Chad T. Ahern
Talents & Burnout: Restorative®
We recognize that communities throughout the United States are working hard to address longstanding, systemic racial inequality and injustice. Even as we join in the efforts to support such initiatives, we also believe continuing to share perspectives via this #talentswithoutburnout series can help people better understand one another as unique, talented individuals who should be celebrated and supported, regardless of their skin color or national origin.
"People exceptionally talented in the Restorative theme are adept at dealing with problems. They are good at figuring out what is wrong and resolving it." - Gallup CliftonStrengths® Themes Quick Reference Guide -
"I shall fix it," could be the rallying cry of those with Restorative® talents. These individuals are adept are putting back together that which has fallen apart -- whether a process, a data set, or even helping a colleague re-find their greatness. However this propensity to constantly fix can be a road to burnout if they aren't careful. Here are some ways those with Restorative® may begin finding themselves burning out: With so many aspects of society “broken” right now, those with Restorative® talents may be feeling the need to fix it all, all-at-once.
For our COVID pandemic, those with Restorative talents might want to heal everyone at once, build out a better testing system, or reestablish business as usual.
Within the context of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and racial justice reckoning, those with Restorative® talents might be feeling that we need to solve 400+ years of injustice all at once.
Trying to “put back together” work life as it used to be, rather than looking to put together something better.
There are some aspects of our current crisis that they won’t be able to “fix” or “repair”; not being able to do so could bring on feelings of uselessness, inadequacy, or impostor syndrome (I’m not good enough to fix this).
In times of change and unrest, those with Restorative® talents can play key roles to getting things moving again. As a leader or colleague, you can help these talented individuals avoid burnout by:
Helping identify and define what truly needs to be fixed, what needs to be re-imagined, and what is just simply going to be left behind. Clarifying and prioritizing where to put their effort will help maximize their results while managing their emotional and mental energy. When and where possible, put them in role where they can play a designated “troubleshooter” role. They will enjoy the challenge of discovering and resolving various roadblocks. Be sure to match them with problem solving initiatives that best match their interests. Some might enjoy fixing your Zoom call experiences; others might enjoying “fixing up” a new office layout. Identifying projects that match their "fix it" timeline. Some with Restorative talents may work best when the things they fix can be addressed in a day or a week. Others might thrive when a project or effort takes months or years. (Mismatching here is another way to bring on burnout.)
As with coaching any individual, their combined set of talent themes will effect how their Restorative® talents show up, and how to best manage them. As a beginning, next time you check-in with them, try asking,
What problems do you love to solve?
What problem(s) would you like to solve right now?
Photo by Dietmar Becker on Unsplash
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