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How to Tell if You Should Tell

burned match

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:

  1. Respect.
  2. Opportunity.
  3. Employment.

How to tell if you should tell.

Don’t tell if:

  1. You haven’t already done something to solve the issue.
  2. Your organization believes humans are superheroes.
  3. The last person who showed human frailty was subtly led to the fringes of your organization.
  4. You just took your position last month.
  5. You plan to leave as soon as you find a new position.
  6. Everyone in your department pretends they have it all together. People who don’t share personal issues don’t care about yours.
  7. You want to keep your burnout private but you work with blabbermouths.
  8. Your organization only cares about the numbers.
  9. You’re an impersonal, disconnected boss.
  10. Telling creates more problems than it solves and you’re exploring solutions outside your organization.

Tell if:

  1. You love your organization and want to stay.
  2. You trust colleagues and co-workers.
  3. Others in your organization are transparent with health issues and it hasn’t hurt their career.
  4. Your organization has a program in place that assists employees with these types of issues.
  5. There’s a useful purpose in telling.
  6. You’ve been working to solve burnout but not making progress and you want to stay with your organization.
  7. Lateral moves are an option.
  8. Your organization is committed to the health and happiness of employees.
  9. 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?

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