Igniting Engagement & Beating Burnout

Igniting Engagement & Beating Burnout

Engaged lawyers are full of energy, dedicated, confident, and purpose-driven. On the other end of the spectrum is the devastating condition of burnout, which is a debilitating response to chronic stress. People experiencing burnout feel exhausted, cynical, and self-doubting.

Although no studies have been conducted to identify the burnout rate in the legal profession, it’s likely high, given the high levels of stress, depression, and anxiety. In the medical profession (another demanding career to use as a comparison), about 40% of physicians experience burnout, which can increase the risk of depression, substance abuse, suicidal thinking, and deteriorating professionalism.

The process that causes engagement vs. burnout can be understood as an ever-changing balancing on the Engagement-Burnout Scale. On one end of the scale, think of all of the draining aspects of our jobs—or “Stressors.” The other end of the scale is piled with the energy-giving aspects of our jobs—or “Boosters.” When the scale tips in favor of Boosters, we feel engaged. When excessive Stressors keep tipping the scale, we’re headed for disengagement, burnout, depression, and possibly quitting.

Anne’s new book Positive Professionals is filled with ideas for developing individual and organizational Boosters to fuel engagement and beat burnout. She’ll help your organization get started in implementing these science-backed strategies through consulting, speaking, or training workshops for all levels of lawyers.