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Burning out, and “Burning in”

The key to wellbeing is less rather than more; building in space for silence and creativity.

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We do more, take on more, work more hours, deliver more. So often, leaders see low engagement numbers and turn to their Engagement Managers to offer more: more yoga, more mindfulness, more meditation, more coaching. But at the end of the day, this is counter-productive, leading to more stress, higher workloads, longer hours. The key to wellbeing is less rather than more; building in space for silence and creativity.  

An invisible, little-known phenomenon that affects high-functioning teams and is just as dangerous as burnout; it's called "Burn In". It's when we do it to ourselves, perpetuating an unsustainable state of perpetual over-delivery.  

When we return to the office, we’re back in traffic again, chatting with colleagues, subject to unplanned interruptions and new impromptu mini-projects. Our office days stretch well into the evening as we catch up on missed mails. Our workloads spiral upwards as we catch up in the evenings, and find we are not the only ones.  

One element to reduce this risk is conscious workload reduction. This does not mean less productivity, but eliminating admin, rituals, political and “busy work” to create space for quality results, more creativity and joy that only time can allow.   

“Flow” contributes to increased job satisfaction and improvise our mental, physical and emotional well-being which naturally translates to higher levels of engagement and lower churn rates. The average workday, chock with meetings, incoming fire of communication, expectations and deliverables, needs to be carefully choreographed to create that all-important, critical ingredient for achieving “flow”: silence.

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Speaker, author, blogger, YouTuber, leadership coach and comic book illustrator, Fiona is an executive coach for matters of culture and engagement for large multinationals. Her latest book in the Comic Books for Executives series is titled The Handbook for Post-Covid Engagement and was nominated finalist for the UK Business Book Awards .

Long before the pandemic changed everything about the way we live and work, Fiona Passantino started as an old-school comic artist, writer and game designer. In 2020 she achieved a masters in management, and then worked as Creative Lead, Senior Visual Communicator, Innovation Advisor, Explainer and Storyteller for some of the largest multinationals in Europe, hopping from Vienna, London, Budapest to Brussels and Amsterdam. She now lives in the Hague with her family.

The Comic Book for Executives combine highly visual storytelling with research-driven guides for improving our internal communications and employee engagement in our post-Covid world.

Fiona Passantino

Speaker, author, comic book illustrator. Expert on internal communications and employee engagement.

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