Beating burnout is not easy. The symptoms of burnout include emotional exhaustion, cynicism and lack of professional efficacy. Leaders at all levels can unleash their inner executive coach to support their employees. My doctoral dissertation studied the influence executive coaching has on a leader’s ability to manage stress and mitigate burnout. I interviewed 35 executives who worked with a coach to deal with stress and potential burnout.
If a leader provides space for their team to process through challenging situations with words of encouragement, it can make all the difference in helping employees manage stressful situations.
In other words leaders you can unleash the skills great executive coaches posses to support your team to handle stressful situations and protect them from burnout –
- Words of Encouragement – A great researcher named Bandura discovered the concept of self-efficacy. Self-efficacy is one’s belief in their own skills and abilities to manage difficult situations. There are six ways that we can strengthen our self-efficacy. One of those ways, is called verbal persuasion. Verbal persuasion includes words of belief, words of encouragement and words of support provided by others that can improve self efficacy. As a leader you can deliver these life giving phrases to your team, just like an executive coach. Verbal persuasion delivered by a manager or leader can mitigate stress and protect your team from burnout.
- Challenging Work With Support – A second method to enhance self-efficacy is through challenging yet supportive work experiences. Think of a time that you completed something challenging with great success. This no doubt built your confidence. It also developed your self-efficacy. As a leader, give your employees challenging, yet not too difficult work and support them to success. This will strengthen their self-efficacy. Bandura called this a mastery experience.
- Listening – Yes, listen to your team. By listening, you create the space for your employees to do one of two things. Emotion focus cope or problem focus cope. These two types of stress coping skills can be enhanced when a leader or coach provides this type of space for a person to deal with a stressful situation at work. Emotion focused coping involves processing through the feelings associated with stressful situations. Problem focused coping explores the potential options to deal with stress and develop a path forward. When a leader listens, they provide their employees a chance to deal with the feelings associated with stress and identify a plan to move forward.
How are you doing with these three coaching skills? You can unleash your inner executive coach to help your team manage stress and protect themselves from burnout.