Sharpen Your Skills: Boundaries in the Workplace

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Boundaries are the spoken and reinforced standards of expectations, which direct behavior. Our behavior in turn is what allows us to demonstrate our professionalism and our leadership. While in the workface so much is taken for granted and taken from context. Until you establish trust and understanding with your co-workers it’s always best to respect the known and unknown rules and morays. Taking your time as I shared in an initial post about observing before jumping in can support you to make fewer mistakes and create more rapport.

A boundary can impact you as a leader when used effective to convey your message and to establish your unique platform and perspective. As you communicate your boundaries you do so in many different ways. You do this in your behaviors, how you keep your word, topics that you communicate about, your social media footprint, your catalogue of photographic images, the amount of personal sharing that you do, events you choose to attend, what you read and listen to, how you speak about yourself and others, who you spend time with, the topics you choose to speak about, the way you manage your work space, your ability and willingness to engage with co-workers, your mannerisms, you way of dress and many other ways. The impressions you leave can be enhanced and strengthened by what you allow in and what you decline in your work environment. Be mindful of the messages you are sharing. Specifically and in another blog I’ll write about the 3 key aspects of a positive professional image.

I invite you to explore what you believe your current persona is in the workplace and then to identify what you want it to be. Be ruthlessly honest and direct. You want to manage you reputation in such a way as to be thought of as a person of high regard with clear boundaries.

You may hear people speaking about: be sharp, be competitive but we don’t always know how too. One way is to be clear about what is okay for you as a yes and what is not okay for you like a no. Boundaries give you the foundation to draw from and respond to. They are a way of monitoring how much you disclose, what types of things you disclose and what you choose to place your attention on.

As you develop work life balance part of that involves being in harmony and cooperation with how you see yourself and how others do. By setting specific expectations, communicated in written, verbal and behavioral forms allows you to have peace of mind and to remain in the present moment. How I expect myself to be in the workplace is the same standards I expect for myself in other areas. By having standards that are conveyed via my boundaries allows me to easily define who and what I am so that people see a consistent professional worthy of trust and respect.