Page 8 - BusinessWest December 12, 2022
P. 8

            Cooling Agent
Local Executive Coach Writes the Book on Defeating Burnout
By George O’Brien
“Ihad a major problem, and I needed a solution. Fast. So I decided to use the best strategy I had: outworking
the problem on my own until either it was resolved or I collapsed. It was an easy choice, really. Up until this point, I had a 100 percent success rate in winning those battles. Besides, failure wasn’t an option. I’m a man. We don’t fail, and we don’t need help.
This time I was different. I knew that because of the carpeting.
Until that point in my life, I had never spent time inspecting the nuances of the flooring of my tiny, two-bedroom condo. But there I was, planted face down in the middle of my living room floor, drenched in sweat, tears streaking down my face, anguished groans occasionally escaping my writhing body. The abrasiveness
IT system, one that, coupled with other fac- tors ranging from his grandmother lying on her deathbed to being six months into divorce, sent him nosediving into that aforementioned Ber- ber carpet.
He’s also helped others defeat burnout, but only after they managed to find the strength to do what most men strenuously resist doing — first admitting that they need help, and then getting that help.
“I often describe myself as a men’s and organizational burnout coach,” he told Busi- nessWest. “Because that’s who keeps finding me; that’s the work I’m most compelled to do, to help men deal with this condition we call burnout.”
In a wide-ranging conversation about his book and the broad subject of burnout, Young
 “The term has gained a lot of buzz over the past few years — the pandemic has pulled the curtains back on this topic, which has really been there for a long time. I think we conflate it oftentimes with being tired or exhausted. People say, ‘I’m burned out today’ ... it’s a bigger issue than that.”
     of the matted Berber carpet felt harsh on my nose, forehead, and cheeks. Its aroma, stale and slightly chemical in nature, reeked of atrophy. It was not a pretty scene.
As I lay there uncontrollably sobbing, shak- ing from waves of stress pulsing through my depleted body, it was clear that I wasn’t OK.”
That’s a very powerful, and poignant, pas- sage from the introduction to Jim Young’s recently released book, titled Expansive Intima- cy: How “Tough Guys” Defeat Burnout.
Young, a Northampton-based coach who calls himself the “Centered Coach,” and before that an IT executive, has become an expert on the subject at hand — burnout — and defeat- ing it. He’s been there and done that, as we can discern from his introduction, in which he talks about an assignment to revive a major client’s
said this term gets thrown out almost daily in the workplace, usually with little regard for its true meaning and symptoms.
Indeed, burnout is, in most respects, a tech- nical term. It doesn’t mean tired, or exhausted, or exasperated, he said, adding that there are several symptoms, and also what he called
the “burnout spectrum” in which individuals experience some but perhaps not all of these symptoms.
“The term has gained a lot of buzz over the past few years — the pandemic has pulled the curtains back on this topic, which has really been there for a long time,” he explained. “I think we conflate it oftentimes with being tired or exhausted. People say, ‘I’m burned out today’ ... it’s a bigger issue than that.
“The World Health Organization finally, in
Jim Young says the first steps in defeating burnout are admitting there’s a problem and seeking help.
2019, recognized that burnout was a workplace condition of unmanaged stress with three com- ponents,” he went on. “Exhaustion, for sure, whether we’re physically, mentally, or emotion- ally exhausted, but also cynicism and a lack of effectiveness; we don’t feel like we can get things done anymore, and we can start taking a cynical approach that things are never going to get bet- ter — a mentality of ‘it is what it is.’ A true case of burnout involves all three of those symp- toms, and there are people all across the burn-
   May the holidays bring you good news.
PUBLICATION NAMEPLATE
LOGO B&W
Say Happy Holidays up to 26 times!
BusinessWest makes the perfect gift. LOGO COLOR
  THE BUSINESS JOURNAL OF WESTERN MASSACHUSETTS
 $45 for 1 year $67 for 2 years $79 for 3 years
            413-781-8600 BusinessWest.com
 WEBSITE NAMEPLATE
 8 DECEMBER 12, 2022
FEATURE
BusinessWest
































































   6   7   8   9   10