Burnout Recovery

Ep106 How Burnout Recovery works

December 28, 2023 Dex Randall Season 2 Episode 106
Ep106 How Burnout Recovery works
Burnout Recovery
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If you've wondered how and why burnout recovery coaching is so effective, or wondered if it's for you, find out here. Learn about the core skills that will transform your work life completely.

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Dex (00:00:09) - Hi everyone. My name is Dex Randall and this is the Burnout to Leadership podcast, where I teach professional men to recover from burnout and get back to passion and reward at work. Hello, my friends, this is Dex, and I thought I'd take time in the next two episodes to talk a little bit about how Burnout Recovery actually works, because most of the people who come to me in burnout, have got no idea. And fair enough. Why would they? The concept of burnout coaching is really relatively new, and the practice of it varies enormously from person to person. Since I find a lot of burnout coaches are people from various backgrounds who've experienced burnout, and they've gone on to become coaches so they can help other people, much like myself. So I'll give you a little bit of my background first. I studied a series of natural therapies in the years before my own burnout, which hit me actually when I was working at a fintech startup. So in the natural therapist side, I was running a side business of hands on healing to counteract the stress of my day job.

Dex (00:01:24) - And coaching was part of that work too. I learned my first coaching formally when I studied a two year kinesiology diploma. And when I hit burnout, I fell back on those therapies that I learned, to help me with my burnout recovery, along with meditation and some other helpful modalities. And I went on to study a very high quality, one year intensive coach training program in the USA. And then I worked for that organization that trained me, as a coach and as an instructor for the following six years. And at the same time as I was doing that, I was already coaching professional men out of burnout in my own business. So that all started back in 2018. And since then, I've run about 8600 sessions. And in that time, I've been continuously refining my burnout recovery program that I'm going to talk to you about in a moment. And also, on top of all of that, I do teach other coaches, to become burnout coaching specialists and also how to build and run a successful coaching business.

Dex (00:02:40) - Anyhow, so here's where I started out. When I finished my coach training, I started running a six week burnout program, which helped people gain traction on their work problems and resurface at work, become more functional at work. And at that time, I worked with anyone in burnout, no limitations, and it was a custom program tailored entirely to each person, although in the background I was building that up into a curriculum as I went along. And after I'd been doing that for a little while, I realized I could help people out of burnout, not just now, in this moment, whatever their frustrations were now, but forever. So I extended the program to three months and I started adding in some much deeper, more sustainable burnout recovery skills. By this time, I had a modularized program teaching clients all the core tools to rescue themselves at work, plus personalized coaching on wherever they were stuck. Everything they needed to get their mojo back at work, and in fact, at the same time to work on family, relationship and social issues.

Dex (00:03:54) - Because anybody who's in burnout at work is probably also experiencing a bit of difficulty outside of work. In that three months, I'd coached them to recover from burnout and also to position themselves favorably for a big career uplift afterwards, so that they could drive on in their career from passion rather than the rage, frustration and despair of burnout. And also I help them enjoy all the parts of their lives again, to re-engage fully with life and with people. So once I've been doing that for a little while, I started to see even more potential, and I extended it to a six month elite program, when I realized how ambitious my clients were once they recovered from burnout and how much talent they had that was begging to be developed. So then I decided to mentor them as leaders through a rapid career growth plan. So I still took those clients through Burnout Recovery as I've just mentioned in the first three months of their work with me, getting them back to premium, optimal function at work, and then we devoted the next three months to generating huge career wins, setting themselves up for their whole future at work, whether they stay in their current job, get promoted, change jobs, change careers, retire even, and get into philanthropy or whatever their goal was, it didn't really matter.

Dex (00:05:23) - It was just an expansion goal. And they would set their sights much higher now that we'd primed the pump and they'd got their mojo back. This is really the unlimited growth phase that most of them had secretly always dreamed about. It's about 10x-ing whatever they've been doing before, in whatever direction they wanted. And that included optimizing their skills, their marketability, their results, their leadership, their people skills, emotional intelligence, and also their sense of fulfillment and joy at work. It's building them up into their dream job. So that, of course, is the premium six month course that I run now, for professionals who want a huge transformation, not simply burnout recovery. This is stepping up to play a different game entirely. That's how I got into the program that I work with most of my clients now, and that's the development of it over the past six years. And during that time, I learned and I learned, refining and improving my coaching, my program, my methodology, always to get results better and faster than I had before.

Dex (00:06:47) - I really doubt there's been a single client that I don't feel grateful to, that I haven't learned from, in all of that time. Wonderful people, impressive results. Lots of fun to work with. And that's all of them, by the way, don't think this can't happen for you because it will. And the more I coach, the more I love coaching. Each person has an individual experience of work, life, of themselves, other people and the world. So each person requires a unique flavor of coaching suited to them. How I run the work is a very client centric program. It's not cookie cutter. Each person gets whatever they need, in the way that they can best use it and make progress and hit the goals that they want to hit. So that's a little bit about my ethos, about my program and what I'm going to talk to a little bit now is my approach to coaching itself. And firstly, I worked with professionals in burnout. So the burnout recovery I teach and coach is primarily in a work context, which really is in accord with the World Health Organization concept of burnout.

Dex (00:08:16) - Although not only do I recognize that there are other types of burnout, such as caregiver burnout, parenting burnout, burnout at school and college. But also mostly the tools I teach work for all styles of burnout, because a common feature of burnout is the type of person who arrives in burnout. The burnout experience may be topical in context, such as industry, career level, seniority, but it also tends to differ across sectors of the population by age, gender expression, and so on. Now, first of all, I teach a basic set of common tools, because the people who end up in burnout share a way of being in the world and responding to challenges they encounter and the way they are in all of that aggravates their experience of stress and anxiety and frustration until it ends up in burnout. And the common thread centers around things like wanting to get everything done to a high quality; to please everyone all the time; to make everything okay; never stop working hard; never stop giving; fulfilling responsibilities and expectations; trying to fix whatever's going wrong; always stepping up where help's needed; rarely saying no to requests.

Dex (00:09:51) - That's the style of people who will end up in burnout. All super achievers, enormously intelligent, talented people. So here's what I do. Because of these core common behaviors, I teach in the first six weeks how to work with more ease and comfort, achieving from confidence, assurance, discipline. Quietly, not by racing around with your bum on fire, trying to get everything done all of the time and then having nothing left over for outside work. Of course, one of the primary things I do coach on pretty early in the piece is time management. How to schedule better, less densely, but with a better success rate. Because, believe it or not, those of us in burnout think we're mastering our schedule and working our socks off. But what I found is, there is a less but better way. Less but better is eminently possible when we become more intentional about the outcomes we're aiming for, when we basically stop trying to be all things to all people, where we say no, where we need to, where it's appropriate, and where we give up on procrastination, distraction, FOMO, saying yes too readily, multitasking, squeezing extra tasks in. When we basically let go of our obsessive attention to messages as well, and other distractions.

Dex (00:11:24) - What happens is when we do all of those things, when we get a little bit quieter about the way we approach our work and more intentional about our results, we can really calm our days down a lot. Be more intentional on results and, paradoxically, achieve more and feel much greater satisfaction at the end of each day. Yet leave nothing important undone. I think sometimes that sounds a little bit far fetched to your average person in burnout chasing their tail, but nonetheless, it is true. We can do that. And that's the universal theme of recovery. And one of the reasons that you can tame your schedule is I also coach people how to stop worrying about what other people think. Huge problem for most people in burnout because that worry is time consuming, energy burning, exhausting, relentless, unproductive. It becomes really compulsive and debilitating, sleep depriving, mood affecting, confidence destroying. And it is a feature of people in burnout. And worrying what other people think is often baseless and completely unnecessary.

Dex (00:12:48) - Why would you shoot yourself in the foot doing that? How does that actually help? On the other hand, of course, it also spawns perfectionism, whereby you both worry and fiddle about endlessly trying to complete some piece of work. But since you never feel it's good enough, you work on it a little bit more probably until it's late, and then you really worry and spend time working out how to compensate for its lateness and disappointing people. Worrying what other people think coupled with perfectionism doesn't just hamper good performance, it often prevents completing work altogether. It's the enemy of productivity. So I teach some skills to allow them to find the confidence, assurance, and optimal productivity and crucially, to recover a significant amount of time and nervous energy while they're doing it. It basically brings them back to the peak performance they innately have, without all the overhead of stress and worrying, going around in circles. Working on time, procrastination, perfectionism. If you work on those things, already maybe you can see that this will return some confidence as well as time and a better mood.

Dex (00:14:08) - Clients typically working with these new skills recover so much energy and enthusiasm just in working in that one small area. And then the next two core skills I coach on are conflict and emotional avoidance. And in conflict. I include anyone or any situation that the client feels angry, resentful, frustrated, impatient, irritable, bitter, attacked, threatened, disrespected, overlooked, undervalued, judged, criticized, thwarted, blocked, or otherwise exhausted by. It's quite a big list, isn't it? And how common are those in burnout? So encompassing conflict I see it's anything, any situation the client's not happy with. And that can be at work or at home by the way. Because if a person feels any of those emotions that I mentioned, it contributes to burnout, whether it's inside work or out. And be warned, the number one in that list is resentment. That is really, really exhausting for the person experiencing the resentment. It grinds away, doesn't it? It repeats and repeats on you. And the number two in there is disrespect because it's a huge trigger for most of us.

Dex (00:15:36) - We tend to really go off on a tangent with disrespect. But if you can relate to any of those emotions that I mentioned. Or are mentally in conflict with your work, the system, the organization, your boss or other people there. Ask yourself right now how much of your day you spend thinking about it, worrying about it, how much it actually affects you and your energy, how much it wears you out to be in that kind of. bubble of conflict in any area of your life. Because conflict, whether it's internal in our heads or external in the world, is what takes up most of our emotional bandwidth at work. Especially when we're burned out. In fact, I think conflict is at the core of burnout. It's the story we tell ourselves about our work that sucks the lifeblood out of us and preoccupies us, takes our attention. And I think it's worth saying that burnout is never simply having too much to do. It's always more than that. Because otherwise 100% of people doing a particular job would be burnt out.

Dex (00:16:47) - If one was burnt out, they would all be burnt out. And I can attest that that's not true, because when my clients recover from burnout, it isn't because they changed their job, they changed who they are at work, how they're showing up so that the exact same job became easier, more manageable, less stressful, more enjoyable. So what I teach then, is conflict prevention and conflict resolution skills that transform anyone's experience of work and transforms the quality of their relationships with the people around them at work and uplifts enormously their emotional intelligence, gives them patience, resilience, appreciation and the ability to support other people better. All other people, not just the ones who are involved with the conflict. So this includes their boss, their partner, their kids, their mates, their colleagues, anyone. It's really a great asset for leadership, for anybody in burnout. If you aspire to leadership or if you are already a leader, then having skills in conflict prevention and conflict resolution and minimizing your reactivity to to potential conflict is a huge asset for leadership.

Dex (00:18:12) - And the other skill I just mentioned is working with emotional avoidance. So anybody in burnout is in a tough place emotionally. Coupled with exhaustion and despair, emotion avoidance starts to be very attractive, if you're emotionally struggling. Avoiding emotion seems like a good thing. It's inevitable, really, in burnout. And by emotional avoidance I mean anything compulsive like overeating, snacking, too much coffee, checking phone messages all day, doomscrolling, and also, of course, other addictions like alcoholism, gambling, whatever. So what I do to counteract this issue is I teach my clients to self coach, and self coaching uses a tool based on Cognitive Behavior Therapy. And we use this tool called the Self Coaching Model, which was invented by Brooke Castillo to discover why we're doing things that aren't getting us the results we want in our lives and in our work. And the reason why we're doing things is always a feeling. We do or don't do anything based on how we think we're going to feel afterwards. That's just human nature, and that's the basis of Cognitive Behavior Therapy.

Dex (00:19:34) - I'll give you an example. If I spend an hour scrolling through the news on my phone to avoid facing a task I can't do, it's not going to get me the result I want, which is completing the task. Right? And I've just lost an hour of my time as well. So the question I'd have to ask myself there was What emotion was I avoiding by scrolling the news for an hour? Perhaps it was anxiety at not being able to do the task. And what thought did I have that persuaded me to start scrolling the news? How did I go off track? Perhaps it was "I'll just give myself a breather and I'll get back to it in a moment." Of course, knowing how I went off track shows me why and how I made a low quality decision that didn't help me hit my work target. The only way I can correct this actually is become willing to feel the emotion I wanted to avoid, that when I was running away from. In other words, I would have to be able and willing to feel my anxiety.

Dex (00:20:42) - So if that's true, if we jump off into other things, divert our energy into other things because we don't want to feel an emotion, then feeling an emotion becomes a core skill in recovery from burnout. So that's what I teach and coach. Because whatever emotion you're avoiding is ruling your life. Every time that emotion pops up, if it was a anxiety, you will try and escape it by doing something else. So it's ruling your life and your productivity. So with coaching, what I think is emotional avoidance can be replaced by emotional resilience, the willingness to feel all your emotions. To the extent that you're not afraid to feel your emotions, you can do whatever you wish in this life without needing distraction. So what I ran through there is a set of primary skills that I teach and coach on early in burnout recovery, about time, about people, about energy, about feelings, about the real time stealers and energy burners that are at the root of burnout.

Dex (00:21:52) - When I teach the skills to overcome those issues, they're skills that help people back from the brink of burnout. Skills that restore energy, sense of humor, enjoyment, enthusiasm. Performance skills you can bank on to get your burnout recovery to a really good, solid place. And of course, there's a whole bunch of other skills too, but those are the foundational ones there that'll bring you back the energy to keep going at work and be the sense of humor saver that you need just to keep going. What I've talked about today, it's pretty dense information. I put quite a lot of information on you, but I think it's really just to get a little flavor of how I work. And in the next episode, I'm going to talk about what your experience of Burnout Recovery Coaching will be as a client if you come and work with me. And if you would like to review your personal situation with me to see if we're a good fit to work together on your burnout recovery, and future career growth, come on, a call with me.

Dex (00:22:57) - Let's talk. You can book an appointment at dexrandall.com. Also, if you enjoyed this episode, I'd really love you to help me reach more people in burnout by rating and reviewing the podcast and subscribing. I appreciate your support in that. And if you know somebody else who's heading towards burnout, please send them the podcast link. It's packed, as you know, with practical tips for burnout recovery. I reckon new people should listen to the first five episodes to get started. Thank you so much for listening today and I'll catch you next week.

Evolution of the Burnout Recovery program
Initial burnout recovery program
Expansion to a six-month elite program
Client-centric coaching approach
Primary tools for burnout recovery
Conflict prevention and resolution skills
Working with emotional avoidance