Recently a couple of people have told me they’re feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and – in my opinion – headed straight for burnout.

They want coaching, but refuse to ask for financial assistance from their employer.

They don’t want anyone to know!

Instead, they see themselves as big fat failures. “Other people seem to cope,” they tell me… “there must be something wrong with me.”

Nothing could be further from the truth.

In the past, I’ve focused on how mindfulness helps build individual resilience, reduces stress and helps people manage the complexities of the modern workplace, while seriously underestimating the impact of working in sick cultures.

As Suzi McAlpine points out in her excellent book ‘Beyond Burnout’, we have to examine the fabric of our organisations – our systems, priorities, organisational culture and our leadership practices.

If you’re working in a toxic environment, individual strategies are not enough.

It’s no good treating a fish and putting it back into contaminated water.

I find it infuriating that so many people blame themselves when the people who should be protecting them (in particular senior leaders) are throwing them under the bus.

We must change inhumane (but sanctioned workplace practices that continue to hurt people) like expecting people to be available 24/7 and answering email late at night.