Over the years, burnout among nonprofit leaders, employees, and volunteers has been a real and pervasive challenge. One could link it to the highly demanding nature of the job and, to some extent, the personalities of these individuals. However, a closer look at the issue has revealed that burnout could be reduced to the barest minimum if people understood what respect means to them. This is because people tend to have different views of what they think respect means to them. As a nonprofit leader, understanding what respect means to you and incorporating it into your organization’s culture would make your work seamless, thereby reducing burnout. In today’s podcast, Julie Pham from CuriosityBased and Stephen Halasnik from Financing Solutions discuss reducing burnout: The 7 forms of respect for nonprofit leaders and teams.

Respect And Reducing Burnout

Working in the nonprofit sector could be immensely fulfilling yet challenging at the same time. Nonprofit leaders, likewise their employees, often find themselves multitasking, managing tight budgets, and dealing with complex social issues. As they strive to make a positive impact, the risk of burnout becomes a constant worry. In order to sustain the passion and drive necessary for nonprofit success, it’s vital to cultivate a culture of respect. However, the word respect is a relative term, as it means different things to different individuals. So, you must articulate how you want to be respected and share that with your team members.

In this article, we’ll explore how you can reduce burnout by understanding the seven forms of respect and knowing which you prioritize. 

What Is Burnout?

Burnout is not a mere feeling of tiredness or stress; it is a state of chronic physical and emotional exhaustion, often accompanied by feelings of cynicism and detachment from work or personal life. It is a gradual process that occurs when the demands placed on an individual exceed their capacity to cope.

What Are The Causes Of Burnout?

Burnout can stem from various factors, such as an overwhelming workload, lack of control over work, unclear job expectations, poor communication, lack of resources, insufficient support, and an imbalance between work and personal life. Additionally, personal traits such as perfectionism and the intense desire to succeed may also contribute to the development of burnout. It is essential to identify and address these factors early on to prevent burnout from affecting one’s overall well-being and productivity.

How Do You Reduce Burnout As A Nonprofit Leader?

There are several ways to prevent or reduce burnout, such as setting realistic goals, establishing boundaries, prioritizing self-care, and seeking support. However, we are going to focus more on how understanding the seven forms of respect, as developed by Julie Pham, would help reduce burnout in nonprofits. As a nonprofit leader, you must figure out what form(s) of respect is/are essential to you and the members of your team and incorporate it into your work culture. That way, members of the team would, and this leads to understanding each other better, thereby fostering harmony. Consequently, this brings about reduced burnout, greater focus, and more engagement in your organization, ultimately leading to more productivity.

Understanding the Seven Forms Of Respect

In her research, Julie Pham was able to ascertain the seven forms of respect, which shows how respect could be communicated among individuals, teams, and organizations. Your personality goes a long way to determine what form(s) you prioritize.  According to her, respect is classified into seven forms: procedure, punctuality, information, candor, consideration, acknowledgment, and attention (PPICCAA). 


Some people tend to express respect by following the set formal procedures and also adhere to informal expectations. They find it comfortable to read and follow instructions and fulfill requests just as they have been asked. These individuals prefer setting clear expectations on how they would like their requests to be handled. They believe that following the established practices is a way to show respect and avoid any misunderstandings.


Punctuality is a behavior that some individuals consider to be a fundamental way of demonstrating respect. They believe that arriving on time or a little early to meetings is a sign of courtesy and attentiveness. These individuals value their time and that of others, and therefore, they make an effort to manage their schedules effectively. Hence, they inform others in advance if they will be late or absent, regardless of whether others mind.


People with this trait tend to express respect by sharing valuable information, data, and intelligence with others, even if they don’t have any apparent use for it. They may even invite individuals to meetings solely to keep them informed. They are proactive in providing comprehensive updates and background information without requiring any prompting.


When it comes to showing respect, individuals who value candor believe in being honest and straightforward in their communication with others. They are not afraid to offer constructive criticism when necessary. And they are always willing to address any mistakes or errors in a direct and timely manner. By prioritizing candor in their interactions, these individuals create an atmosphere of trust and transparency, which ultimately leads to stronger relationships and better outcomes.


Some people naturally show respect by anticipating the wants and needs of others while interacting with them. When it comes to giving gifts, these individuals prefer to surprise the recipient instead of asking for their preferences. They also avoid discussing topics that they believe may be difficult for others to talk about.


People who prioritize acknowledgment feel most natural demonstrating respect by thanking people for their work. They like to give positive praise and recognize their contributions verbally. Whenever possible, they will acknowledge their requests, even if they can’t fulfill them.


Some individuals tend to express their respect by actively listening, acknowledging others’ comments, avoiding distractions, and refraining from interrupting others, except when necessary to seek clarification. They prefer to focus on one task at a time and avoid multitasking, even in situations where others may not mind.

About our guest, Julie Pham

Julie Pham, Ph.D., is the founder and the CEO of CuriosityBased, an organizational development firm based in Seattle. She is the author of the #1 Amazon New Release and Bestseller 7 Forms of Respect: A Guide to Transforming Your Communication and Relationships at Work. Dr. Pham has been recognized with numerous awards for her community leadership. She was a nonprofit executive for six years and has served on numerous nonprofit boards of directors and government commissions.

Learn About Stephen Halasnik

Stephen Halasnik co-founded Financing Solutions, the leading provider of lines of credit for nonprofits and church financing. The credit line program for nonprofits & churches is fast, easy, inexpensive, and costs nothing to set up, making it a great backup plan when cash flow is temporarily down. Mr. Halasnik is also the host of the popular, Nonprofit MBA Podcast. The podcast brings experts to discuss fundraising, nonprofit grants, executive director leadership, nonprofit boards, and other important topics. You can learn more about the nonprofit line of credit program here or call 862-207-4118.