Stand Your Ground: 3 Ways to Establish Boundaries in the Workplace
Stand Your Ground: 3 Ways to Establish Boundaries in the Workplace

Written by Katy Goshtasbi

Posted on: May 28, 2019

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Boundaries in the Workplace, man sitting with computer at cubicle at work

My life is awfully “hard” and complicated when I don’t set good boundaries with my family and friends. What happens is that I feel like I have to do what others want me to do and say. Then I become resentful and angry. Then I feel out of control and like a victim. This all leads to me being very unhappy and absolutely no fun to be around. Then I take this crappy mindset to work. Sigh….. Let’s talk about 3 ways to establish boundaries in the workplace.

The number one problem, as I see it from my expert vantage point, is that employees bring all their personal baggage with them to work. That’s understandable. We can’t leave our human being at home when we go to work.

The problem is we can’t expect employees to be productive when they bring their baggage to work and can’t establish healthy boundaries to deal with their baggage. Here are 3 ways to establish healthy boundaries at work.

1. Why, why, why? If each employee knew exactly WHY they go to work each day, they would be on a good start to being more productive. When I was a practicing lawyer, there were so many days where I just couldn’t see the purpose/point of what I was doing each day at work. What benefit was it to the world? Why bother? When you truly take time to figure out your true purpose at work and how you serve the world, you can bring a new perspective to work. This new perspective allows you to set healthy boundaries each time something doesn’t sit well with your ultimate work purpose.

2. Talk it out, please. As a consultant, I spend the most amount of time working with employees and leadership on establishing easy and healthy communication. I find that either employees: a) don’t know how to say something to one another or b) feel unsafe bringing a topic up. Regardless, you have to be brave enough to bother trying to communicate. Otherwise, there is no way you can have any boundaries.

3. Know your audience. Having healthy boundaries at work means knowing yourself AND knowing your audience with whom you are setting healthy boundaries. As humans, we tend to not focus on others and just on ourselves. If we took some time to learn about the people you need to communicate your boundaries to at work, your life would be way easier. How? Click here to Read.

One of the hardest things to do is to feel self-confident enough to know where to draw our boundaries. Personally, this is a hard task. At work, it becomes even harder because we feel our livelihood depends on it.

The 3 items above are simple, but not easy. I know because I struggle with it daily, too. Start slow and take it easy on yourself. Anything you do is better than nothing.

Take small steps and know I feel your pain and live it daily, too. Reach out to me. I’m your biggest fan and here to support you. Want more support? Sign up for bootcamp or read this.

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