Key Points from How a Leader Maintains High Productivity Without Team Burnout

This is part of a series publishing portions of a research paper on How a Leader Maintains High Productivity Without Team Burnout. I have decided not to publish the conclusion from my paper, instead I am supplying a bulleted list of key points. Each of these key points could be a book or blog post in and of itself. So, think of this as a list of ideas to explore if you want to prevent burnout for yourself or individuals in your team.

All in all, I’d say the most important take-away is this:

Early intervention can prevent burnout

 How a Leader Maintains High Productivity Without Team Burnout

Key Points for Leaders:

Listening and caring for employees is the most important thing to learn to do as a leader.

  • Learn to interact well with others by listening, communicating and using self-control.
  • Develop the attributes you want from your employees; people learn by seeing others model the behavior
  • Develop coaching skills; Make feedback a natural part of interactions with employees
  • Empower employees and provide clarity via effective communication
  • Provide employees with control wherever possible; employees with decision-making power have lower burnout rates
  • Intervene when employees provide subtle clues that they are being pushed to their limits. Learn more about symptoms in Appendix A (An overview of burnout) and Appendix B (The seven aspects of burnout).
  • Provide goals and hope especially in difficult situations
  • Keep your eyes open for indications that an individual is experiencing distress.

Signs of emotional distress include anxiety, rigidity, poor listening skills, lack of empathy, impatience, and being critical. Early intervention can prevent burnout. Watch for these signs: anxiety, rigidity, poor listening skills, lack of empathy, impatience, and being critical.

More than any other factor, the improvement of communication and the dissemination of information has the greatest impact in creating a culture of engagement

Key Points for Individuals

  • Learn to identify when you’re tipping from (good) stress to distress; Don’t ignore early warning signs that you’re distressed.
  • Identify when you’ve been stressed for too long or too intensely and ask for help.
  • Develop coping mechanisms, skills, and behaviors that help you meet the challenges of your profession
  • Examine the beliefs you have about whether stress is beneficial or harmful.
  • Examine the beliefs you may have that contribute to burnout. For example:

seeing everything as an emergency, overdependence on self, failure to effectively delegate, not seeing self-care as integral to performance, and failing to make lifestyle choices that increase healthiness (Cora, 2010, pp. 21-4).

  • Develop habits that allow you to effectively manage your energy. This requires you to be connected to your needs, values, strengths, and weaknesses
  • Burnout is a process that is often overlooked for a long period of time. Learn to recognize the phases: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment.  (Maslach, 1982). Learn more in Appendix A and Appendix B.

It is manifested by symptoms of severe exhaustion and distress at being overwhelmed and over-extended, feelings of ineffectiveness and inadequacy, reduced motivation and commitment, and ‘dysfunctional attitudes and behaviors at work’.

  • Develop very specific routines that ensure you are regularly renewed; block off time to rest
  • Learn to pace yourself
  • Keep an eye on your sleeping and eating habits; these are good indications of how you’re doing
  • Know your risk factors for burnout: under age 20, being an “over achiever” (very high level of motivation to succeed in your careers and high expectations and goals about your own accomplishments), feeling stuck in a job-person mismatch.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


The series

Leave a Reply