How to Tell if You Should Tell
A Facebook follower says, “I’d like to see a Leadership Freak post that addresses the dangers of being honest about burnout.”
The three dangers of being honest about burnout are losing:
How to tell if you should tell.
Don’t tell if:
- You haven’t already done something to solve the issue.
- Your organization believes humans are superheroes.
- The last person who showed human frailty was subtly led to the fringes of your organization.
- You just took your position last month.
- You plan to leave as soon as you find a new position.
- Everyone in your department pretends they have it all together. People who don’t share personal issues don’t care about yours.
- You want to keep your burnout private but you work with blabbermouths.
- Your organization only cares about the numbers.
- You’re an impersonal, disconnected boss.
- Telling creates more problems than it solves and you’re exploring solutions outside your organization.
- You love your organization and want to stay.
- You trust colleagues and co-workers.
- Others in your organization are transparent with health issues and it hasn’t hurt their career.
- Your organization has a program in place that assists employees with these types of issues.
- There’s a useful purpose in telling.
- You’ve been working to solve burnout but not making progress and you want to stay with your organization.
- Lateral moves are an option.
- Your organization is committed to the health and happiness of employees.
- You deliver great results and your organization loves you.
The dangers of not telling someone you’re burned out are greater than the dangers of telling. Everyone needs connection. Private struggles disconnect.
What are the dangers of being honest about burnout?
What does appropriate vulnerability at work look like?
In my experience, most people suffering from burn-out don’t even perceive it until it’s too late because it’s out of theirs and their organisation’s frame of mind. Then there is no more choice between telling or not telling. I think that the best situation to tell is your number 8. When the organisation accept the eventual frailty of its members, it’s seems more simple to accept it for oneself and be vigilant about dysfunctioning and burn-out. Or am I being simply French?
Telling others about burnout makes them aware and warns about further steps. Not telling may be treated as an acceptance and hence it prevents information for others.But, I agree that being honest about burnout may be dangerous. It could be dangerous when people causing burnout come to know since they create more burnout. There are people who derive satisfaction by harming others. And there are people who make fun of your burnout in the system. So, it is important to understand that who is the person who you want to share your burnout. If not taken carefully, it could be dangerous and people may be ludicrous on you.
It is also important to understand the source of burnout. IT may be some people, group of people, some practices and could be entire surroundings. When burnout is caused by some people or group, then it would be better to communicate and be honest to upper ladder of authority. They may not be aware about such burnout. Many times, we make safe assumption that everyone is aware about certain practices, but it may not be always true.
So, it would be better ideas to scan the environment before exposing your pain to others. And based on proper evaluation, one can take step either to reveal or not reveal the burnout to others.
Thank goodness for those Facebookers, huh Dan!!!!
Man how you come up with topics every day is nothing short of amazing!!!!
For me I am RELENTLESS!!!! Why? Cause my WHY is HUGE!!!!
Burnout!! I ain’t got enough hours in any day I am loving life so much!!!
Some say I am a dreamer but I am not the only one!!!!
Having had a vital spiritual experience as THE result of working the 12 Steps I am an agent of my Higher Power I call God!!! Working to help others get rocketed into the 4th Dimension!!! That is what I am talking about!!!!! Burnout??? That is crazy!!!! Lol.
Pure imagination!! Great video in youtube, free!!!
So I always say, “if your why ain’t legit, you must admit, and make it bigger”!!! Ok never said that before but will from now on!!! Lots!!! Hehe
Simon Sinek has a book coming out next year on building great cultures in business!! Can’t wait!!!! Might help y’all too!
Ok take care!!! Feelin blue, work the steps, expand that WHY!!!! Join The Why Movement why don’t cha!!!
Shifterp back to my Glorious NOW!!!
I don’t think the workplace is a good place to discuss burnout. In my opinion, it is better to have a confidant, mentor or friend you can discuss this with. Burnout is nothing new and many people have experienced it. The key is finding ways to renew yourself which is what a good mentor can do. A mentor does not have to be formalized process. A mentor is someone who has more experience than you do and can offer you some advice and guidance
It’s hard to be superman when you have hole in your cape…just blogged about this very issue. I think one must be strategically transparent. The information you provide in this post is a great guide. Another home run. Thank you for sharing!
Reblogged this on Movers, Shakers, Leadership Makers.
Possibly an even greater challenge than being honest about burnout (which does have many potential pitfalls) is how to recognize burnout in the first place. What ARE the signs? Or is there even agreement on what those signs might be? Or is it a case of “I’ll know it when I see it” (to paraphrase former Supreme Court Justice, Potter Stewart)?
Thanks to the Facebookie that put this interesting spin on burnout and thank you, Dan, for your insights.
I have found that burnout doesn’t come from doing too much, but rather it comes when I’m not enriched by what I do. Your comment that “Everyone needs connection” is key. If I’m operating in a vacuum it’s pretty hard to be enriched and grow. Healthy relationships provide the oxygen to keep the pilot light on. If a person is in a situation where they can’t discuss burnout it’s probably a symptom of the cause.
This is a difficult post for me. I have come across people in Europe talk about burnout, and it is treated with sympathy. Not so here in India.
We just don’t have a mechanism or philosophy for dealing with this. Is this the curse of having too many people? There is always someone waiting in line for your job
An interesting post with good takeaways by way of tips on when to speak and when not knowing the dangers of loosing respect, opportunity & employment. I strongly feel that you have to be honest to yourself and provide the facts irrespective of what others may think. It’s obvious that you shall share only when you love the organization and would like to stay. Moreover, you as a true professional will never like to keep mum or hide the facts just to save the situation or repercussion of burnouts. People will respect you more for your courage and honesty in the long run.
It’s important to learn the art of speaking or communicating with a solution oriented approach. May be timing also matters! The management should always go beyond the numbers to judge anyone and have the basic desire to learn on the reality picture. Keeping good trust and understanding an employee who speaks about burnouts are two essentials the top management should keep in mind. Otherwise, the organization will have burnout by way of loosing good talents.
There is no doubt that honest and committed employees will always get alternate good opportunities outside. The only disappointment is that there will be a brief set-back and the loss of professional respect and break in relationship.
It’s rare to find a transparent organization! Organizations also learn from their burnout experiences.
I say don’t tell anyone just go on vacation, a really restful vacation.
Looking forward to a follow up post on item 1, the things you can do to solve the issue before you tell.
Loved your post, Dan. At my work environment there was a fine line between being honest about feeling burnout and whining. We were given enough autonomy that if we were bored or burnout, we were expected to do something about it ourselves. Talking about it was perceived as whining…while I don’t always agree with that interpretation, it has led me to be cautious when voicing my discontent UNLESS I can follow it up with either a specific request or specific action I plan to take.
I believe you need to be honest (for your own well being) if you are experiencing Burn Out especially if you want to stay with your employer. You are also putting your health at risk by saying or doing nothing and will carry the resentment with you if you quit. You aren’t the first and won’t be the last person to have this experience.
Check out this small book, Executive Burnout written by Dr Ray Moore, PhD over 35 years ago. To me it’s interesting that here we are today still talking about the same issues.
Interesting range of responses to this post. Let me go one step further on this, and speak to the elephant in the room: statistically, every single workplace has people dealing with depression. The majority prefer not to disclose, and perform their jobs without anyone the wiser. But I would ask the question: if these are our collective responses to the term ‘burnout’ alone, can we see why stigma remains?
I hear ya Trainer!! I spoke my truth and am a very happy fella and I got negatives!!!!! Wowza!!
I do not know wether to be mad or sad. Since I don’t like the way anger feels I will go with sad!
Just confused now is there gonna not only be a stigma if folks suffer from depression to a stigma if people are enjoying happiness????? Lol
I have worked extremely hard over a very very long period of time to have arrived where I am today. Guess miserable folks don’t like other folks being happy.
If folks ever come to a different conclusion than me, great, that is cool. I did not criticize anyone for anything, just said why I am happy! What is not to like about that? Just don’t understand the angst to my happiness. Just sad.
Anyways back to now and if I expire at midnight I want these last few hours to Rock!!!!
Party on Wayne!!!
SP back to happy now!!!!
Yes, share with close friends and family and even people at work you trust. Why? Because you need to be proactive about avoiding burnout. No one else will change their expectations of you unless you take action.
1. Share with people you trust that you are exhausted and that you will be making changes in your life and at work.
2. Get rest. Sleep.
3. Take better care of your body with a healthier diet and exercise.
4. Drop ALL unnecessary responsibilities. Lighten your load. Learn to say no.
5. Reaffirm that burnout is only temporary and can be quickly fixed.
6. At work, meet with you supervisor and ask guidance about priorities. It is a manager’s job to prioritize so don’t let her say – “it’s all equally important”. Say it this way: all of my responsibilities (projects) are portent and will be done but in your opinion what is the top priority in the next week, month, etc.? Having clarity on priorities will help you reduce burnout.
Remember to get rest. We can’t function or make useful decisions when we’re exhausted! Best wishes!