Charlène Gisèle | Banish Burnout to Optimize Performance and Happiness

Are you up late at night, pulling all-nighters, and burning out from the fast-paced nature of your job as a lawyer? 

As a former litigator, Charlène Gisèle loved all of it! She reveled in the things you’re not supposed to love. While she was thriving in her environment, though, she got a wake-up call that made her realize that she’d been neglecting something along the way. 

All signs pointed to burnout that affected her health and marriage. She took a drastic turn and eventually changed her focus from litigation to burnout prevention and high performance. Now, she’s fueled with a mission to lead the way in helping lawyers, leading law firms, and Fortune 500 companies optimize performance and transform their lives and businesses by banishing burnout.

In this episode of The Lawyer’s Edge podcast, you’ll learn how to optimize your performance and happiness through burnout combat and prevention. Charlène will reveal the 3Ds linked to neglect caused by stress and burnout, five aspects to determine where you are on the burnout spectrum, small shifts you need to decrease or break away from burnout, and so much more!

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WHAT’S COVERED IN THIS EPISODE ABOUT BANISHING BURNOUT

2:01 – The incident that made Charlène ask, “Will I survive my success?” and caused a career pivot

5:25 – Charlène’s radical approach to educating herself on ways to combat burnout and the mission it fueled within her

7:45 – How Charlène approaches lawyers who might not be as open to learning more about anything they suspect is woo-woo or out there

9:52 – Pain points (and their signs and symptoms) that affect those in the legal industry the most

11:37 – How the term ‘burnout’ gets misused and how Charlène figures out where someone is on the burnout spectrum

17:32 – What you can do to start stepping away from, minimizing, or preventing burnout (even if you have a really heavy workload)

23:22 – Why you should not just do anti-burnout techniques when you need to and how to anchor them as habits easily

26:56 – Example of how Charlène tailored a blueprint for working out for a hyper-successful client who didn’t feel he had the time for it

31:02 – A quick way to boost your energy and optimize the way you feel in the morning

32:05 – What law firms and organizations can do to help people overcome burnout challenges

35:33 – A recommendation that may help rekindle the love you have for your profession

CONNECT WITH CHARLÈNE GISÈLE

Charlène Gisèle is a former Big Law litigator turned High-Performance Coach and founder of the unique Charlène Gisèle® Coaching method. Charlène empowers high-achieving professionals to prevent and recover from burnout without having to sacrifice their career.

The power of her approach is not to work less, it is about recovering more, which is why her expertise has been featured in major publications and is sought after by world leading organisations and professionals.

Charlène Gisèle | Instagram | LinkedIn

The Charlène Gisèle Show

MENTIONED IN BANISH BURNOUT TO OPTIMIZE PERFORMANCE AND HAPPINESS WITH CHARLÈNE GISÈLE

Get Connected with The Coaching Team at hello@thelawyersedge.com

The Lawyer’s Edge

SPONSOR FOR THIS EPISODE…

Today’s episode is brought to you by the coaching team at The Lawyer’s Edge, a training and coaching firm which has been focused exclusively on lawyers and law firms since 2008.

Each member of The Lawyer’s Edge coaching team is a trained, certified, and experienced professional coach AND either a former practicing attorney or a former law firm marketing and business development professional. Whatever your professional objectives, our coaches can help you achieve your goals more quickly, more easily, and with significantly less stress.

To get connected with YOUR coach, just email the team at hello@thelawyersedge.com.

Welcome to The Lawyer's Edge, where we talk with top attorneys, legal industry experts, and business advisors about tools and strategies lawyers can use to grow thriving law firms and become impactful leaders. Here's your host, Elise Holtzman.

Elise Holtzman: Hi, everyone. It's Elise Holtzman here, a former practicing lawyer and the host of The Lawyer’s Edge Podcast, where I sit down with successful attorneys, legal marketing specialists, business leaders, and authors to talk about how lawyers and law firms can grow and sustain healthy, profitable businesses.

Today's episode is brought to you by The Coaching Team at The Lawyer’s Edge, a training and coaching firm which has been focused exclusively on lawyers and law firms since 2008.

Each member of The Lawyer’s Edge Coaching Team is a trained, certified, and experienced professional coach and either a former practicing attorney or a former law firm marketing and business development professional.

Whatever your professional objectives, our coaches can help you achieve your goals more quickly, more easily, and with significantly less stress. To get connected with your coach, just email the team at hello@thelawyersedge.com.

My guest today, Charlène Gisèle, is a former law firm big law litigator, turned high-performance coach, award-winning keynote speaker, and burnout advisor to leading law firms, Fortune 500 companies, and high-performing individuals. Her unique Burnout Prevention and Performance Maximization Game Plan has been featured in major publications, such as The Financial Times and on the BBC.

Her mission is to lead the way in burnout prevention, high performance, and resilience, transforming lives and businesses for the better. Charlène, welcome to The Lawyer's Edge.

Charlène Gisèle: Elise, what a nice introduction. I'm delighted to be here with you today.

Elise Holtzman: I am so excited to talk to you on the show. You and I have had a fun conversation in the past. I want to get started on what inspired you to focus on burnout prevention and high-performance coaching. You were an attorney. Tell me a little bit about your history and your experience and what made you pivot into doing this work.

Charlène Gisèle: I wanted to be a lawyer for myself because I can remember, it may not be a very original story, but I remember being a little girl growing up and watching my father's success and wanting to be just the same.

He was my hero, my role model. I dreamt very early on that I would be specifically a litigator. When I was interested in law, I was interested in doing dispute resolution and litigation so I wanted to be a litigator.

I dreamt to join a US law firm and I did that. Genuinely, Elise, when I look back, it was a dream come true. I love the firm, I love the clients, the team, the department. I even love the things that you're not supposed to love.

What I mean by that is the fast pace, the late night, the all-nighters, the adrenaline rush. I actually really felt like I was thriving in this environment. What I neglected along the way, though, were what I now see with hindsight all the little signs of my health decline, but also my relationship decline, I was not at home very often. I was navigating quite a lot of complications in my marriage.

My health deteriorated quite rapidly towards the midpoint of my career. I was diagnosed with chronic insomnia, anxiety. But really the pivot, because you ask about that pivot, was on a Monday morning when my father actually had a burnout-induced heart attack on his way to work.

That made me reflect on the question, “Will I survive my success?” Because in that moment, when he was between life and death, it really hit me that he may not survive his success. I had not really contemplated death in such a profound way before, because there is an element, I think, when we're young, ambitious, type-A professionals, where we take health for granted, or at least I did, I very much did, and successes are only markers of what we thrive for.

Certainly, when there is a health diagnosis or when there is a potential death in your family or people that you love, then you're confronted with a bigger question. I took a pledge on that day when I saw my dad in the hospital bed, I thought, “That will be my mission. My mission will be to see everything that I can do to help him survive and support him in the process, but also see how I can support other people like him, like me that may be suffering, but are still hiding behind the taboo of burnout, the stigma as well,” and that fueled my mission to become the coach that I wish I had, and that's how I became a burnout advisor.

Elise Holtzman: What are some of the things that you have done over the years to educate yourself about burnout and some of the ways in which people can combat that?

Charlène Gisèle: I was quite radical in my approach, so I did some things that may not be easy to replicate for audience, and I would not even advocate that they're necessarily necessary, but that's the measures that I took. When I had this realization, I actually took a few years away from my natural habitat, if I may call it so.

So I left law for a while, and I actually went to study meditation, breath work, yoga, and well-being optimization in Asia. I lived in an Indian ashram for a few months where I became a meditation teacher. I then lived in Indonesia for nearly a year where I became a meditation yoga and breath-work facilitator.

But as much as it sounds like a bit of an eat, pray, love, my intention was never to really be there to stay, but very much be there to learn to bring back message to techniques and strategy that could be embedded into the legal community.

So I left with a mission, “Let me see my blind spots. Let me see all the different tools that I can tap into holistically, although some of them may be labeled as perhaps somewhat woo-woo or sentimentals,” I actually think that they can be very profound. Then my mission and my work were to translate those tools and strategies that I learned into a message that would be a lot more attorney-friendly.

So I then studied in the US, I became a health coach through US coaching schools and then I became a hypnotherapist. I really married the wellness techniques that I studied in Asia and along all my journeys and travels with all the strategic, neuroscience, hypnotherapy, and coaching strategies that I learned and came up with an approach to burnout studies, the method that I use to serve my client.

Elise Holtzman: How open-minded do you think most lawyers are to the sorts of treatments or recommendations that you make? Because it strikes me that not all lawyers certainly, but many lawyers are so focused on the practical. As you mentioned, if they suspect something sounds a little bit woo-woo, or out there, or as you put it, eat, pray, love, they might not be as open to learning more about it. What's your experience with lawyers been like?

Charlène Gisèle: Well, first of all, 100%, you're spot on. I actually don't necessarily even tell that part of the story. You've asked me and I love to share this story when asked, and that's most definitely not something I would hide. But I don't necessarily lead with that in conversation.

My leading is the pain point. Tell me what is keeping you up at night? How is your anxiety level like? What is your stress level? Are you confronted with insomnia or weight gain? Then from that point onward, I can offer practical tools and strategies without actually even labeling them as yoga, meditation, or breathwork.

Now, when I'm speaking to attorneys, I'm going to talk about brain optimization strategy, or instead of talking about meditation, I'm going to talk about choosing your thoughts or having mental reframe. I'm going to choose words that will resonate a lot more with the attorney population so that really the point is solving the biggest problem they have in their lives.

How I do it and which tool I use, I think it actually doesn't matter. At the end of the day, people want to get the help that they need and they want results and what I'm focused on is getting results for my clients, and then my secret sauce, the fact that I go back to my Mary Poppins bag and use a lot of sentimental tools, but I label them slightly differently, well, that's just fine.

Elise Holtzman: Right. As long as it works. What are some of those pain points? What do you hear from lawyers? What are the trends that you're seeing in the legal industry?

Charlène Gisèle: “I have no time and too much stress. I wake up on Monday feeling that I'm already behind. I wake up on Friday so exhausted that I can't even enjoy my weekend because all I want to do is crash on my sofa, watch TV, and numb myself until I forget that Sunday is coming because, on Sunday night, I dread the whole week.” That's a very short version of how most of my coaching sessions start.

But perhaps the caveat and the one thing that I haven't mentioned is the fact that they're successful. They're very driven, very ambitious attorneys, and often people that I work with are actually performing.

Now, there might have been a performance decline, so they may not be performing the way they performed last year or the year before that, but they're still performing. I typically work with highly performing individuals that are still very much in the law firm but are struggling.

Often the signs and symptoms are neglect of other aspects of their life. So they may be navigating a divorce. They may be confronted with a recent medical diagnosis. That's very often. I call that the 3Ds in my coaching world.

Most of the time, my clients call and say, “I just got divorced, or I'm getting divorced,” “I just got a diagnosis,” or “I feel totally depressed.” I call this the 3Ds of the coaching world. They're very common pain points among the attorneys population.

Elise Holtzman: You mentioned depressed. We know that the word depression can be used in different ways. Some people just use it casually and say, “I'm so depressed,” because they had a bad day, or something happened that they didn't like, and we know that true depression is a mental health diagnosis.

If you are somebody who is feeling some of these things, and I think so many lawyers and other folks as well, are feeling these sorts of things, exhaustion, and dread on Monday morning, and feeling like they're behind all the time, only want to sleep on the weekends, that sort of thing, how do you know if you're just tired, if you really are truly burned out in some kind of longer-term way, or whether you really are experiencing a mental health situation?

Charlène Gisèle: That's a really good question. There are different aspects of burnout and mental health decline. In many ways, I would say that there are components. With burnout, there is that element that ties into your professional habits. Using the term burnout when it doesn't tie into the profession is actually a misuse of the term.

If we look at the World Health Organization's definition of burnout, it's very much related to stress management of the workplace or rather the lack of positive or successful stress management.

If someone has been experiencing this stress overload and actually has been feeling this dread not just in an acute way, so we can feel this dread before a peak performance, before a hearing, before a board meeting where there is acute stress versus chronic that's really where there is a pivot point is when the person has been experiencing that decline in a way that is chronic and there is also an increase in the behavior shifts.

What I'm really interested in when I speak to someone to really understand where they're at on the burnout spectrum is to look at different aspects. The first one I would start to look at is what I call the physiological aspect of burnout.

That's really where is the person standing physically in terms of their back pain, their neck pain, but also their resting heart rate, how are they navigating stress generally? Are they very responsive? Are they very reactive? Do they get really anxious? Are they hyperventilating? How are they sleeping at night? Those are really physiological telltale signs.

If someone even has GERD, it may not seem related, but a lot of digestive health issues, brain fogs, constant headaches, those are really red flags in terms of the physiological aspect of burnout.

Then I'm going to look at the person's behavioral aspects. What I like to do is really an inventory of where the person is today versus where that person was last month or last year, because behaviors are best audited against the person's behavior when they wear different versions of themselves.

I like to really audit those behaviors and do a bit of a compare and contrast. Typical behavior will be around the use or consumption of alcohol, sleeping peels, or stimulants, or it can be even something as insidious as the usage of social media.

Behavior, we're not just talking about the big obvious sort of substance or maybe labeled as addiction, it can be an increased usage of wasted time scrolling. We really want to see the behavior.

Then there is the emotional aspect. I really want to see how much that person is feeling an acute sense of fear, of sadness, of anger, and those emotions in outbursts of inappropriate places and inappropriate measures.

I really want to see, because everybody feels anger, sadness, or hurt, they're perfectly human emotions, but are they happening inappropriately in terms of timing and measures? That's really what I'm interested in.

Then there is a social aspect of burnout. Is the person withdrawing? They are canceling plans, they're avoiding social occasions that they would normally typically look forward to, not because they're either introverted or extroverted. There is a shift again, their social landscape. That's really important.

Then last but not least, I will look at the person's professional world. I would look at the professional aspects of burnout. It's not just the performance. Like I say, we can still have folks that are experiencing burnout, but are still performing on the surface. But it's their relationship to work.

What I'm most interested in there is where is the drive, the passion. You know that spark in somebody's eyes when they talk about what they do and you can see it sets their heart and their soul on fire. They love it. They were made for it. That's what you would say about a person. I think most of us have had that passion at that point.

If you ask me now about coaching, I think it would be quite evident that I very much have that passion. But when I was experiencing burnout, it would have been quite hard, I think, to dig it out of me. This smaller flame in your passion is also a really important telltale sign.

Elise Holtzman: Once you and a client come to the conclusion that there is burnout there, what are some of the strategies that you recommend for lawyers? What are some of the things perhaps that people listening to this episode can do to help themselves step away from some of that burnout or minimize it?

Charlène Gisèle: I would say that the first might be surprising, but it's actually to understand that there is no such thing as small steps when it comes to self-care. I don't typically look for big [180] transformations overnight.

I actually get a bit of a long bell when I hear clients potentially contemplating making those stressful changes. I understand I made a very drastic change, but I'm actually an advocate of doing some very small but gradual and consistent changes.

For example, if we have someone that is really struggling with their workload and they tell me something like, “I'm totally burnt out because I have no time for myself,” so I hear this quite a lot, I'll go, “Okay, so I understand you have no time, but would you agree you have one minute? One minute, and then I will go and dig and audit that one minute wasted in the day.”

All of us can plead guilty of wasting a minute here and a minute there. I'll grab that minute and I'll give them a one-minute breathing exercise, a one-minute visualization exercise, a one-minute walking around their office exercise, a stretch, an affirmation practice, grabbing some water to stay hydrated, looking at a photo of their family that gives them a smile, taking a moment to give positive feedback to a colleague.

Because when you do that, you feel better about your workload, and you encourage your team to not burn out. So you do something for yourself, you do something for your team. I'll give those one-minute specific tasks to get the ball rolling.

Once my client has done that consistently, then we'll increase it to 3 minutes, 6 minutes, 10 minutes. Then we may be looking at 15 minutes increment. If the person is particularly struggling with weight gain or back pain, then I will make sure that there is a fitness plan in place that is going to fit into their busy professional life and schedule.

I'm not personally a big fan of advocating to my client, “Oh, go and sign up to a 90-minute yoga class every day.” Well, A, it's unrealistic. B, it's not going to stick. They may sign up and do it in January and then they're never going to do it again. I like slow incremental steps.

Something else that actually is not measured in terms of time increments, which you can see I still think a little bit like a lawyer—once a lawyer, always a lawyer—but beyond time increments, the biggest thing that one can change listening to this is actually the mindset shift, that A, to normalize that the way you feel is real, so burnout is real, burnout is a syndrome, burnout is recognized as existing, it's not something that people makeup, it's real, we know how to assess it, we know how to help alleviate it as well, but B, burnouts can also be prevented and overcome once you shift your mindset around the fact that self-care and integrating healthy habits can be done hand-in-hand with handling a really heavy workload.

The best example of that, and perhaps something quite personal for me to illustrate is, although I know it's hard to believe, I can tell you that I work more in terms of number of hours now than I used to as an attorney.

I know that's a big statement, but it's true. I lead a team internationally. I work with too many time zones for me to keep track of. But what I do now that I didn't do before is I have a whole set of microhabits that I layer and that enable me to sustain my performance and I have measures in place before I start my day, during my working hours, and after my working hours to remain at peak performance and to avoid burnout.

Elise Holtzman: I want to pause on that point for a moment because I think it's really critical for people to recognize, and we may know this intellectually, but I think we don't often take advantage of it, but to recognize that, as you say, doing something small for a minute or three minutes, these micro type habits can be so powerful.

While I can't say that I'm so great at doing them all the time, you're kind of reminding me that I should be doing them more frequently. But I do remember a time when I was particularly stressed out for a fairly long period of time. I remember somebody giving me the advice to just, if I could do nothing but sit a couple of times a day and just breathe in deeply and slowly and breathe out, and even just breathe in and out three or four times to bring my stress level down, it was absolutely shocking how powerful simply taking a few deep breaths could be.

So I love this idea, particularly for busy lawyers who, as you say, and as you and I both know, are always saying that they don't have enough time. They don't have enough time to do any of the things that might be a good idea for them because they're so busy serving their clients and their firms. I love that idea.

You mentioned a few different things, and how important is it to make these things a habit? Or can you just kind of do them if you feel at the moment that you need something?

Charlène Gisèle: No, if you do it when you feel you need something, the ship has sailed, you need to do it when you don't feel like it. You need to do it when you don't feel like doing it. When my clients say, “Well, I don't have time to breathe,” literally, they would say that, as in, of course, they're breathing, they're still alive, but I don't have time to take a boost-breathe, well, I say, “Okay, so today we're going to do two minutes instead of one minute, because if you feel you don't have time, you need to do it twice more.”

The reality is actually, we can embed things. I'm a big fan of embedding because I run a really, really busy schedule too. This idea of dedicated time can be off-putting for very, very busy professionals, but you can embed things. I'll give you a tactic, for example, that I've developed over the years and that I use daily and it's been terrific.

I anchor my habits around breathing with a system that I have in place. So any time I'm about to log into a meeting or just logging off, which happens several times a day as all of us, I take one minute as it's logging in and you see the Zoom or you see the teams, it always takes a few seconds, and I'm doing barely breath. It's completely invisible.

Actually, I did it as we were logging in. You can tell, but I know I'm doing it and I don't need a reminder per se because that's my system. I know that when I log in, it's my rite of passage. It's what I do as I log in.

Why do I do that? Because I've learned psychologically and from a performance standpoint that if I bring my breathing rhythm down, and I take a slower breathing rate, and I reduce the number of times I breathe per minute, my client, or whomever I'm speaking to on the other side, will instinctively begin to mimic the way I breathe.

If I portray a very relaxed demeanor, then the person I'm speaking with will be more relaxed. So often people say, “I feel better just talking to you.” As much as I would like to think that I just did magic, mostly what I did is I lowered my breathing rate, and that lowered theirs because we would mimic each other.

Just little tactics like that that you can implement. This is a good tool for leadership too. If we have someone listening who's a partner at a law firm, just learn to reduce the way that you breathe by taking slow, smooth breathing rate. When you do that, that's contagious in the office. If you're the leader that goes [sighs] and hyperventilates in front of everybody else, you bet your whole firm and your whole team are going to be anxious and stressed out.

Elise Holtzman: It's a good point because we don't operate in a vacuum. When we are stressed out, we're impacting other people, they in turn then impact us. I think that you can just increase the stress level for everybody with these kinds of interpersonal, even non-verbal communication. It's a good reminder that in helping ourselves, we can actually help the people around us bring that stress level down.

Charlène, do you have any examples of clients that you've worked with to give us an idea of how some people have shown up in your practice and what are some of the things that they've done to reduce their own levels of burnout and be able to optimize not just their performance, but their happiness?

Charlène Gisèle: Yes, of course. Well, I've worked with a lot of people that typically struggle with fitness habits. That's very prevalent in the legal industry and we have a tendency to over-intellectualize everything that we do because we've learned and we've been trained to use this super tool that we have, our brain, and we often neglect our body quite a lot.

What happens is there is a bit of disassociation so our head and our body become so disassociated that actually we neglect by being very sedentary and we just think that everything that is done needs to go through our head.

So if I give you a case study on a no-name basis, one of my clients who's hyper-successful, when we first started to work together, said, "Oh, well, I don't have time to work out. I have to work. I mean, who has time to work out?" This almost condescending sort of, “What a silly idea.”

We built in very small increments. I built a whole program designed actually around his desk and around his habits, but also brisk walks, macro runs, stretches, and things that were so embedded into his routine that he could not forget. You do this stretch after you brush your teeth, you do this movement right before you drink your coffee or while your coffee is brewing.

It was so regimented that it actually became a sort of blueprint and completely tailored to his environment and his habits. That's the only way to do it. If I don't give something bespoke, it's not going to work and it's going to go in the bin. Then the transformation piece was him recognizing that because he has to work so hard, working out has become a non-negotiable.

Now he understands that because of the huge amount of work he has to produce, there is no choice but to work out because that optimizes his energy, his mood, it regulates the way he feels. It's actually a complete mindset shift.

You go from a place where you use the excuse of time, which is also a false objection because we choose to allocate the time for the things we prioritize, and then you go into, “Actually, I prioritize it with the same level of importance than I would the most important client of the firm because that's now how I know to be the best partner that I can be for the firm.” That's a full [180]. I love these type of examples.

Elise Holtzman: I love that story partly because I resonate very much with this idea of not feeling like I have enough time to take care of my physical self and the idea of using the time you're already spending. You're not going to a gym, you're not driving 20 minutes, getting on a subway, or something like that to go to a gym and go through all of that time suck, as some people would call it, you're actually just using the time you're already spending.

I think that we all know that once you get into the habit of doing something, it just becomes natural. But getting into that habit, I think for many people is so, so challenging. I may even use some of these ideas for myself because I do like the idea of doing some of these things during the day and not feeling like I have to go take two hours to go work out and then take a shower and do all of that sort of thing.

But you're reminding me, and I think probably other people listening, of how important it is even to do these small things and fit them into your day, even if it's not something that you're putting on your calendar as a solid block of time.

Charlène Gisèle: That's the key. You just mentioned shower. I give my clients a hallmark in the shower. You can build up your resilience by taking a cold shower for 15 seconds. I'm not asking you to take your shower for any longer. You take your shower for three minutes, three and a half minutes, that's up to you. You run your life. But what I'm going to ask you to do is to embed 15 to 30 seconds of cold at the end of the shower before your work day so that you have a serious boost of energy.

It's terrific, the result that you get. Don't do that at night, by the way. The cold shower [isn’t] for the evening and the hot shower is for the night because that's really important to optimize the way you feel. But have a cold shower in the morning and you'll feel pretty energized. That replaces your [inaudible].

Elise Holtzman: I'm going to have to think about that one, Charlène. I'm not sure that I'm ready for the cold shower. But it is, it's an interesting idea. I've never heard somebody suggest doing that so thank you.

What about strategies for law firms? we've been talking about individual lawyers trying to adopt strategies for themselves. What do you think law firms or organizations can do to help clients overcome some of these performance and well-being challenges?

Charlène Gisèle: That's a really good question. I think the key is to really have the leadership bind to the principle. We're creatures of habits, but we're also creatures of admiration in law firms. Most of the firms that I've worked at, partners being the leaders are crucial in making leadership decisions in terms of influencing the culture, but also influencing the mindset shift that the whole team, associates, and non-fee earners will adopt.

Whenever I work with a law firm, one of my key criteria is making sure that the partners are bought into the concept, because if it's an initiative that is run, that doesn't have partners buy-in, it's initiative that may be done but may not be effective.

It needs to be lived and breathed by the partners. We need to have partners on board that don't just talk the talk, but walk the talk and do the things that they want associates to implement.

If we have a partner that's advocating a burnout-free culture but is actually displaying visible signs of acute anxiety and is losing his or her temper visibly and audibly in the office, I'm not too sure that there is high credibility for that partner to then promote anxiety-free office environment.

Again, it's understandable why some of our greatest partners sometimes navigate such acute emotional crises. It is important to know that partners need to lead by example. My passion really is to work with those partners so that they can work with their teams because as much as I do have influence in law firms through the fact that I have built very long relationships and I've worked with some of my clients for many, many years, I will never have the level of influence that a partner can have.

That's only natural. Really the message, I'm a relay for the partners to then become the ambassadors of the message. I'm a messenger, but the partners are the rainmakers that are going to make the change happen in the law firms. without the partners onboarded and bought into the program and doing this, there is very little hope.

Elise Holtzman: Well, because you can say anything, I mean, you can say as a partner that you're committed to this program and you think other people should be doing it. But to your point, if they’re not doing it, and it doesn’t mean I suspect that they need to be doing it perfectly, they can be human, but engaged in the process and demonstrating that they're working on things too and that they're trying to go in the right direction, I think is very powerful.

Also, as you and I are both outside of law firms working with law firms, we're not there every day and it's the partners that are there every day demonstrating their commitment to these sorts of initiatives.

Charlène, as we start to wrap up our time together on the show today, I want to ask you a question that I ask all of my guests. There is a phenomenon called the curse of knowledge where experts sometimes forget that what is so obvious and natural to them is not at all obvious to other people.

When it comes to managing burnout and achieving opposite model performance and well-being, what's a principle or piece of advice that may seem obvious to you but you think is really important for people to hear?

Charlène Gisèle: It's the one that I wish someone whispered in my ears when I burnt out and I've learned along the way but I constantly remind myself and remind my client, if you're listening to us today and you don't feel that love for what you do anymore, you feel a lot of resentment, you feel a lot of guilt, you're navigating overall more negative than positive emotion when you think about your relationship to work, something must have changed or happened along the way, I would like you to remember the feeling when you got your law degree and you walked into the firm for the first time and you felt those butterflies in your stomach and you couldn't wait and you were so proud and you called everyone that you knew because you just landed the job of your dream.

I'm not saying you need to have that level of enthusiasm and happiness every day, all day, and every hour at the firm, but if it's a long, distant memory and you need to scratch your head to dig deep and find that, just ask yourself why, how, and what happened along the way and how can you make this your biggest piece of work to rekindle that love because I believe you can, that love is within you, being a lawyer is a vocation and I'm sure this love is there but are there any shifts, any habits, and any behavior that you might need to consider reflecting on so that you can rekindle that love once again? It's a noble profession and it's a profession worth loving. Now it's beautiful when you're in love with the profession.

Elise Holtzman: That's wonderful, Charlène. I think it's a really powerful question that all of us can ask ourselves. Thank you so much for being here with me today. This has been a great conversation. I know it will be helpful to a lot of people. Thank you to our listeners for tuning in.

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