Managing Exhausted Team Members – Join Our #MTtalk! » Mind Tools Blog

Managing Exhausted Team Members – Join Our #MTtalk!

December 4, 2018

Please Join Us!

What: #MTtalk
Where: Twitter
When: Friday, December 7 @ 1 p.m. EDT (6 p.m. GMT; 11:30 p.m. IST)
Topic: Managing Exhausted Team Members
Host: @Mind_Tools

“When you say ‘yes’ to others, make sure you’re not saying ‘no’ to yourself.”
– Paulo Coelho, Brazilian novelist (1947- )

About This Week’s Chat

The scene that greeted Tina when she walked into the bathroom frightened her. Leslie, her most trusted manager, was bent over a hand basin, sobbing.

Tina rushed to her friend and asked, “Leslie! What’s wrong? Did someone get hurt? Are your family OK?” It took Leslie a few moments to answer. “No, everyone is fine,” she managed to reply.

Tina wondered if it was her imagination, but she was sure that Leslie looked embarrassed for a moment. “Leslie, what’s wrong? How can I help?”

Leslie hesitated. “Please don’t laugh at me and please don’t be angry,” she replied. “Of course I won’t,” said Tina, “but you gave me such a fright when I saw you crying. I know something must be wrong to upset you so much.”

Leslie sighed and said, “I’m just so tired. I’m so exhausted that I feel like I could drop down right here on the bathroom floor and sleep.”

A True Tale of Burnout

Tina was shocked. “Why didn’t you speak to me?” she said. “Why didn’t you ask for help?” In a barely audible voice, Leslie said, “I didn’t want to look like I was weak or unable to cope.”

The pieces started falling into place in Tina’s mind. The company was still growing and she’d given Leslie a lot of responsibility. Tina co-owned the company with her husband, and they spent a lot of time out of town. She realized that they relied heavily on Leslie to keep things running smoothly in their absence, even though Leslie already had her own department to lead.

It was in Leslie’s nature to take her responsibilities very seriously. She never refused an appeal for help, and regularly worked from six in the morning until well past seven at night.

And, more recently, Leslie had agreed to take on another department, too, after that manager had resigned. She was actually beyond exhausted – she was burnt out.

Leslie’s story isn’t one that I made up. I know both Leslie and Tina very well, and saw for myself how exhaustion could make a person shrink to a shadow of who they really are.

Managing Exhausted Team Members

In our Twitter poll this week, we wanted to know what you think is the most likely cause of exhaustion at work. Surprisingly, less than 15 percent of respondents voted for “individual workload.” In fact, more than 40 percent of people felt that being connected 24/7 is the biggest culprit! Click here to see all the options and results.

Our topic for this week’s #MTtalk Twitter chat is Managing Exhausted Team Members. We’d love you to take part, and the following questions may spark some thoughts in preparation for it:

• How can you identify exhausted team members?

• What are some of the biggest risks for the company if team members are exhausted?

• What are possible causes for team members feeling exhausted?

• How can you help prevent team members from being constantly exhausted?

• How does your behavior change when you’re feeling exhausted?

• What effect does exhaustion have on performance?

• What short-term coping strategies do people tend to use when they’re exhausted, and how helpful are those strategies?

• What measures can you take today to prevent exhaustion within your team?

Helpful Resources

To help you to prepare for the chat, we’ve compiled a list of resources for you to browse.

How to Get the Best From an Extra Miler

How to Avoid Generosity Burnout

How to Manage a Commission-Based Team

How to Get More Done in Less Time

Managing in a Call Center

Managing Working Parents

The Wheel of Life

“Yes” to the Person, “No” to the Task

Overcoming Impostor Syndrome


Managing Caregivers

Managing Email Effectively

How To Join

Follow us on Twitter to make sure you don’t miss out on any of the action this Friday! We’ll be tweeting out 10 questions during our hour-long chat. To participate in the chat, type #MTtalk in the Twitter search function. Then, click on “All Tweets” and you’ll be able to follow the live chat feed. You can join the chat by using the hashtag #MTtalk in your responses.

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