One year of lockdown, zooms and burn outs

by Augusto Cuginotti


  • People are using a different domain for conversations – all is online
  • Many things changed as we talk online
  • Groups are increasing speed rather than slowing down


The last year has been full of novelties for everybody. The pandemic and all restrictions, together with our concerns about health, changed everything.

One thing that was deeply impacted is how we have been having our daily conversations. Both personally and professionally we have been adapting to relate to others through a screen, with all the adaptation that this requires and without the possibility of random encounters in the corridor or having lunch together.

In the business sector, leaders have been struggling to manage their teams and difficult conversations had become even more difficult. What have changed and how we, as leaders or facilitators, are responding to these times?

I’d suggest there are 3 things people did – and you can still do if you haven’t – to be prepared:

  1. Learn the art of facilitating online and its differences: you don’t have to be a professional facilitator to understand what helps and start applying to your conversational spaces;
  2. Be more attentive than ever about people’s emotions, check-in how people are and consider the psychological state that is leading many to burn out;
  3. Understand the tools that help you focus on people: there are too many things out there and a wise filter will be healthier and more productive. Focus to do less, not more.


And there is one more thing. One that is not happening so often.

Reflect and invite others to think about what is sufficient at this time. Everybody wants to give their best, but realise how context sensitive ‘the best’ is.

Have conversations about how the process of being and working together is going. Short but frequent checks.

This is the last 15 minutes of a 2-3 hour meeting and/or half of one of your team meetings per month. The question is: how are we individually and as a group? Listen and adapt. Work more as a community that sustain its members while holding them accountable.

Hope you have great conversations!