So much has already been written and said about burnout and “burnout“ has become something of a buzzword, a receptacle for various states that are difficult to get to the bottom of unassisted. Thus, I segmented this article in two parts. In this first part I introduce some frameworks, including the 12 steps of burnout, which I use to raise tough questions in order to open your mind to growth.
An easier way would be to use those guidelines to put you in a box, but there are enough articles out there that will do exactly this, help you doing what you already excel in, and placing you in a pre-defined box. I’d rather help you grow beyond those boxes as an individual.
The second part explores your role as leader – and we are all leaders of some sort; respectively the role of your leader in regards of burnout. So, make sure you stay tuned and subscribe to my blog.
Let’s start by looking at how we use the word “burnout.”
Burnout has almost become a badge of honor for hard graft and irreplaceability.
“I’ve got burnout” or “I’m getting close to feeling burnt out” often smacks of the hero: “I’m in such demand, I’m so important, I’m saving the world”. The word “burnout” is being used as a sign of recognition and success.
But on the other hand, the word “burnout” provides also a receptacle for conditions deemed untrendy in these achievement-based, performance-obsessed times. It opens a space into which the effects of overwork (and, indeed, underwork…) may be slotted. It is a word that can also express that maybe this overwork is not balanced out by adequate pay or that this pay, no matter how much, no longer compensates for the demands being imposed and thus for the potential suffering caused (as subconsciously as it might be).
So “burnout” is often used to express what we otherwise might not have words for, or feel we are not allowed or able to express: “I suffer and don’t know how to change the situation,” “nothing makes sense anymore, but I need to safe face,” “I need help but don’t know how to ask for it.”
What is burnout then? Here is a suggested framework:
According to Christine Maslach the American social psychologist and professor emerita of psychology at the University of California, Berkeley who co-authored the Maslach Burnout Inventory, burnout syndrome comprises three dimensions:
As my blog is about growth, before diving deeper into burnout with the 12 stages, I’d like to invite you to use the word “burnout” to explore the ideas you have in your head and to use these ideas and/or the threat thereof to learn more about yourself and to grow with the insights gained — rather than to take a ready made definition to put yourself in a box.
Here are a few in-depth questions for you. Maybe sit down or, if time is short, take one at a time and let it float in your head through out the day or week:
What else does “burnout” ask?
I like to offer you an additional framework – the 12 phases of burnout.
Make sure you take a light-hearted look at these 12 stages of burnout in order to give potential expression to what is possibly an indefinite, as yet unlabelled attitude to life or feeling of affliction.
Use it – again – to explore your drives and subconscious mechanisms. Contact me to support you in this growth process.
12 PHASES OF BURNOUT
(According to H. Freudenberger/G. North)
If you were to recognize yourself in one or other of the stages, which would it be?
As with any model, the stages of burnout can be taken as a prompt to consciously guide awareness from the constantly spinning wheel on the outside to expansion on the inside; of one’s own perception, one’s own cognitive capacities and thereby the expansion of one’s own possibilities for action.
Burnout raises the essential questions: when will we finally achieve THE goal? And where? And once “there” will we finally be able to relax and be happy and feel free?
I hope this first discussion has sparked questions, insights that will further your individual and business growth! I’m looking forward to hearing back from you and it would be my honor to support you on your journey.
Stay tuned for the second part that looks at the interconnection between burnout and leadership.