day, they can acknowledge the situation openly.
Reducing Stress and Anxiety
It’s possible to reduce the number of stress factors even in the busiest of workplaces.
Business coaching professionals understand the importance of relaxed, flexible, organizational cultures that make scaling and dealing with everyday stress easier. Leaders can make an organizational goal of reducing stress factors in their lives (and the lives of employees) as much as possible.
Jobs that take up a person’s entire life have no place in the 21st-century paradigm