Burnout Recovery

Ep#128 Personal Psychological Safety

June 13, 2024 Dex Randall Season 2 Episode 128
Ep#128 Personal Psychological Safety
Burnout Recovery
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Burnout Recovery
Ep#128 Personal Psychological Safety
Jun 13, 2024 Season 2 Episode 128
Dex Randall

Send us a Text Message.

Burnout recovery starts with safety. Until you feel safe at work, it will be a challenge to overcome your fear-driven reactivity  and perform well.. Happily, you can create all the safety you need inside of you - by learning to give yourself the unconditional love, approval and acceptance you've always wanted. It works! Learn what lack of safety looks like in burnout, how to smooth out your battered emotions, and what shifts at work when you do.

Show Notes:
Atomic Habits, James Clear
The Four Stages of Psychological Safety, Timothy R. Clark
Ep#S013 Doug Noll - How to calm an angry person in less than 90 seconds
Ep#38 Creating Safety
Ep#36 Championing Yourself

----------------------------------- Burnout Resources:
Get 1-on-1 burnout recovery coaching at https:/mini.dexrandall.com
Burnout Recovery eCourse: https://go.dexrandall.com/beatburnout
For even more TIPS see
FACEBOOK: @coachdexrandall
INSTAGRAM: @coachdexrandall
LINKEDIN: @coachdexrandall
TWITTER: @coachdexrandall
or join the FACEBOOK group for burnout coaches only
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1030925731159138

See https://linktr.ee/coachdexrandall for all links

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Send us a Text Message.

Burnout recovery starts with safety. Until you feel safe at work, it will be a challenge to overcome your fear-driven reactivity  and perform well.. Happily, you can create all the safety you need inside of you - by learning to give yourself the unconditional love, approval and acceptance you've always wanted. It works! Learn what lack of safety looks like in burnout, how to smooth out your battered emotions, and what shifts at work when you do.

Show Notes:
Atomic Habits, James Clear
The Four Stages of Psychological Safety, Timothy R. Clark
Ep#S013 Doug Noll - How to calm an angry person in less than 90 seconds
Ep#38 Creating Safety
Ep#36 Championing Yourself

----------------------------------- Burnout Resources:
Get 1-on-1 burnout recovery coaching at https:/mini.dexrandall.com
Burnout Recovery eCourse: https://go.dexrandall.com/beatburnout
For even more TIPS see
FACEBOOK: @coachdexrandall
INSTAGRAM: @coachdexrandall
LINKEDIN: @coachdexrandall
TWITTER: @coachdexrandall
or join the FACEBOOK group for burnout coaches only
https://www.facebook.com/groups/1030925731159138

See https://linktr.ee/coachdexrandall for all links

[00:00:00] Dex: Hi everyone, my name's 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.

[00:00:22] Hello my friends, this is Dex. Good to have you here and welcome to this week's episode which is part one on psychological safety and part two is going to follow next week. But today what I'm going to do is introduce you to a better world that you can create for yourself and then next week we'll talk about teams.

[00:00:42] And I'm going to do this because it's the pathway out of burnout and it inoculates you from burnout in the future. Almost the foundation of burnout recovery is creating safety for yourself. I'm also doing it because it goes against modern culture, doesn't it? Which really isn't as safe as we need it to be.

[00:01:04] Fair play? Also because I'd love you to have a happier and more productive work life and enjoy people more, once you know how to create safety for yourself. Gives you a lot more resilience and strength. And the safety that you create for yourself will radiate to the people around you. And then you become a resource for them too.

[00:01:25] Safety: it's that important. It's that pivotal. I don't think we can go anywhere out of burnout without addressing the safety issue. And it doesn't always happen at work. So really I want you to know how to create safety In a not very safe world. As you know, burnout rates are rising across the world at alarming rates and there's chronic physical and mental illness, addiction, violence, suicide

[00:01:55] are all in upwards trends. Don't be a statistic yourself, take charge, because I think it's really on us as a community to seek solutions together and share them together. And that's what I'm doing in part in this podcast. I hope you benefit a little bit from that because I can help you create more safety to save yourself from burnout.

[00:02:17] and positively influence those people around you to create a better, safer work environment. And that is fundamentally what I do with coaching. So I want to talk about psychological safety from

[00:02:31] several perspectives. First of all, how your psychological safety at work affects your experience and performance there. How to champion psychological safety within yourself; And how to champion psychological safety in your team as a leader, in spite of organizational demands, a work culture and whatever that may be and any challenging people at work.

[00:02:59] So you can still work with a team, even though the environment itself is challenging. And I'm going to talk about that next week. So I know that's a lot, but if you're exhausted, even thinking about it, let's begin with how you can help yourself. Let's begin with your personal feeling of safety or otherwise at work. Because of course, burnout breeds and multiplies, in an environment of unsafety and disconnection. Disconnection in the sense that we have lost our care for one another and are operating painfully from our heads more than our hearts. And this injures all of us, you know it and I know it. But if you feel unsafe in your workplace, or even just around certain people or situations at work, that isn't the end of the story for you.

[00:03:52] And I want you to know that you can reclaim full agency over your experience of work, regardless of what anyone else there says or does. What? Yeah, it's true. Because agency over your experience depends on you.

[00:04:12] Whereas,

[00:04:13] the side of the bed your boss got out of this morning, or their fears, worries, leadership skills.

[00:04:19] depend on them.

[00:04:22] You and your boss don't agree on how any given problem should be solved to get the best result, right? That's the sticking point. You've got different agendas. They want the best and safest result for them. And you want the best and safest result for you. And the two don't seem to meet in the middle. And you feel endlessly irritated, frustrated, helpless, used, exhausted, resentful about all of that.

[00:04:48] Am I close? Because that's really a common theme in burnout. But here's the thing. Humans, in fact animals as well, are ruled by the motivational triad of survival. We seek pleasure, we avoid pain, and we try to save energy. All of us. Every day. All the time. That's what we do. So we seek pleasure such as food, shelter, warmth, sleep, sex, protection, social connection.

[00:05:19] All those things that keep us alive as a species. And we avoid pain, like accidents, illness, danger, attack, conflict. Also, what keeps us alive. And we try to save energy, because who really knows where the next meal is coming from. Make sense? And finally, I want to add to that, that we distrust and avoid change.

[00:05:42] Because, whatever we did yesterday that kept us alive, let's just repeat that today. Change is risky. Ultimately, it's risky to survival. We don't like it. We resist it. It's normal. Hence, I think, James Clear, who wrote a wonderful book called Atomic Habits, which is really all about sneaky ways to sell ourselves on change by overcoming our primary survival drivers in teeny tiny ways each day until we make a new neural pathway and our new habit isn't seen as threatening change anymore.

[00:06:22] It becomes a familiar part of us that we perpetuate.

[00:06:26] And looking at avoiding pain, we can see that really this includes fear of change, and it also includes conserving energy. So then really I think we're left with only two primary motivators. Seek pleasure, avoid pain. And we can deduce that we make every decision then, based on our expectation of ensuing pleasure or pain.

[00:06:54] And we assess this based on our feelings. So when we boil down our range of feelings, We're left with the two primary motivators of love, which is choosing pleasure and fear, which is avoiding pain. So feelings drive every decision, no matter how analytical you may think you are, feelings drive every decision.

[00:07:19] Because otherwise we'd never make a spontaneous purchase that we regret later. And we'd never stay in a job we hate trying to screw up enough courage to quit.

[00:07:28] There would

[00:07:30] be no such thing as addiction, which is really a combination of seek pleasure and avoid pain. Marketing wouldn't work at all on us.

[00:07:37] Cults wouldn't work. Society wouldn't work. We'd all be psychopaths. You quickly see then that if you don't feel psychologically safe at work, Your decisions will all be driven by fear. Not ideal for you, probably not ideal for your organization either. It's really a self reinforcing feedback loop of fear.

[00:08:02] And when that's happening, performance and relationships can only deteriorate. This is where burnout starts. And you'll know this if you decided to quit. So humans make decisions based on how they think they will feel afterwards. Often this is subconscious like an addiction. So subconscious is just another way of saying habitual .

[00:08:27] We've got a learned response that we repeat. So humans make decisions subconsciously based on how they think they will feel afterwards. In other words, our thoughts create those feelings. We have a thought and it generates this hormonal signature, which it pushes out into the body of the emotion we expect to have.

[00:08:52] That's what an emotion is. It's just a surge of chemicals and hormones in our bodies. And if the thoughts we have are in fact conscious, not subconscious, We can then control our emotions because we can choose what thought we'd like to have. That's your agency right there over your experience of work.

[00:09:15] You can choose your own thoughts and therefore you can create your own feelings. And the way we do this is actually by noticing and interrupting an unhelpful thought we're having. For example, "My boss is harassing me again." So that one causes us to feel instantly fearful and we can choose to have a new thought.

[00:09:37] "Oh, I've almost finished this job anyway, it'll be fine." And that causes us long term relief. We feel better.

[00:09:44] So

[00:09:44] just by changing the thought, we've changed the feeling. And we've swapped out a short term fear for long term relief.

[00:09:53] So

[00:09:53] really this is a skill that's very potent and very far reaching into our work experience. And I teach this skill in burnout recovery coaching. Really it's about how you always have agency over your emotional state. Even if you don't think you can have it, you do. And hence you have agency over who you are being. In other words, how you're showing up in the world, and how you respond to your environment, which alters your end experience.

[00:10:24] By the way, when you show up differently in the world, the world changes with you. As you change, it changes.

[00:10:31] If you think about it, if you're in a frequent conflict situation, it takes two to fight. So once you stop fighting, when you feel safe, you're actually no longer a threat to other people.

[00:10:44] You're probably not being difficult with other people. You're actually probably listening more sympathetically, and you'll be looking for win wins. People will notice, and then there's ample opportunity for your relationships to grow, especially with old adversaries, to lighten up and find more common ground. Because before, when things were going badly, what we want is other people's approval. But when we're creating inner safety, what we're doing is we are approving of ourselves. We're creating safety within, so we need a bit less approval from other people. Now we're more neutral. Now we can offer approval and acceptance to other people. So I guess what I'm saying here is that problems and conflicts that you thought you had no control over because the other person was being a dick will suddenly start to thaw out and you'll find yourself with,

[00:11:44] paradoxically,

[00:11:45] more positive influence over outcomes that you previously thought you had no control over. And naturally, that's just one of the skills you're going to learn in burnout recovery, but it's a bloody good start, don't you think? And if you join my burnout recovery coaching program, I aim to teach you all you need to know to recover from burnout and return to peak performance. You can learn a bit more in the show notes, and I'll also put some more episodes there about exactly how to create safety and to champion yourself.

[00:12:18] And

[00:12:18] why did I tell you all that? Well, number one, it's because this is how you start recovering from burnout. And I really want you to recover and enjoy yourself. I genuinely want that for you. Number two, I told you to help you see that your experience

[00:12:35] which

[00:12:35] is fundamentally your emotional response to the world, is entirely within your control.

[00:12:41] So

[00:12:41] consider Gandhi, or Nelson Mandela, or whoever your most inspirational figurehead is, and how they respond to adversity. Potentially not by blowing their stack, or through violence or coercion.

[00:12:59] But also not by relinquishing their beliefs, their values or their personal power. And notice that the hearts of such people appear to be unusually calm and peaceful.

[00:13:11] Their mood is not destroyed by the unfairness they witness in the world. They appear to enjoy an internal sense of resilience and safety. And creating this internal safety is a learnable skill which I can teach you. You're fully capable of creating a better experience of your world without anything outside of you changing. And what happens to burnout then?

[00:13:40] The

[00:13:40] next reason I'm saying this is when you learn to create safety for yourself inside of you, which becomes permanently available, then everything changes. What other people say is no longer really going to ruffle you. Their dramas won't affect you. You'll tap into a more peaceful, compassionate and accepting view.

[00:14:02] And you'll start seeing people who you once would have thought were jerks, you'll suddenly start perceiving them as people who are in suffering, whirling in this chaos of out of control emotions. Like you previously were. Then you feel you can help them. At least by offering understanding and support, if nothing else, instead of resistance and conflict. Because at the root, people fight because they need to be seen and heard. And often they have a desire to be right. But most conflict can be dissolved by quietly reflecting a person's emotions back to them. Just ignoring all the inflammatory words, or the inflammatory tone, just simply witnessing them and their distress gently, kindly, and without judgment, just seeing and accepting them in all their human frailty and confusion. And if you want a technique to do this, it's actually very simple. You can listen to it described by Doug Noll in episode S13 of the podcast, and it's called How to Calm an Angry Person in Less than 90 Seconds.

[00:15:11] Anyway, if

[00:15:13] you do listen to it, it's going to make you laugh because in it, Doug tries to wind me up to use me as a demonstration model.

[00:15:21] The next one is, when you stabilize a sense of internal safety, That's then always on tap for you, that it transforms your experience of work and people and it makes everything more enjoyable. When you do that, you start to become a safe resource for other people around you.

[00:15:43] Because

[00:15:43] as you relax and gain basic confidence, your natural leadership qualities will come to the fore. And you're going to begin to see how you can offer support to the people around you who also suffer. 

[00:15:57] The

[00:15:59] sense is that once you champion yourself, you'll see how to champion others. Plus, on the upside of this as well, negotiations of every kind will be simpler and less charged for you.

[00:16:13] It's going to be more like same side problem solving, than me against the world. You're going to generate more empathy and more compassion and seeing other people's points of view will not compromise your own. This is where we get into psychological safety in teams. So stay tuned, we'll talk about that next week. But meanwhile, let's recap a little bit in case you're a little bit wary, unsure if or how all this is going to work for you. So if you're in burnout territory, it's quite likely that things aren't going well for you. In terms of performance results efficiency, mood, sociability, engagement, teamwork, and perhaps you're avoiding other people a little bit and probably battling conflict on a few fronts.

[00:17:04] It's a rough summary of many of the aspects of burnout. So if that's you and you've been listening, well, maybe you buy into it being possible to change yourself with help. But agency over conversations, situations, and outcomes driven by other people

[00:17:22] seems

[00:17:22] a little bit more tangential, right?

[00:17:26] And of course it's true. You could be made redundant or put on a performance plan completely without your permission or whatever muddle it is that you're in in burnout. The reasons you're afraid of your boss are commonly that he or she is going to make unfair or unwelcome decisions about you.

[00:17:44] And you don't feel on the same wavelength with your boss. You can't completely predict what they're going to do. You don't trust them or their motives. You're not like minded on some important topics such as your value on the team. But if that's what's happening for you, if you're in conflict with the boss or anyone else, Think a little bit about how you got there.

[00:18:07] Have you been easy to deal with? Or have you been silently fuming? Or argumentative? Defensive? Snappy? Obstructive? Withdrawn? Have you spoken ill of the other person? Have you been feeling too low and unmotivated to complete work on time? Has your work quality lagged? Have you skipped making calls? Have you affected their performance target?

[00:18:34] Your

[00:18:34] boss may be aggressive, or, substitute other any adjective of your choice here, but your behavior around your work, boss, and colleagues will still influence outcomes. Negatively or positively, it's up to you. And if you're in burnout, beyond the pale of exhaustion and despair, the first task is to support you back to energy, confidence, and self belief.

[00:18:59] You need to find your mojo a bit.

[00:19:01] Then

[00:19:02] your choices are going to broaden out considerably. And I know you don't love showing up poorly and that needs to change, but it can, once you get a bit of strength back. And then to gain agency over other people's decisions, it's really about being a supporter of them, seeking to understand their needs and working with them in a way that enriches your life and theirs.

[00:19:27] Maybe they don't have to be the enemy. What if they're just a hapless human being under intense pressure and burning out like you? What if they don't want to have to put pressure on you or anyone else? So really, I can teach you how to improve exchanges with your boss without biting your own tongue off, from a genuine place of support.

[00:19:49] That increases mutual trust and affects those outcomes more in your favour. I've seen job savers happen time after time for my clients. You might not believe it now, but many good things are coming for you, coming your way post burnout. And it's 100 percent possible to actually like your job again.

[00:20:13] The symptoms of burnout, they're fixable. Once you recover from your inner climate of fear, that's really the first stop.

[00:20:21] And 

[00:20:21] I do strongly encourage you to take this journey because right now you're probably suffering way too much. Psychological safety can be learned and when you learn it for yourself you're going to feel radically different on the inside and I can teach you that.

[00:20:36] You're going to stop dreading all things work and enjoy being you more. So that's it for today. Tune in next week for Psychological Safety for Teams and do look at the other episodes in the show notes today for how to create that actual safety within yourself. And of course, if you're ready to recover from burnout once and for all, come and talk to me.

[00:20:57] Let's make a personal plan for you to be the person you want to be and reclaim your performance, leadership, success, and enjoyment. Inside work and out. You can book an appointment at

[00:21:10] DexRandall. com. If you enjoyed this episode, please help me reach more people in burnout by rating and reviewing the podcast.

[00:21:17] Thank you kindly. And if you know somebody else who's heading towards or in burnout, please send them to the podcast. I recommend starting with the first five episodes for the best practical tips on starting burnout recovery. Thank you so much for joining me today. 

Introduction to Psychological Safety
The Motivational Triad of Survival
Creating Agency Over Emotional State
Championing Yourself and Others
Improving Exchanges with Boss
Conclusion and Call to Action