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How to Establish New Patterns When Loving Others Has Left you Hurting
Just because you are making money somewhere, or are needed in a unique way, does that make that space boundless? Absolutely not! Healthy workplace boundaries are crucial for fostering a positive work environment and are the key to creating longevity in the work you love and avoiding burn-out. These boundaries are like the invisible lines that define the professional relationship between you, your coworker, your boss and even clients! When a workplace commits to establishing AND maintaining boundaries we see that they contribute to higher job satisfaction, increased productivity, and better mental health for everyone. I hear you… “Courtney, I can’t lose my job!” and “How on earth am I supposed to advance if I start saying ‘no’ now??”
I am here to tell you this:
Healthy workplaces exist. The more we seek to find them, support them and nurture them ourselves the more common they will become. We. Set. The. Bar. And we need to stop settling for less! If your current workplace is depleting you, what can you do today to make your treatment and energy important to you again? Some of these may be easier for you than others, and the best practice is simply to take one small step at a time.
Are you an employee?
1. Recognize Your Limits: As an employee, it’s essential to understand your limits – and YES, you have them at work too! Know how much workload you can handle, the number of hours you can work without feeling overwhelmed, and what tasks are actually within your job description. When you’re aware of your boundaries, you can communicate them effectively to those around you.
2. Set Clear Communication Boundaries: Establish boundaries around your communication, both during and outside of working hours. This is Key! Make it clear when you are available for work-related discussions and when you are not. So many of us think that answering that one after hours call/task is harmless, and then suddenly find ourselves drowning in requests.
3. Learn to Say No: It’s okay to say no when you have reached your capacity. Learn to say no when you are asked to do a task outside of your job description. Saying no doesn’t make you uncooperative; it means you’re being responsible by managing your workload effectively! Saying yes to things that aren’t yours or things you can’t take on right now only results in everyone being behind. Even if they think they need you, they want you at your BEST, not stuck in survival mode.
4. Respect Personal Time: When you’re off the clock, avoid checking work emails or taking work-related calls unless it’s an absolute necessity. Believe it or not, this allows you to recharge and be more productive during work hours! This is your Communication boundary on self. This is you taking charge of your communication after hours and it is equally as important as taking charge of how others can communicate with you at that time.
Are you an employer?
1. Lead by Example: Employers play a crucial role in setting the tone for healthy workplace boundaries – it quite literally starts with you! Demonstrate respect for your employees’ personal time, ask them to do only the things they are responsible for, make sure that you don’t partake in gossip. Foster the boundary environment you want for yourself with those who work for and with you!
2. Encourage Open Communication: Being approachable is a gift. Create an environment where employees feel comfortable discussing their concerns and boundaries with you directly! Nothing will be perfect, and chances are that boundaries may be difficult for some which should be no surprise. Being kind and clear in your communication helps to create a more understanding environment.
3. Define Clear Expectations: Ensure that job descriptions and roles are clearly defined so that employees understand their responsibilities – where does their job start, and where does it end. Where does your job start and end? Have you determined that yet?
4. Respect Work-Life Balance: Acknowledge the importance of work-life balance and promote policies that support it! Each business is so unique that this may look different to everyone, but things like: flexible hours, paid time off, coverage for things like counseling, gym memberships, “no contact” hours for all employees etc. are a few of the countless opportunities you can take to provide some rest for employees. Be sure to take advantage of them yourself!
Healthy workplace boundaries are the foundation. Without them, we all are set to fail. If you can deliver your boundaries with kindness and clarity and they are not received well by those in charge, that is a key sign that this place may be difficult for you long-term. If you’re an employer setting healthy boundaries and you find conflict with employees, well that also may mean that employee isn’t the best fit for your vision. The sooner we come around to normalizing simple things that make our work so much stronger, the sooner we start to call on others to do the same.
Courses on Boundaries, Heal from Codependency, Stewardship, and Rising Daughters are all available immediately for access to every active DYW member. Not only do you receive the self-paced video courses, but you get access to a monthly masterclass (including all the previous ones), bonus content, and email support with me.
Don’t wait… Join us today!
Now is the time to Discover Your Worth.