Webinar Recap: How to Sustain High Performance and Avoid Burnout

Panelists: Lissiah Hundley, Head of Strategic Partnerships and Client Fulfillment at DiversityInc; Shannon Lopez, Senior Director of Global Leadership Development and Experience Design at Marriott International; Rebecca Bentley, Vice President of Public Affairs at Dow

Marriott International Senior Director of Global Leadership Development and Experience Design Shannon Lopez and Dow Vice President of Public Affairs Rebecca Bentley led a webinar on Dec. 3 on how to sustain high performance at work while also practicing self-care techniques and avoiding burnout.

Lopez said she experienced a burnout herself after years of juggling children, a career and ailing family members. She had a moment when she realized she needed help.

“It was at that moment where I was like, how much is it worth, what I’m putting myself through? What changes do I need to make in order to get myself into the right mindset to truly be successful?” Lopez said. “Because while I was doing a lot of work and doing a lot of things, I didn’t actually feel like I was being that successful at any of it.”

Lopez turned to self-care to guide her career in a healthier and more sustainable direction and avoid burnout.

Bentley said it’s important for her to make “space” for herself at the beginning and end of each day for relaxation, reading, speaking informally with colleagues or quietly catching up on emails.

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“I find that’s often when the magic happens, or when you’re really able to get to the heart of what’s going on with others,” Bentley said.

Key Points

  1. Consistently practice self-care to avoid burnout
  2. Hire a career coach, if necessary, to form self-care practices and guide your career in a healthier direction
  3. Leave time at the beginning and end of each workday for contemplation or informal conversation with colleagues
  4. Learn how to say no

The Importance of Self-Care and Career Coaches

Lopez believes in the importance of practicing self-care in many ways to avoid burnout — a good night’s sleep being one of them.

“For 10 years I’ve had a rule that my cellphone does not come into my bedroom,” Lopez said. “I believe sleep is really sacred. My goal is seven to eight hours each night. I don’t always hit it, but that is my goal. The research shows between sleep, diet and exercise, if you can only prioritize one, to start with sleep, that the rest follows or can unwind from there. I believe recharging is a really important part of self-care.”

Working with a career coach is something else that Lopez found helpful when she was experiencing symptoms of burnout and needed help learning about self-care.

“The first career coach I had, she handed me a card and it was ‘10 Different Ways to Say No’ because I have the worst time saying no,” Lopez said. “It is a struggle for me.”

Bentley said she also used a career coach when she realized she was burned-out and needed help restarting. Her career coach helped her move out of a work situation that was untenable and stressful.

“Originally, I had a coach that I hired, paid. And it was a career coach,” Bentley said. “It helped me make the decision to move out of the stressful situation I was in and into a job that better fit my personality.”

Lopez has a coach who also works at Marriott International. Her coach helps her manage her stress and how she shows up at work each day.

Lopez shared one of her favorite quotes: “A good coach can change a game. A great coach can change a life.” The quote has guided her through her career’s ups and downs, as well as through burnout.

“What is a coach? A vehicle that takes valued people from where they are to where they want to go,” Lopez said. “What I wanted was a great career where I got to take a step back and take care of myself.”

To hear the full conversation with even more takeaways, listen here. For more on avoiding burnout, career advancement and advice, visit DiversityInc.com and DiversityIncBestPractices.com, follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook and check out more webinars like this.)

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