- brink /bringk/
- throw in the towel /throh in thuh TOU-uhl/
- cynicism /SIN-uh-siz-uhm/
- efficacy /EF-i-kuh-see/
- black and white /blak uhn wahyt/
[noun] – the point where a new or different situation is about to begin
His stress is nearly driving him to the brink of a breakdown.
[idiom] – to stop trying to do something because you have realized that you cannot succeed
Even though they lost the game once, the team refused to throw in the towel.
[noun] – an inclination to question whether something will happen or whether it is worthwhile
It was obvious that Brian wasn’t sincere with his feedback. There was a hint of cynicism in his tone of voice.
[noun] – the quality of being effective; effectiveness
The recent positive survey results showed the efficacy of the experiment.
[adjective] – evaluating or viewing things as either all good or all bad
Claire isn’t fit to be a leader. She sees things from a black and white perspective.
University of California Psychology Professor Christina Maslach created the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) in 1981. This test clarifies burnout stages on three criteria: lack of energy, cynicism, and reduced efficacy. If someone garnered negative scores in all, he or she officially has burnout. Maslach’s co-author of “The Truth About Burnout” Michael Leiter said, “People use burnout as a synonym for tired, and they’re missing the point that there’s a world of difference between those two states.” Based on MBI results, the largest group of people experiencing burnout are those who aren’t fully engaged in what they do. For example, some employees report to work because they have to pay the bills, not because they enjoy their tasks.
Burnout is not black and white. Maslach and Leiter’s newer research showed three more profiles in between of the MBI test: overextended, ineffective, and disengaged. People who fall under these categories don’t have burnout but are already there. Oftentimes, though, burnout is not an individual problem, but the environment is causing that person to feel it. This is why MBI and other similar tests are valuable to determine burnout to prevent it from happening or to get rid of it. Now that you’re familiar with the scientific way of measuring burnout, care to take the test?
- Do the three criteria suffice to determine if a person is suffering from burnout or not? Please state your reason.
- “People use burnout as a synonym for tired, and they’re missing the point that there’s a world of difference between those two states.” What is your understanding of this?
- In which of the six categories in the MBI do you fall under? Why?
- Should we seek medical help if we feel burnout, whether officially or not? Please share your thoughts.
- What is the most effective preventive measure against burnout?