68: Self-care in Support with Ryan Klausner

68: Self-care in Support with Ryan Klausner

Ryan Klausner gives some great tips here on both modelling behaviours that make it okay to talk about mental health and burnout, but also how we might actually deal with it creatively.


I’d love your thoughts on this episode! Comment below, and like/love/share/support if you found this inspiring, thought-provoking, or useful!

Charlotte Ward 0:13
Hello, and welcome to Episode 68 of the customer support leaders podcast. I’m Charlotte Ward. The theme for this week is self care in support. So stay tuned for five leaders talking about that very topic. I’d like to welcome to the podcast today Ryan Klausner, Ryan, nice to have you back. The topic for this week is self care and support, particularly the challenges that are involved in leading teams that work in a very stressful environment deal with problems all day long, and it’s just a never ending hamsters wheel,

Ryan Klausner 0:51
mental health and self care within support. Of course, all of us and the majority of our teams are very empathy driven They’re taking in a lot of emotion from our customers. But often we don’t check in with ourselves as much as we are checking in with our customers, and how can we foster a dialogue with our teams is something that I am often thinking about to encourage mental health days to be taken proactively, we often will take off to go to the doctor. And in some form, you know, I have to be out this afternoon, I’m going to the doctor or not feeling so well. I’m going to get some rest this morning. And I’ll check back in around lunchtime and see how I feel. That’s what we do when our body’s not performing optimally. But we don’t necessarily do the same thing. And often within corporations, we’re concerned it’s a sign of weakness if we don’t just power through. So making sure to foster that dialogue internally is important. Yeah, so for instance, I’m taking a mental health day this week. I’m posting that in our daily standup on slack and it’s a mental health day. I’m communicating what it is to my team, so encouraging And and leading by example, I think is really important and also encouraging as an actual opportunity to do a digital detox during that time as well.

Charlotte Ward 2:10
Do you think that that we should, as leaders, encourage people to not communicate when they’re off duty as it work? Because Because I think one trap that a lot of leaders fall into is, we quite often end up working in the evenings or over the weekends ourselves. And you know, it’s the typical behaviour of many a busy leader, isn’t it that they just fire the emails off or the slack messages off, to get things out of their head and to on somebody else’s computer, but that siren call of those notifications kind of leads to a culture of people feeling like they have to respond, does that?

Ryan Klausner 2:46
Yeah, you’re absolutely right. I think there’s that assumption that you’re always on or you’re always available. I really believe that we have to lead by example. We need to use the tools that are available to us as leaders. So firstly, I have a rule if it’s not truly an emergency situation, I schedule emails, I’ll might schedule an email to go out at 730 or 8am. But I’m not going to send an email out at 2am. Even if I wrote it at 2am, because I want it to get it out of my head. My need to get it out of my head is not an emergency for my team. For Slack, I often will draft messages and just leave it as a draft because then I hit Enter when I sign in in the morning and signing off if you’re a nine to five organisation, but you know, a lot of folks, especially an executive capacity are staying up well beyond that and continuing to work. No to your team that you’re signing off at certain hours. Sure, there is going to be days in a support role, certainly within the startup environment where you are working longer days, but there’s going to be plenty of opportunities not to work long days. One thing that you spoke to the staff this discussion was managing the burnout situation. And I wonder if you can just give us a few quick pointers on how we deal with Because a sporting, it’s difficult, but I think we know that there are key indicators around performance and probably some other behaviours right around around kind of attitude or emotional kind of Fallout, right? But assuming that you have the skills to spot burnout, how do you how do you manage for it, you know, that could be performance dipping, and folks that are in support in an email queue. They’re cherry picking. There also might be an initiative, you might have had a top performer who demonstrated great initiative and amazing ideas. And that level of initiative has just dropped off their level of engagement is no longer what it wants was having candid conversations without necessarily acknowledging burnout because it might not be burnout, people are facing all sorts of other things in their their life as leaders trying to shape how we can best support the bit Matt, what does that look like for them? Are they better off for the next while working on half days, perhaps you want to offer that they utilise some sick time right now. But most importantly, they need to feel confidently supported by you as their manager confident in their role, they’re allowed to step away temporarily if they have to deal with something. But also in this instance is where they don’t have to step away. How can that be managed and often I find in situations, people can get tired of the monotony of being in a queue, perhaps they can be moved into a different role a new challenge for a period. And that can help deal especially with burnout relating to tickets and that feeling will never get ahead, you know, you’ll see the ticket volume go down. And just as you’re about to celebrate the success the next day, it’s backup. So your goal is never I feel it’s a support leader to get out of that you’re always going to have new tickets. So there’s really a couple of

Charlotte Ward 5:43
parts to this isn’t there there is the the confidence to be able to step away and take the rest and the break that you need if you really need that rest and break. But, but actually also recognising that and I think you’ve made a really good point here, record nicing the burnout isn’t just overwork, it can be the brain dealing with a never ending source of incoming, I mean, in our case, it’s tickets, but that constant low level stress that tickets are and actually you can alleviate that by providing different work that gives variety interest, a sense of personal contribution of value to the team and organisation and give someone the opportunity to take that space in a different way. Right. A change is really as good as a rest as much of a cliche as it is in some cases. That’s it for today. Go to customersupportleaders.com/68 for the show notes, and I’ll see you next time.


Transcribed by https://otter.ai


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