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Is Executive Coaching An Antidote to Burnout?

by The Leadership Development Group

Traditionally, executive coaching has been used to enhance leadership and organizational performance. However, since the pandemic, we are seeing more companies turn to coaching as a mechanism to reduce burnout, which when ignored can cause lasting effects on employee health and organizational performance. And given the statistics — according to Indeed, 52% of employees experienced burnout in 2021 — burnout has become a serious concern for leaders across all industries. 

To ensure your employees are well-equipped to deal with the challenges and stressors associated with work today, have you considered using coaching to enhance your employees’ well-being? Our work with leaders over the course of the last decade shows a strong correlation between executive coaching and reductions in burnout. 

Executive coaching helps leaders to:

  • Recognize signs and symptoms which can cause burnout
  • Shift mindset to focus on overcoming obstacles to improving performance and results
  • Become equipped with the skills to lead through change
  • Develop effective collaboration and shared decision-making habits 
  • Enhance self and interpersonal awareness

Ultimately, executive coaching opens doors to new ways of approaching stressful situations, communicating well with peers and managing workloads more effectively. In this article, we’re diving deep into how executive coaching may be the key to overcoming burnout.

What is Burnout?

Burnout is defined by the World Health Organization as, “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” Typically, people who experience burnout often feel:

  • Depleted of energy or exhausted
  • Cynical toward their job and career path
  • As though they can’t perform their job well

In light of the pandemic shaking up the way we work and live, it’s not surprising that employees spanning all industries, and levels of business, are feeling excess amounts of stress. On top of that, even prior to the pandemic, 79% of physicians were already experiencing burnout — which has become an epidemic of its own. Fortunately, there are ways to better manage workplace stress just as there are ways for business leaders to mitigate burnout among their employees. 

Ways Executive Coaching Reduces Burnout

The ultimate goal of executive coaching is to adequately address and meet business needs to develop sustainable strategies for continued learning and future success. Executive coaching strategies can help employees: 

  • Better manage stress
  • Reallocate workloads
  • Reduce factors that contribute to overwhelm
  • Increase active listening to cultivate healthy relationships with peers

1. Executive Coaching Empowers Healthy Professional Growth

Being a leader is often isolating. And it’s common for executives to feel as if the entire world is solely on their shoulders. Coaches are trained to guide their clients on how to effectively grow in their career on a healthy trajectory. A “healthy” trajectory means giving you the right skills and tools to better manage challenges, mistakes, and difficulties.

By taking into account your specific goals and strengths, coaches co-develop a course of action with their clients to enhance overall leadership performance and better manage obstacles.

“... [Executive] coaching can open doors to new ways of approaching situations and communicating more effectively.”

— Joseph DiPaolo, FACHE, CEO at Prisma Health Tuomey Hospital 

2. Provides the Ability to Process Challenges with an Outside Perspective

Oftentimes, leaders suffering from burnout begin to see challenges through a narrow lens. This narrow-mindset limits innovation and creates overwhelm. Through executive coaching, space is created for clients to look at challenges in new ways and process them via an outside perspective. 

Through executive coaching, clients can leverage their coaches’ expertise and thoughts on the current challenges they are facing in a safe environment. Outside perspectives often lead to a change in thinking. 

“Coaching provided an opportunity for me to look at things from different perspectives. Coaching creates the space to be mindful, not reactionary.”

— Diane Kelly, President, Greenwich Hospital and Executive Vice President, Yale New Haven Health

3. Enables Leaders to Gain Control of their Emotions and Stress

Burnout often leads to erratic behavior and negative emotions. Executive coaching helps individuals regain control of their emotions and helps them better manage their stress. Executive coaches work with their clients to help them discover their specific triggers and stressors. Then, create a personal plan to self-identify these triggers and leverage proactive ways to handle them.

Essentially, half the battle is becoming self-aware. What makes you tick? What sets you off? Executive coaching is key to uncovering a deeper understanding of who you are, how you work, and how your leadership can be amplified. 

“I learned a lot about myself, what drives me, what my values are, how I show up and why. I am a better leader today because of executive coaching.”

— Jeff Bornstein, Deputy Head of Clinical Sciences at Takeda Pharmaceutical 

Are You Ready for Executive Coaching?

TLD Group’s executive coaches have a depth of expertise in the health ecosystem and truly understand the unique challenges facing senior executives and medical and scientific leaders. With our health ecosystem industry focus, we’re well-suited to work with leaders to help them regain balance and focus to reduce burnout and enhance engagement and productivity. Take a look at the case story below where one executive director overcame burnout through executive coaching.

Case Story

An Executive Director of a healthcare supply chain organization engaged in coaching with TLD Group during a time when he was facing extreme pressure and burnout. He was perceived by his peers as:

  • Negative and incapable of managing stress and his emotions
  • Alienating to his teammates
  • Constantly frustrated and stressed

The Executive Director’s burnout was not only impacting his own health and well-being but it also was negatively impacting the rest of his team leading to misalignment of goals, inconsistent performance, and poor company culture. The director and his TLD Group executive coach worked over the course of 6 months to develop ways to:

  • Identify and reduce factors that contributed to his stress and negative emotions
  • Understand his emotions and manage them more effectively
  • Cultivate trust with his peers
  • Increase steps to manage stress, particularly during COVID

As a result of this executive coaching engagement, the Executive Director:

  • Experienced a 20% reduction in work that didn't belong on his plate by increasing delegation to employees
  • Increased proactive and positive relationship-building with peers
  • Heightened collaboration throughout the team

Final Thoughts

While there are many factors and triggers that lead to burnout, one thing is true — executive coaching is a surefire way to reduce burnout. If you’re one of the many who are suffering from the effects of burnout and heightened stress, TLD Group can help. 

Get in touch with our cadre of executive coaches to co-develop a customized coaching program just for you. We’re here for you!

Topics: Leadership Development, Healthcare Ecosystem, Leadership, Executive Coaching