Executive Burnout and its Causes Definition: According to New York Psychologist Herbert J. Freudenberger, PhD., who coined the term, burned is a state of fatigue or frustration brought about by a devotion to a cause, a way of life, or a relationship that failed to produce the expected reward. Burnout is a problem born of good intentions, because it happens when people try to reach unrealistic goals and end up depleting their energy and losing touch with themselves and others. Symptoms: The onset is slow. The early symptoms include a feeling of emotional and physical exhaustion; a sense of alienation, cynicism, impatience, negativism and feelings of detachment to the point that the individual begins to resent work involved and the people who are a part of that work. In extreme cases the individual who once cared very much about a project or a group will insulate themselves to the point the they no longer care at all. The irony of burnout is that it happens to the same person who previously was enthusiastic and brimming over with energy and new ideas when first involved in a job or a new situation. This type of person generally has a very high expectation of what can be accomplished. As time goes by and all of the goals arent achieved, the enthusiasm diminishes and listlessness sets in. Instead of lowering objectives or accepting reality, frustration is bottled up and the individual tries even harder. The result is burnout. The four Phases of Stress reactions that lead to burnout: 1. Warning signs: The warning signs are emotional in nature, and are feelings of vague anxiety, fatigue, depression, and boredom with ones job and apathy. 2. Mild symptoms: If an executive ignores theses warning signals, they will intensify. Some physical signs are added to the emotional ones: reduced emotional control, increasing a…
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