Whether managers or leaders, when the motivation to perform slips into the basement, a descent into darkness begins for many people. Those who have arrived there isolate themselves and find it difficult to accept help in their isolation. The collapsed motivation to perform develops into an inability to perform as a result of excessive demands. This condition is called burn-out. It can be expensive for companies.

For general understanding: Burn-out is not a disease. Burn-out is a problem from and in the world of work. This is how it is generally seen in other countries. In the mid-1970s, the term “burn-out” was first mentioned by Herbert Freudenberger. The psychoanalyst gave a name to the health consequences of occupational overload and did not combine it with the state of an illness.

Later, the social psychologist Christine Maslach contributed significantly to the study of burn-out syndrome by bringing together the burn-out phenomenon in a triad distance from work, emotional exhaustion and decreasing work performance. This mental state has been divided into over 100 different sensitivities through various research and findings. However, an independent clinical picture could not be derived from this.

Rather, a wide variety of problem accumulations are identified, which are described as difficulties in coping with work-related life and can lead to total exhaustion. This is arriving in the emotional darkness. Regardless of this, we often speak of a disease with a wide variety of symptoms, from complaints about lack of concentration, to depressive state of mind to the severe risk of suicide.

Anyone who has arrived there, not only with his motivation to perform, but above all with his performance in the basement, usually does not find the way to normality on his own without outside help.

The pandemic, which is now rampant for one year, is undereating normal life. The freedom initially believed to be associated with working from home tipped over for many after just a few weeks into an isolation reminiscent of loneliness. Colleagues are not nearly as closely connected on the screen as they see, hear and feel each other. Communities? Sociability? To exchange ideas with each other beyond the duty? The grip on such needs goes nowhere. Consequently, the psyche paralyzes the creative power.

Even the end of a working day does not allow you to change scenes. Many wonder what is worse to endure, home office or short-time work. As a rule, politicians do not know such experiences of alternating baths. That is why they can happily announce plagiarism gifts that are a horror not only for companies, but above all for those affected: Home office as an obligation of the employer means in consequence to ensure that people are not allowed to do what they want, but must do what the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS) has come up with at the green table.

Dissatisfaction with working conditions affects entrepreneurs, leaders and leaders alike. Anyone who knows about themselves or next to them who does not “know how to show empathy”, as is often recommended, but “empathetic”, can speak of happiness. Empathy is not a piece of clothing that you put on on a suitable occasion like an apron when cooking. Empathy is also not a role to play when it seems necessary.

Those who do not have empathy in them in order to live it authentically should ask themselves whether they are actually one of the few who can do without empathy even in critical situations that affect themselves. Anyone who cannot be empathetic from an inner attitude should honestly not even try to meet others in the mask of empathy. Even the less sensitive person notices that something can’t be right. The question remains whether those who have difficulties with their proof of empathy towards others do not know a situation from their lives in which others have helped them with empathetic encounters. Sometimes such links can help you realize that there’s more to you than you thought for the moment.

With sharpened social perception and empathy, there is a lot to be done that helps to recognize and absorb others in the early stages of slipping. Anyone who dares to do so should do it. If you don’t dare to do it, you should look for someone you trust. If a certain threshold is exceeded, only the use of experts helps. In the phase before, human closeness, understanding listening and the question of what to do can provide valuable help. But beware: Advice is also a blow.

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