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Leadership coaching for burnout recovery

When your leadership ambitions end in exhaustion

Managers are particularly inclined to seek out challenges and take satisfaction in expanding their own abilities. Leaders aspire to a high level of performance, which is why they experience new responsibilities and apparently insurmountable challenges as motivators, which spur them on to achievement. However, the growing number of increasingly complex demands placed on managers, together with their own high performance expectations and tendency to perfectionism, can harbor the risk of burnout. On top of this, there are external factors which also increase the risk of burnout. These include:

  • Excessive or unreasonable performance expectations imposed from above, which are not in line with the available resources (finance, staff or personality).
  • Being asked to perform tasks or behave in a way that you can’t reconcile with our own personal values.
  • Organizational structures and processes which restrict your sphere of influence and often make you feel that you are not in control.
  • A lack of positive external feedback, and a lack of acknowledgment and esteem.

When you have lost your inner balance and are no longer able to muster adequate resources, stress and emotional exhaustion quickly mount up and impact adversely on your performance. If you do not succeed in making long-term change in your own leadership behavior, you fall into the burnout spiral. In the worst case, this can lead to being off work for months or even years, long-term unemployment and side-effects such as quarrels or relationship breakdowns in your private life.

Recognizing burnout and learning to accept it

If other people tell you, that you are at risk of burnout, or if you have realized for yourself that you are showing a number of the symptoms, you should take heed of the warning bells. Like a chameleon, burnout can manifest itself in a number of different ways. Here are a few of the common symptoms:

  • Reduced performance and ability to concentrate
  • Reduced decision-making capacity – you are hesitant, you keep putting off the issue, or after several attempts you still find you are barely able to make a decision.
  • You feel helpless and lacking in perspective.
  • Emotional exhaustion, which is usually associated with frustration, impulsive behavior, aggression or anxiety.
  • Social withdrawal and a tendency towards isolation.
  • Increased consumption of alcohol, cocaine or other addictive drugs.
  • Various physical symptoms such as headaches, sleeping problems, heart palpitations, etc.

To help you better assess your symptoms, you can consult the resources on the National Center for Biotechnology Information. In the process of identifying your condition, you may also find it helpful to consult your doctor. And now we come to the crux of the issue: we can only become aware of our condition, and hence begin to recover, if we stop repressing the problem and instead take a good, close look at it. Admitting to yourself that you are suffering from burnout might go something like this:

  • “I think I might be in danger of burnout.”
  • “Perhaps I’m already suffering from burnout.”

This counteracts the usual response of denial: “Burnout? Not me! That only happens to other people.” By letting down your innermost defenses against the thought “I could be suffering from burnout”, you begin the path to acceptance. This is where you experience relief, and a positive change. But the insight must be followed up with actions.

Leadership coaching for burnout prevention

If you have recognized the initial symptoms of burnout, and you are willing to tackle the situation so as to avoid a complete breakdown, we recommend burnout prevention coaching. The Trans-In coaching program focuses on the following issues – depending, of course on your current situation:

  • Your own assessment and an external assessment of the burnout risk.
  • Analysis of the roles and responsibilities in your current position.
  • Exploring restructuring options where necessary.
  • Identifying and working through central stress factors.
  • Identifying uncertainties and anxieties, and learning to deal with them in a constructive manner.
  • Working on your own life balance.
  • Evaluating your own needs (this is often neglected by people at risk of burnout).
  • Enhancing your self-awareness and self-care.
  • Promoting a sense of purpose and nurturing relationships.

In an initial obligation-free meeting, you will be able to form an impression of our approach and test the water with your Trans-In leadership coach. We look forward to hearing from you.

Gaining perspectives on your path to recovery

Things look different when you’re in the middle of a crisis: if you’ve reached the lowest ebb of burnout, or even gone beyond this point, you need medical help. Perhaps you’re working reduced hours, or you’ve been forced to take a time off. There are many different causes of burnout – stress arising from work, family life or personal problems can all contribute to your critical condition. This means we need to identify external influences, such as market developments and the structure and culture of your company, as well as the things that are going on in your private life. However, the internal influences are just as important: in this regard, burnout can prompt you to reflect on your own attitudes, beliefs and behaviors.  

As a leader, you are responsible not only for yourself but also for your team. What’s more, as a business owner you feel responsible for the whole company. For this reason, you may find it helpful to consider questions such as:  

  • How do I talk about my burnout at work? 
  • What do I need to tell my colleagues and employees about the prospect of working with me in the future? 
  • Under what conditions would I start working again in the same role under the same boss? 
  • What skills, processes and positions need to be adjusted to provide effective relief? 
  • What responsibilities do I want to hold on to in the future, and what would I rather give up? 
  • What career options are available to me at the moment? 
  • How can I make sure that I don’t sink back into my old ways? 

Leadership coaching with a focus on business and psychological aspects as a supplement to medical advice

You will experience Trans-In leadership coaching as a support process in which we engage with you person to person. As a supplement to medical and psychiatric help, which plays a central role in dealing with symptoms caused by illness, we offer you a human coaching experience with a focus on business issues. Your coach speaks your language, provides you with effective tools for dealing with crises, offers decades of experience in the business environment, and has gone through his or her own existential crisis. In addition, your coaching is supported by a holistic approach, with the participation – subject to your consent – of your business partner, case manage, HR manager, etc. Within the overall process of burnout recovery, Trans-In leadership coaching plays a central role in your return to the workplace. The following graphic illustrates the extensive amount of time and space required for psychiatric support and psychotherapy at the beginning of the burnout treatment. Trans-In coaching begins at a later stage, and serves as a complementary support focused on the domain of organizational psychology and business:

Complementary Support for Leaders Affected by Crisis, Leadership Coaching for burnout recovery

In our leadership coaching for burnout recovery we may draw on the following elements:

  • SWOT analysis of your personal situation
  • A mood barometer to help you better assess your current condition
  • Training exercises to help you accept your own feelings, sensitivities, weaknesses and failures
  • Exercises to help you define and strengthen your own priorities and your own limits (e.g. planning your time in a more conscious way, actively setting boundaries, delegation, etc.)
  • Communication exercises to help you talk about your burnout in a constructive way with your employees, colleagues and other stakeholders
  • Visualization of your current and future professional situation, and the influencing factors involved
  • Training in self-awareness for early recognition of physical, emotional and mental signs.

Feeling understood you can rely on affirmative support

The following graphic gives an overview of the process, and of the three different programs we offer according to your needs:

Leadership Coaching for burnout recovery, Approach and Measures

In our first meeting we may touch on some initial solutions. The focus is on setting out the framework parameters for working together, and your Trans-In coach adopts a supportive, encouraging role. This is why it is not only fitting, but in fact critical for success, that you feel understood both as a person and as a leader in the first meeting, and that the questions we ask you give rise to a fruitful process. To this end, we give you the opportunity to get to know several different coaches. This enables you to choose the person who is the best fit for your personal process. Take the first step now and get in touch with us. Even though the road to burnout is paved with many uncertainties and at the beginning there are more questions than answers, getting in touch with us will set you on a path of positive action.

Encounter your burnout situation with a positive action.

Testimonials of our clients

Member of the Executive Team of a major Swiss financial services provider

“Trans-In coaching gave me highly personal support in returning to the workplace after my crisis. Without the strong relationship of trust between myself and my coach, Joerg Eugster, I never would have succeeded in my personal development. The coaching process was clearly defined, and Jörg Eugster engaged flexibly with my current needs while never losing sight of the higher level goals. Today I feel confirmed in my values, I reveal much more of my personal side to my employees, and I have found more certainty in my daily role as a manager. My well-practiced daily exercises keep me safe from any risk of a relapse.”