The world-wide problem of burnout has become more and more alarming, and many leaders want to know how they can improve the health and happiness of their employees. According to Jeanette Bronée, author of The Self-Care Mindset: Rethinking How We Change and Grow, Harness Well-Being, and Reclaim Work-Life Quality, discussions on burnout are lacking an essential component. They don’t address whether people feel cared for or psychologically safe.
According to Jeanette, in order to feel safe, people need to believe that they matter and have agency. “We burn out from feeling we don’t have power over our own lives or power in our own lives,” she said.
Her approach to self-care focuses on interpersonal relationships. After all, it is human connection that sustains us as individuals, and your connections can assist you in regaining control of your life. The bond you have with yourself is where it all begins. “The conversations we have with ourselves impact the conversations we have with other people, and therefore, the decisions we make,” she suggested.
Jeanette has developed a framework known as “CARE” that equips individuals with the skills necessary to gain agency by fostering a stronger relationship with themselves. The letter “C,” which stands for self-communication, represents the first stage of the framework.
Self-communication starts with a technique called “Power Pausing,” where you pause for a moment to process what you are thinking and feeling. This gives you the chance to check in with yourself and decide what the next step is, rather than reacting from a place of emotion.
Asking yourself how you are feeling is the easy part, according to Jeanette. Many of us need to unlearn how we communicate with ourselves about our feelings. Jeanette shares that many of us communicate with ourselves in the two following ways:
The first method is to downplay our emotions. When we become aware of our anxiety, we may persuade ourselves not to be anxious or that there is nothing to worry about.
The second way is by asking unhelpful questions such as “Why can’t I do this?” or “Why do I feel like this?”
During “Power Pauses,” asking the proper questions takes empathy, curiosity, and the capacity to concentrate on the intended outcome. For instance, Jeanette advises asking yourself, “What is it about this that makes me nervous?” Another question she suggests is, “What do I need to be more confident?” Then, focus your attention on what you want to achieve by asking, “How do I get over there to what I am trying to achieve?”
The next step of the CARE framework is “A” which relates to being more self-aware. Jeanette says, “We tend to think that our emotions are not welcome, but how about if we use them as information?” Self-awareness allows us to notice how we are feeling and to take steps to address our physical, emotional, and mental needs.
She equates Power Pauses with pausing music for a second. “You just pause it for a moment to just let it linger, take a beat, and then you let it go again. You don’t stop it completely and leave; sometimes, you need to disconnect.” This allows us to pause and think about issues at work rather than reacting emotionally, such as through fear.
Self-responsibility, or “R,” is the third phase in the CARE paradigm. This technique entails focusing on what you can control rather than trying to find someone to blame. “We explain away why we can’t do something. Just make it your choice because then you feel more empowered to make a decision,” she said.
Jeanette says that clients often tell her that they can’t finish tasks because they’re constantly interrupted or that their kids keep them from getting enough sleep. Most of the time, people ignore things that are within their power to change. It could be as easy as closing your door to keep out interruptions and letting others know you need some time to concentrate on a crucial assignment. When Jeanette looked into the matter of the leader who hadn’t slept enough, she discovered that he was staying up late to watch sports.
“We tend to give over our power to other people by explaining why we can’t do something because of our commitments,” she pointed out.
The remedy for this is to consider what you must do to acquire the outcome you desire and how to satisfy your desires. That occasionally entails requesting assistance from others. We must express our requirements to the other person since we cannot presume that they are aware of what is happening with us.
This ties in with the final step in the CARE framework, which is “E” for self-expression. By doing this, you are speaking up for yourself rather than waiting for someone else to do it. We cannot receive support if we don’t ask for it, as Jeanette correctly states.
On an individual level, this means asking for help when you need it or telling people what you need instead of assuming they know. This requires you as a leader to regularly check in with your team to determine if they have all they require for success or what else they need to complete tasks on schedule.
Self-expression allows us to feel safe because we feel like we are being heard and included. Once we have that agency, we can use our voice to create impact.
In conclusion, Jeanette Bronée’s CARE framework is definitely one that will help you become a more caring person, which will help ease some of the burnout worries that are so common in today’s society.
Watch the entire interview below with Jeanette Bronée and Dan Pontefract on the latest episode of Leadership NOW.
Pre-order my next book, Work-Life Bloom: How to Nurture a Team That Flourishes, (You won’t want to miss digging in. Publishing in Fall 2023)