If a man in your life is in burnout and you'd like him to get coached, here are my tips on how to invite him to coaching and how that can work between you. And thank you for referring any man in burnout to me!
Hello, my friends. This is Dex. And today I'm talking about a very important topic, what to do if the man in your life is burnt out. Because I recently interviewed one of my clients, a physician and his wife on two separate episodes of the podcast, and we were talking about burnout from each of their perspectives. Fascinating. So I thought I'd expand a little bit today on how to refer someone to me who's in burnout. Because some men in burnout need a bit of help getting used to the idea of burnout coaching, and also perhaps you, the referrer, might be in a relationship with such a man and be suffering on your own part. And I do receive a lot of referrals from women, mostly who have experienced coaching and are thriving on it, and they refer their men folk on to me if they're in burnout. Often husbands or partners, or it could be family or friends, and I really appreciate that. I think those referrals went really well. Because most of the men I coach have never experienced coaching before they meet me, and they can be a little bit nervous. So here's what I'm gonna do, I'm gonna talk about the best way to present burn out coaching to a man that you know needs some help. And that way, everybody benefits. And the first golden rule about coaching is that the client needs to want to do it for themselves. The referral can come from anyone, but if your man is not interested on his own part, he's gonna basically invoke the, you can take a horse to water, clause and dig his heels then. Often, that hesitation isn't a problem in practice, because when a man does come to talk to me, he can quickly see the benefits for himself and he jumps on board, even though he might have been concerned or skeptical before that. One of the difficulties men face when they are being urged to seek coaching is, well, frankly, there are some men who don't like being told what to do. And I should know, I'm one of them. There are some women that don't like being told what to do either, but anyway. Okay, so I'm a little bit resistant, I was a little bit resistant to seeking coaching, but it actually didn't stop me getting what I wanted from coaching. And also, if you are by example, maybe experiencing friction in your partnership with a man, it can be a little bit of an awkward moment to suggest coaching. It might come across a little bit like suggesting he needs therapy. And by the way, the difference between therapy and coaching in a nutshell is that therapy can help people with their mental health issues, often when they're not functioning well in some area of life, or perhaps they have a mental health condition, something diagnosable. Coaching on the other hand, is supporting people to self create more well being, a life that suits them better, a higher level of functioning, but from a start point of being already at a basic level function. So professional therapy can work well for some people when appropriate, and coaching can either supplement therapy or work stand alone for people who are functional but suffering a lack of well being or in burnout or navigating big life moments, work stress, relationship difficulties and so on. Now, as you know, my coaching specialty is guiding professional men out of burnout. And coaching works spectacularly well, with burnout recovery for any gender, all the peoples. And I'm just gonna go back on the World Health Organization definition of burnout as an occupational phenomenon. It says, and I quote, "Burnout is a syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed," it's characterised by three dimensions. Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, increase mental distance from one's job or feelings of negatives or cynicism related to one's job and reduce professional efficacy. Burnout is not listed in the DSM 5 the physicians use for diagnosing mental health condition. So I think it's very important to know that burnout is not a diagnosable condition and there are often very many external factors that have affected a person ending up in burnout. Being in burnout is not having a disease, it's not a sign of weakness, it's not a sign of failure, it's not a sign of wrong doing, it's not a sign of wilfulness or laziness or lack of care. We don't seek to stigmatise or criticise anyone for having a burnout experience. Underneath every burnt out shell, there walks a really big hearted, capable human, guaranteed, just guaranteed. So it's an occupational phenomenon, and it's reversible, I believe. And by the way, if you or the man in question wants to learn a little bit more about what burnout is and what it's not, listen to episode one of this podcast. And if you or he want to understand who gets burnout, why they get it and why they can't fix it by themselves, listen to episode two. Okay, so why am I stressing all of this? Because if your man's in burnout, it's important to recognise that whatever his experience is or whatever your experience of him is, he's essentially perfectly functional, there's nothing actually wrong with him, he's not broken, he's just gone a little bit off track. And with coaching, he can return not just to work performance, but also enjoyment, calm, equilibrium, and a sense of reward and purpose. And maybe the bit you care about the most, he's likely to feel more equipped to hold up his end of relationships, partnerships, family, kids, friendships across the board really. He's gonna get his passion, his enthusiasm and energy back, he's gonna feel a lot better about life in general, because nobody wants to be in burnout. No one wants to under perform at work or at home. No one wants to be in that much pain. Burnout typically undermines all sense of well being, usefulness and contribution. I think it really extinguishers the sense of self. And when I think about how I felt back in burnout, it seemed hopeless, like depression. And I felt exhausted and helpless to fix it. We really wouldn't want burnout to happen to our worst enemy. So my point is here, if somebody dear to you is in burnout, your best bet is to invite him to come and speak with me. And I'll help him see that his burnout is fixable, and we'll make a plan for how that would work out for him. You can just leave it with me, and I will thank you very kindly for the referral and for giving any man a chance of the solution. Or if you have a man who doesn't wanna come and talk to me yet, send him to the podcast and let him discover for himself what's available. He might especially enjoy the client case studies, for example, the episode I mentioned earlier, where I interview my client John Parsons talking about his coaching experience and how it has affected his life and his family. Your man might never have really understood his own stress and burnout. And generating that understanding alone, it's gonna be helpful to him. He might previously have been unaware that it's fixable 'cause there aren't really too many workable solutions out there. So most of all, if you do these things, he might rekindle a bit of hope and he sorely needs that right now. And that's where the journey to healing his soul begins. So having said all of that, I do understand that any human being in burnout is probably pissing people off and letting people down. So he may not be behaving towards you in ways that you appreciate. There might be a little bit of friction there. You may have your measure of suffering and you may hold him accountable. And if that's the case for you, it might also be helpful for you to receive coaching to help with your suffering. Don't wait on him. I work with a lot of people whose partners also receive coaching, it's a very potent combination. Because if you're making this man responsible for your suffering, you're not standing in your own power. Wouldn't you rather own your own well being? And that's basically how coaching can help you. But whether you choose coaching or not, if he chooses coaching, his behavior towards people will change. Even though relationships are not the primary focus of burnout coaching, we can't fix burnout without improving human dynamics. And if you'd like to learn more about how the burnout recovery helps family relationships and partnerships, listen to the special podcast episode with Melissa Parsons, where she talks about what happened in her family when her husband had coaching with me. So my next point then is, once you've made the referral, your man is perfectly capable of seeing out the solution, and really it's up to him to do so. He will generally begin to flourish fairly quickly, and you can rely on me to expertly guide him on that journey. The path back to thriving at work is unique actually for every man, but it's also quite a private and personal journey. He's going to uncover some hard truths that he's avoiding. Burnout will have impacted his self image that he's been trying so hard to protect, as futile as that may have been. If change was easy, if recovery from burnout was easy, he'd have done it by now. It isn't, not for anybody without the right support. And it takes courage, and I can help him access that courage. So even though you might wish to participate or discuss this program with him, he will often do better if left to pursue it in private. The evidence of progress will emerge soon enough, as you can see his behaviors change around you and around other people. As his energy returns and he starts to feel less stressed and anxious, he'll feel better about himself, and he'll respond better. Maybe he'll be sleeping or resting better, and that's really gonna help too. He's basically gonna develop new resilience and capacity. So I advise to let him be in his own process, if you can, 'cause it's gonna work better in the end. So how to refer him. If you know a man in burnout and you want to refer him, how can you do that? Well, obviously, it depends a little bit on your relationship with him and also to some extent on his condition and willingness. Is he actually in burnout? Has it become unbearable enough to him that he's going to seek help? If you have experienced coaching yourself, of course, you can use your own results as an example, all well and good. But either way, you might ask him to listen to the first few episodes of this podcast so he gets a sense for himself of what's possible. If he is actually reluctant, you might just kind of see the idea with him and give him a little time to get used to it, because each of us comes to coaching when we're ready. In my case, when I was in burnout, I was more than ready. And that is when I started to receive coaching for the first time. I was desperate actually, I was really suffering because I'd just had a heart attack and everything seemed quite urgent to me. I'm not actually gonna suggest that anyone lets it go that long, by the way. Burnout, chronic stress triggers and accelerates a lot of very serious, chronic health conditions. It puts a lot of stress on the body, as well as the mind. And burnout deteriorates over time when it's left untreated. And I think the stress on the body is being a big reason for that. It's basically being in fight or flight all the time. So sleep, digestion, hormones, inflammation, loss of repair functions, everything slides down hill under chronic stress. So still, even having said all that, let the idea percolate with him for a little while. Pushing, once again, is less likely to produce a result. And I'm guessing you already know this. The best way to talk about it, I find, is not to dwell on or even mention his faults, glaring though they may be to you. But rather to present the upside of coaching. Coaching I see as a golden opportunity to have the kind of life and work experience that he really wants, it's an opportunity to grow to the next level of performance and feel way less stressed about it. He'll learn to curb his anxiety, stop worrying about what people think about him, he'll learn how to work better in less time, finish work earlier, stop avoiding tasks he's worried about, and get back on top of his work load and stop thinking about work all the time. He'll find ways to relax and sleep or even take an interest in things outside of work. He'll probably stop resorting to food and drink to feel better, and he'll begin to seek out the company of others. And of course, he's gonna get his career back on track. It's also good for your man to know that this process is not navel gazing. We won't be delving back into the past very much, it's not therapy. It's more about learning simple practical tools and techniques to improve his own day to day experience of work and reduce worry, stress and anxiety. And don't forget when he's got those skills, he's got them for life. He can keep himself out a burnout in the future, which I think is the fundamental wonder of this work. So I hope I've given you a few ideas there. You might listen to other episodes of the podcast if you'd like to get some more ideas for yourself, but feel free also to reach out. And if there is a man in your life struggling with burnout who you'd like to refer to me, I really do appreciate that. Don't worry, I've got his back and I've got your back. You can listen to the end of this podcast for the link if you'd like to book an appointment to talk to me about resolving his burnout, or just send him along to the podcast. And thank so much for being here today.