UW Foster School of Business Assistant Professor of Management Kira Schabram joined me to talk about her research into callings, compassion and burnout. Burnout has a clinical diagnostic framework. It is not just feeling exhausted. Burnout is when exhaustion is accompanied by feelings of inefficacy or cynicism.
Interventions that can help an individual experiencing burnout include small acts of compassion (and self-compassion) and self-care. Self-care can help combat burnout that is characterized by exhaustion and cynicism, and acts of compassion can help combat burnout characterized by exhaustion and inefficacy.
The Maslach Burnout Inventory(TM) can be used to diagnose burnout.
Programs designed to help pull people out of burnout often fail, and individuals experiencing burnout often find it hard to engage in such programs. If you suspect someone is suffering from burnout, taking an action to help them, ie bring them a meal, or do something for them, but don’t ask what they need, because that shifts the onus onto the person.
Kira also talked about the importance of having a hobby or interest outside of a career that is based on a calling, or passion as a way to avoid burnout. She also shared the danger of fixating on a single path toward a “dream job” associated with a call or passion, which can cause frustration and burnout.
You can read more about Kira’s work in the Foster Business Magazine.
Kira recommended the following authors and books: