3 Ways to Convince Someone To Self Care When Burned Out
3 Ways to Convince Someone To Self Care When Burned Out
Heading to Dallas from Kansas City recently, I heard the familiar tone of the voice over the intercom start up:
“Ladies and Gentlemen, we’ve got a full flight to Dallas today…”
Travel is BACK and flights are almost always full again, so I couldn’t be surprised by what came next:
“This is a full flight so not everyone is going to be able to fit their bags but you can check your bag here at the gate, complimentary!”,
Ah, yes! The good old gate check. I find this announcement brings out the 2 kinds of flyers:
THE OVER MY DEAD BODY FLYER: The fliers who will not give up their bag unless you physically harm them. You see them grip their bag and begin sweating instantly, as if their bag is now about to be sold at auction and they’re not going to be given any of the profits.
THE WAIT WHAT IS HAPPENING FLYER: The folks who don’t fly much and have no clue what a gate check is. They’re just happy to be at the gate and aren’t sure what to expect on this flight but they’re here 2 hours early and
Over the years, I feel most folks fall into category #1 - they brought a carry-on and wanted to keep it - and for this flight, no one moved an inch to check a bag.
But the gate agent did something I didn’t expect - he sold the bag check: a step further he tells people not only can they check their bags right now. He goes on to list the benefits of checking your bag. Including:
#1 It’s completely free.
#2 You don’t have to drag your bag through the Dallas airport, which is genius.
#3 You don’t have to worry about that awkward struggle to find a spot for your back, because there is limited space
#4 You could really help out the flight crew who is serving you today and they appreciate it so much
The 10 folks that checked their bags before we started boarding were happy to do it - and as I sat down in my seat that day, I was in awe - That was such a great way of encouraging people because it really spoke to people’s pain points, and it got me wondering:
What if we talk about burn out or self-care using a similar way, selling the benefits for themselves, others and their future instead of focusing on what’s “wrong” or what needs to change with them?
If you reflect on it, how many times as a leader have you told people to take a vacation or encouraged them to turn off their email but they don’t listen and then they are burned out.? Feeling frustrated that they don’t listen, you retreat back to letting them do what they’re going to do and they continue their chronic stress cycle.
So how can we encourage someone to take care of themselves before they’ve hit massive burnout? Here’s 3 ideas to sell the idea of self care and burnout prevention to someone who isn’t buying it:
#1 - Brainstorm + share the forgotten benefits of self care.
Tailored to the person and what they value, consider what are the benefits that we can sell that would actually be impactful for them. Are they family oriented? If so, remind them their upcoming vacation shouldn’t be for R&R but instead connection and family time so they should start getting better rest now so they can really enjoy the vacation. Are they going for top salesperson in your org? Shower them with the facts - happier people sell more, make more and are more likeable. Or how about the employee or leader who is pragmatic - sharing that Cold and Flu season is approaching leads to sharing “Why not make sure you are getting good sleep so that you don’t have to use up all your sick days- So you can use them hopefully for something fun in the future?”
What’s going to touch them deeply and move the needle for them?
#2 - Try, try and try again
No one likes to be rejected or ignored, but if someone brushes off your suggestions that doesn’t mean give up, it means try again later or try differently. For example, a recent mortgage company I was working with had a high performing team that was struggling with burnout from their top leaders. They’d been going for months without a single vacation, pulling a lot of late nights ahead of a big launch and internal process change. They saw their leaders run down, yet they were refusing to take a day off because their team needed the more.
While the typical encouragement didn’t stick, the persistent encouragement did. Leaders scheduled emails through Boomerang for Gmail to be sent on Friday AM every other week, reminding managers to log off a few hours early and start their weekend early. Working 100% remotely took away their ability to swing by their office to scoot them out, but these emails we were received. We noticed that when folks logged off on Fridays early, they were more productive on Mondays based on personal reflection studies.
After a couple months, the entire team saw the benefit in taking time away to create better, more focused time when they were working and now half-day Fridays are the standard on this specific team. Another team in the banking industry I worked with chose 10am ET start times which helped their east coast and west coast teams kick off the day together more often, leading to less internal stress.
Keep mentioning self-care and burnout prevention strategies - and eventually, someone might just try it to everyone’s surprise and delight.
#3 - Share your burnout prevention hows and whys
It’s easy to share what you think other people should do, but oftentimes I see folks sharing advice with no ground to stand on in their own lives.
If you’re encouraging your team to take care of themselves to reduce stress, prevent burnout and boost happiness, but sure that you’re doing the same.
Do you regularly take time off? Have hobbies and spend time outside of work? Have you rewarded exhaustion over efficiency with your words or actions?
A bit of self reflection can go a long way - and can inspire everyone around you, so be sure you’re taking time to live your advice for yourself.
In a world that’s moving faster and faster, taking time to recharge, rest and heal from the battle scars of life we pick up along the way can feel like something low on our to-do list until it becomes urgent through health issues, relationships ending, and more. But it doesn’t have to be that way - try some of these tips with your teams, leaders and important people in your life. And yes - that includes yourself.
Interested in having Rachel speak to your association on burnout prevention? Wanting Rachel to come and motivate your hotel partners and CVB teams? Let’s chat - contact us today!
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