January 10, 2022

The Three Burnout Personalities with Sharon Grossman, Ph.D.

This week Dr. Sharon Grossman, burnout and success expert, joins Hilmon Sorey on The Winning Zone Podcast to talk about her research in identifying and treating burnout in the workplace. 

Burnout in the Workplace 

Dr. Grossman begins by explaining that she wanted to write a book regarding burnout in high achievers. She began her research by gathering as much information as possible about what was already out there, what people were talking about, and what all the data showed. What she found was that there must be organizational change in order to prevent burnout in the workplace. She also found that people that are burning out seem to be waiting for their organizational culture to change, which is very disempowering. This is what led Sharon to write her book that contains strategies and tools needed to address and recover from burnout. Continue listening at 00:22 to learn more about factors that influence burnout in the workplace and how to decode it.

The Definition of Burnout

At 06:13 Dr. Grossman says that oftentimes we don’t identify burnout happening in ourselves until it is too late. Part of her goal is to help people identify it before it happens so that we can do something about it. Dr. Grossman describes burnout as chronic stress that you never recover from; it becomes unrelenting and starts to break you down. And this is the point at which people start to quit. Keep listening to learn more.

Dealing with Burnout

Many people dealing with burnout in the workplace are so burned out that they carry it home with them. They are living in so much resentment and negativity that they don’t have the bandwidth to think clearly, and so they think the best option is to just quit their job and everything will be OK. Dr. Grossman says that this is usually not the case, and even if it is, it may not be the best thing to do. The goal is to be in control of your mind, not to run away from your problems. So the key is to figure out why you feel the way that you do and how to get in control of yourself. From there you will be able to see things more clearly and will be able to deal with them rationally. Learn more at 10:55.

Burnout Profiles

At 17:58 Dr. Grossman explains that she breaks her personality factor down into three profiles:  The Thinker- people who tend to have a lot of negative self-talk, are very anxious, and are always worried about worst-case scenarios. 

The Feeler- people who are people-pleasers, very emotional, very empathetic, and they just keep sacrificing themselves repeatedly to make sure everyone else is OK.

The Doer- people who are always on the go and never stop. This category often has the worst case of burnout because they are unwilling to stop even when they are breaking down. 

Continue listening to find out the causes for why people fall into each of these categories and how burnout affects them. 

Working from Home

The pandemic forced a shift in the way we work- working from home became essential, and productivity went up. However, the downside is that people who work from home no longer have boundaries to separate their work from their life because you are living in the same place you are working. Work never actually seems to end. Dr. Grossman feels that there are two things to take into consideration when managing a team in a remote work situation, and these two things can greatly help keep your team from burning out. Listen at 25:29 to learn more.

Boundaries are Key

At 30:01 Dr. Grossman explains that, while work may never seem to end, it is up to the individual to create boundaries for themself. You have to manage your mindset and realize that whatever is going on back at the “office” is still going to be there when you get back. You have to figure out a conscious way to give your mind and body a break from work in order to avoid being tired and depressed and burning out. Continue listening to find out more. 

Dr. Sharon Grossman can be reached via her website: and she is happy to have a conversation with any C-level executive who is feeling very stressed out and is either burning out or is in fear that they might be on their way to burning out. She also offers a burnout checklist that can be found on her site at

Key Snippets

00:22 Burnout in the Workplace

06:13 The Definition of Burnout

10:55 Dealing with Burnout

17:58 Burnout Profiles

25:29 Working from Home

30:01 Boundaries are Key

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