10 tips to setting clear boundaries in the workplace

I’d like you to think back over the last few months and recall moments that you have felt annoyed, negative, irritated, tired or resentful. Recall where you were, what was happening and who you were with. It is most likely that during those times one of our boundaries was being stepped over by others or you stepped over your own boundary. 

As we start to explore those times we can use boundaries next time they happen to achieve a more successful outcome. 

What are boundaries?

Boundaries are about establishing rules with yourself about what you will and won’t accept in your life. They are literally like the handrail you use when walking up the stairs, they guide your way, so that it is smooth and clear. 

Boundary work almost always comes up when I am coaching my clients. So I thought I would share some wisdom with you through distilling it into my top ten tips.

1. Tell others what you need – we are not mind readers and those around us can support us even more if they understand us better. 

2. Upgrade and/or maintain relationships that nourish you and make you feel good – consider that you are a culmination of the 5 people you spend the most time with.

3. Notice when you get interrupted at work and how often it happens, take steps to communicate to others when you are available and not. 

4. Don’t put yourself down – notice if you “make fun of yourself” in a derogatory way and stop.

5. Don’t let others put you down – if they do then identify whether you can tell them how you feel.

6. Identify when others are imposing their views, values or decisions on to you – and make a conscious choice about how you respond.

7. Identify activities in the week that are not to be cancelled – examples may include the weekly gym class, attending a child’s school assembly, dinner with a good friend. Be strict with yourself and stick to it.

8. Notice your own warning signals of stress – take actions to readdress the balance as soon as the signals appear. 

9. The concept of give and take is a healthy one – notice if you are having a healthy dose of giving to others as well as receiving from others. We are all interconnected and it is healthy to let others help you, not always be the one giving. 

10. Create a list of daily and weekly habits that keep you energised, refreshed and at your best. And then schedule them. It’s the small habits that create the life we want. 

I’d love to hear what boundaries you create and how they support you? 

We work with lots of different leaders, looking to be at their best. If you have any questions for me, or would like some support in reviewing and creating boundaries either at home or in the workplace, get in touch for our no obligation initial consultation.

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