May 15, 2017 8:37:01 PM

How to Establish Boundaries at Work

Defining your boundaries ultimately makes life easier. Nowhere does this hold more power than in the workplace.

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How often have you been launched into an activity or role that makes you feel infringed upon? Yet it can be very difficult to assert your defining lines, especially with those in power.

We all need to have a clear idea of where we stand and what makes us comfortable.

In order for productivity to take shape, a person needs to be able to move fluidly around the borders set by others, while also encouraging their own comfort zone to adapt and change as necessary.

With proper communication, practice and preparation it can be done.

Below, a few tips to help you realize your own boundaries in the most productive way possible.

Be intimate with your own needs.

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Understanding your own personal values will help shape your boundaries.

Take the time to ask yourself important questions about your own needs and desires, your limitations and how you see yourself thriving. Once you have delineated what you want and don’t want, indicating it to others becomes a lot easier.

When you respect your personal boundaries, others will too.

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Show your peers that you have a strong will and good sense of your abilities. Don’t back down from your strengths but do walk away from the things that don’t serve you.

Others are more likely to respect you if you define things clearly and consistently.

Exercise your right to boundaries as things happen.

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It’s important to enforce and exercise your boundary in the moment. Don’t wait and ponder it over. Once you have established personally what you want – let your peers know.

Otherwise the moment loses its power, and reinforcing it later can be confusing to others.

Create structure.

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Organizational tools will only help to serve your boundary needs. Instigate meetings, create agendas, and develop a tactical approach to new situations.

Creating operational strategies that help you enact your boundaries will serve your purpose fruitfully in the long run.

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Diffuse your own anxiety response – don’t make conversations about you.

Our initial response is often ego-centered. If we are pushed out of our boundaries, then we become fearful and lash out. Instead, when asked to do something that you are uncomfortable with, explain why in a way that relates to the person who is asking.

Make your thoughts work-centered.

This helps others relate, and understand why your boundaries are being set. From there you can negotiate a more reasonable and mutually beneficial option.

Prepare and visualize your response.

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Boundaries are not a static thing. They are an ever-evolving process, and they will consistently be tested. When this happens, take the time to assess the situation and gain insight on how your process can be improved.

Building boundaries takes time. In today’s high turnover culture, the idea that you can operate comfortably and with stability within the workplace is really appealing.

Utilize the above steps to help define your own borders.

Once done, you’ll see a world of difference in both your stress levels and your relationships. 

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