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Are You Burnt Out Because of Rigid Thinking?

burnt out

A Gap Analysis

A gap analysis is a well-defined learning strategy that can help you manage being burnt out. A gap analysis is a simple tool for establishing any gaps between your strengths in managing being burnt out and your organization’s ability to assist you in putting those strengths into practice. Let’s explore the issue of rigid thinking and being burnt out.

Current State

Focus on your current state of being burnt out. Look at what is currently happening at work (e.g., policies, practices, resources, strengths not put into practice). Chronic workplace stressors may be causing you to feel emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and disengaged. Your current state may be due to your rigid thinking, which makes you cynical.

Desired State

Once you have a good handle on your current state, explore the desired state. Identify what should be happening at work. There may be a gap between your current state of being burnt out due to inflexibility and rigid thinking and your desired state, becoming open minded.

Gap and Remedial Action

The gap between your current state and desired state may be a lack of knowledge about ways to change your rigid mindset. Find the information you need to manage being burnt out. Information gathering helps you to focus on what is causing the gap. Pinpoint remedial actions that help you to be a flexible thinker. With this in mind, consider being more alert to a critical thought and reframe it to a positive one. You may want to focus on recognizing knee jerk reactions and how to avoid certain behaviors or consider brainstorming positive behaviors to deal with each problem individually. You can also identify three strengths and how to put them into practice to achieve the desired state of being open minded. Here are three examples of remedial actions using strengths and best practices for mitigating being burnt out:

1.      Critical thinker – “I notice a negative thought about my job and try to reframe it into a positive one.”

2.      Careful – “I recognize a bias I am feeling toward someone that’s creating a negative attitude.”

3.      Determined, “I know how to say no when I have to.”

Furthermore, if you are a supervisor, a gap analysis becomes a tool to help you manage employees who are burnt out.  Speak directly to your team to help them recognize that their goal and the organizational goal are connected. Have a communication plan to ensure that their strengths are being utilized in the workplace. Develop team strategies to share how strengths are put into practice to build resilience. Here is an example of a supervisor’s strategy after completing a gap analysis: “As a supervisor, I am skillful, and know how to communicate with my team about shared goals and values. I give employees a place online to share suggestions and learn from one another about wellbeing and work-life balance. I ensure they receive mentoring, training, and feedback, and invest in helping my team learn about ways to put their strengths into practice to lessen burnout.”

As a final point, a gap analysis is a fancy phrase that is less complicated than it seems. Employees and supervisors focus on shared values and goals as they plan a strategy. Together, they identify the gap between the current and future state and create a plan of action to manage burnout in the workplace.

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Barbara is a leading authority and best-selling author on managing burnout, secondary traumatic stress, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma. As a nationally recognized keynote speaker, she motivates audiences to build their resilience and create work-life balance. Her programs help leaders and teams manage workplace chronic stressors and get over burnout at work.

Barbara's newest book, "But I Didn't Say Goodbye: Helping Families After a Suicide", is available now on Amazon -

• Three weeks prior to giving birth to triplets, her father died by suicide. Her story was featured in the Emmy award winning documentary, Fatal Mistakes, Families Shattered by Suicide narrated by Mariette Hartley. Many employees are grieving personal loss. She offers programs for leaders on lost productivity and performance while managing grief at work.

• As a sought-after keynote speaker who has presented to over 500 groups since 1991, including corporations, state and national associations and non-profit organizations, Barbara offers work-life balance strategies for leaders to implement right away. With clarity and humor, her speaking engagements are designed to give audiences powerful and practical strategies of work-life balance, wellbeing, and self-care that can be implemented immediately.

• Barbara is a Board-Certified Expert in Traumatic Stress and Diplomate with the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress. She received a Bachelor of Science in psychology and a Master of Arts degree in community health, with a concentration in thanatology, both from Brooklyn College.


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