YP Corner: Dealing with an impossible workload

In the News Young Professionals
Dr. Brian Weiland

It doesn’t matter what industry you are in—if you are a hardworker, your boss will notice. But why does it seem like sometimes hardworkers are rewarded with… more work!?

Dr. Brian Weiland is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist at the Behavioral Health Clinic of Wausau. We reached out to him to ask how to handle a conversation with your boss about workplace workload.

“I think that oftentimes, when we’re talking with other people in our workplace who have more seniority than we do, we can feel a bit intimidated. And as though we don’t want to rock the boat a little bit. Like we have to turn into ‘YES” people. We just have to kind of keep taking on more and more tasks as long as they keep giving them. And you know, certainly that gets overwhelming. Suddenly before we know what, our entire plate is full. And we begin to actually be less effective and less productive overall, because we just have so much to do,” Dr. Weiland explained.

And so my thought about this is that it comes down to having good communication. Sort of remembering that this person, you know, your boss is just a person. They happen to be in a management role– a role that is higher up kind of on the food chain. But in the end, they’re just the person. They have troubles in their life. They get overwhelmed in their life as well.

So, at least they can relate with those feelings– feelings of being overwhelmed and things. So I would say I would recommend absolutely having a conversation with the boss. And being assertive.

So you know your plate is full. And you want to try to let your boss know that they’re giving you a little bit too much. And that you’re kind of being treated unfairly. You know, really, that other people are not having to do as much as you are. So what’s the need here? The need in this situation is you need less. Less to do less work.

And you’re kind of crying Uncle, you know, at this point, it’s enough already. So that’s, that’s what that’s what your need is your need is to not have so much to do.

And then it’s just a matter of trying to get that across to your boss while being respectful of that.

So something like, you know, asking them to sit down with you and talk. ‘Hey, I was hoping to have a conversation with you about something. Can we have a conversation later on?’

And the reason why it’s good to set up an appointment is to let them know that it’s serious.

Say, “I just noticed that I’m finding myself being pretty ineffective with all that’s going on with all the different tasks that I have on my plate right now. I just wanted to kind of give you a heads up– I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed and having trouble doing the best that I can do. So I’m hoping it’ll be OK if we let a little bit of time go by before I take on anything new right now.  You know, I know that that’s tricky because you get things in all the time that you need people to do. But,  I’m just trying to let you know that I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed and I want to be able to continue to do the best I can for you. You know, and for the business, and I’m finding that that’s a real struggle with everything that I’m juggling.”

And then ask, “What do you think about that?”

But it was a really respectful. You’re not over apologizing. “I’m really sorry to have to do this.” “Oh my gosh, I feel terrible” or whatever.

No, none of that.

You’re just you’re noticing that a change needs to happen. You’re feeling overwhelmed and kind of put it back on them like this would actually be in your best interest if you don’t give me so much, I’m actually going to be doing better for you.  So there’s an incentive for them as well.

You’ve been very respectful knowing that this is their decision. You’re asking them at the end.

“What are your thoughts about that?” “How does that sound to you?”

Something like that. You’re not just saying this is what has to happen or needs to happen, you’re respecting their position as your boss.

So those two pieces that go into assertiveness, anytime you’re trying to confront somebody about what’s going on, or something that you’d like to be done differently, remember those two pieces here–  trying to be respectful while so at the same time trying to get your needs met. 

The Wisconsin Broadcasters Young Professionals Committee strives to bring relevant information to new broadcasters by tackling industry challenges with the help of Wisconsin-based experts.

Next week, Dr. Weiland explains how to handle workplace conflict amongst coworkers.

Heather Poltrock, WSAW-TV

About Dr. Weiland

Dr. Brian Weiland is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who has spent most of his life in North-central Wisconsin including receiving his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UW-Stevens Point.  He then received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Wisconsin School of Professional Psychology in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and completed his clinical internship at Lakeview Specialty Hospital and Rehabilitation Center in Waterford, Wisconsin.

Dr. Weiland has conducted research in the area of successful psychotherapy and is, therefore, most interested in fostering a therapeutic environment where patients can feel safe to be their authentic selves. He believes it is the process of self-exploration that heals and allows patients to break free from worries and destructive patterns that leave clients feeling hopeless and trapped. Dr. Weiland utilizes a relational-dynamic approach which focuses on integrating past experiences with the here-and-now moments that occur in the office.

Dr. Weiland provides individual psychotherapy to adolescents and adults ages 14 and up as well as couples therapy. He also conducts psychological testing to clarify diagnoses as well as to confirm or rule out ADHD. Dr. Weiland offers clinical supervision to other professionals as well as therapeutic services to psychology students/professionals who are looking to explore their own biases to be most effective with their patients.

His areas of clinical specialty include:

  • Personality Disorders
  • Relationship Issues
  • Anger
  • Low Self-esteem
  • Christian Counseling
  • Grief
  • Trauma in its various forms

Dr. Weiland is a member of the American Psychological Association(APA), Wisconsin Psychological Association (WPA), and American Psychoanalytic Association (APsaA). Dr. Weiland is also one out of three owners that direct Behavioral Health Clinic of Wausau.