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4 Tips to Prevent Burnout

March 25, 2013

We all know that working in an ultra competitive business environment can lead to burn out, stress-related illnesses, work dissatisfaction, and increased turnover. So, as a leader, it’s critical to create and maintain a healthy and sustainable work environment. The best results come from the leaders who strike the right balance between pushing for results and relieving the pressure. Here are four tips for pro-actively intervening as a leader:

  1. Demonstrate selective urgency: You can’t maintain a laser beam focus on priorities if you treat every issue as a burning need. Your team needs to know that you don’t create unnecessary pressure. Take the time to stop and think about whether putting pressure on your people around a particular issue or goal is truly necessary.
  2. Take time to communicate: Frequent, honest, and meaningful communication with your team is really the only way for you to have your finger on the pulse of your team. Daily conversations with your team members will help you see when they’re fatigued and overwhelmed, and you’ll also see when they need to be reminded of the bigger picture and the importance of their work.
  3. Build in reflection time: Make sure that you carve out time for reflection and strategic thinking for you and your team. It takes willpower to schedule and follow through on reflective practices, but doing so will diminish the likelihood of fatigue and burnout in yourself and your team.
  4. Model the balance: Lastly, as a leader, you must model the ability to maintain a healthy balance between work and non-work, pressure and reward, and stress and resilience. If you make a habit of working seven days a week, cancelling vacations, and missing family events, subordinates will feel compelled to follow suit. And, if you’re stressed-out and impatient, you’ll only foster an unproductive environment of fear or distrust.

As leader, how would you rate yourself in these four areas? Which one is the hardest to do?

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