When you try to make decisions, do you struggle to figure out what to do? Have you been called a people pleaser? When you finally make a decision, are you filled with guilt or anxiety? Has it been awhile since you’ve said no to someone? If you answered yes to any of these questions, this could be due to you needing help setting healthy boundaries. Boundaries are not just for our personal life, but professional boundaries in the workplace are needed just as much!
Setting Boundaries with Employees
A great place to first start this conversation of professional boundaries is with boundaries in the workplace training. If you are in a position of leadership, having a clear presentation dividing up roles and responsibilities is the best start to having healthy boundaries. Some examples of these things are who assigns work, when they can call you at home, when you will check your work email, etc. Setting expectations as to what is and what is not appropriate behavior gives you a place to refer back to if a boundary would get crossed down the road. Managing expectations at work is much easier when they have been given initially and especially if they are given in writing. “Unspoken boundaries” are not always as obvious to others as they are to you, so try to include these as well (i.e. not barging into your office without an appointment or talking to front desk workers first).
Setting Professional Boundaries with Client
With clients, you may feel like you have to be flexible with your boundaries in order to keep a customer or make a sale. This is just not true! Setting expectations with customers ensures that interactions benefit the business, yourself, and even the customer. In this case, it may feel rude or awkward at first but I encourage you to stick with it—over time the benefits with leave you with less anxiety and guilt that can follow decision-making in the workplace. Some places to set up boundaries are as follows:
Setting Boundaries with Coworkers
When boundaries are overstepped at work, it can lead to bullying and individuals being taken advantage of. Some major areas where you may need to set expectations in relationships with coworkers are: