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Chapter 10. Overcoming Team Discord > Stress and Burnout - Pg. 118

Overcoming Team Discord 118 · Give yourself permission to have a life.Enjoy activities with family and friends. Don't feel guilty when you're not thinking about your job. Burnout People are not light bulbs. A light bulb shines brightly and suddenly--poof! It burns out. People burn out slowly and often imperceptibly. Although some burnouts result in physical breakdowns such as a heart attack or ulcers, most are psychological. Team members lose enthusiasm, energy, and motivation, and it shows up in many ways. They hate their job, can't stand associates, distrust the team leader, and dread coming to work each morning. Heads Up! If your hobby or leisure activity makes you even more tense (competitive sports or tournament bridge), drop it. Substitute one that is truly relaxing. Burnout can be caused by too much stress, but that's not the only cause. Some other reasons are frustration, promises made that weren't kept, or being passed over for an expected promotion or salary increase. Some leaders and managers burn out because of the pressures of having to make decisions that, if made poorly, can cause catastrophic problems. Others just burn out from having to work excessively long hours or do unrewarding work. Often the only means of helping someone recover from burnout is to suggest professional help (see Chapter 11). There are some things you, as a team leader, can do to help put a burned-out team member on the road to recovery: · Be a supportive person.Demonstrate your sincere interest by encouraging the member to talk about his or her concerns and put them into perspective. · Consider changing job functions.Assigning different activities and responsibilities or transfer- ring the member to another team changes the climate in which he or she works and provides new outlets that may stimulate motivation. · Give the member an opportunity to acquire new skills.This not only helps him or her focus on learning rather than on the matters that led to the burnout, but also makes the person more valuable to your company. If, despite your efforts, he or she doesn't progress, strongly suggest professional counseling. The Job's B-o-r-r-r-r-ing Some jobs are basically boring, but any job can become boring when you do it over and over again, day after day, year after year. In many companies, jobs are enriched to minimize boredom. By job enrichment--adding new functions and combining several simple tasks into a more challenging total activity--jobs can be made less boring.