Has Cynicism Infected Your Organization?

Burnout in the workplace can usually be identified by any of these three aspects:

1) A lack of energy or exhaustion
2) A negative attitude toward your job
3) Reduced effectiveness in your position

That second one, a negative attitude or cynicism, is one of the more complex and least understood symptoms of burnout at work.

While exhaustion and reduced productivity are rather straightforward, cynicism can be caused by a number of factors, and it can result in a range of negative emotions or behaviors. Cynicism is a danger to both the mental health of yourself and those around you. It’s what we call an “emotional contagion.”

The last thing we want to do is infect our team with our negativity and bad mood when we’re experiencing, or on the verge of, burnout. In this article, I offer strategies to help reverse existing cynicism and create a healthier work culture.

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Writing by Dr. Kandi Wiens

Dr. Kandi Wiens

I am a researcher, speaker, executive coach, and leadership development facilitator. I’m also a Senior Fellow at The University of Pennsylvania, where I teach in the PennCLO Executive Doctoral Program, the Penn Master’s in Medical Education Program, and Wharton Executive Education. All of my work is deeply rooted in the latest positive psychology, emotional intelligence, and mindset research.

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