–Constructive, respectful relationships are vital to getting what you want.
In my first leadership position, I assumed everyone took their responsibilities as seriously as I did.
I was wrong.
Although my team knew the goals and had the resources to achieve them, one person slacked off. It was easier to pick up the slack myself instead of addressing it. But it wasn’t the responsible thing to do.
Learning that boundaries are essential to constructive relationships took me a while. They are the key ingredient to leading others, succeeding in any endeavor and being happy.
Boundaries are how you create healthy, productive relationships.
Boundaries are like the property lines in a neighborhood. They designate what everyone is responsible for.
You wouldn’t expect your next-door neighbor to mow your lawn. Nor would you mow their lawn even if the grass was high.
Relationships without boundaries are like living in the frontier days of the wild wild west. Anything goes.
Unfortunately, many mistakenly believe others have the same understanding of property lines and will act accordingly and responsibly.
Everyone’s approach to relationships is different. Without boundaries, clashes and conflicts are predictable.
The better we can relate to others, the higher our chances of success in every aspect of our lives.
Set your boundaries where there is friction.
Creating boundaries is about setting limits on behaviors, yours and others. In a perfect world, everyone would know where the property lines are.
In the imperfect world of relationships, they’re often hidden until something happens.
To know where you need boundaries, pay attention to what doesn’t feel right when interacting with others. This can take a while, so be patient with yourself.
Some examples include broken promises and commitments or disrespect of your choices with continuous unsolicited advice or feedback.
Communicate what you will/won’t tolerate.
It can be harder to enforce boundaries in established relationships, such as a boss, team member, spouse or friend. People would rather continue the status quo than navigate change.
It’s our job to find a way to share what doesn’t work for us in the current relationship pattern and how to improve it. Boundaries are our remedy.
You can meet any resistance with understanding and sharing why these boundaries are a win-win for both of you.
With new relationships, be aware of boundary issues and be upfront about what you will and won’t tolerate before patterns develop.
Respect others’ needs.
All of this leads to an often hidden issue. How are we causing relationship friction by crossing the boundaries of others?
It’s easy to get hyper-focused on what we need, prioritize and value in our interactions with others.
The quickest way to get others to respect your boundaries is to respect theirs. Ask people if or how you’ve crossed the line with them.
Be willing to strengthen the relationship by listening and following through.
Check the health of your boundaries.
As long as there are people in the world, there will be relationships to deal with. Boundaries are a must if you want to lead with impact, succeed at your goals and enjoy happiness.
I’ve come a long way since my first leadership role. I’ve learned that with limits, conflicts will be less likely to develop and if they do, easier to resolve.
With boundaries, your relationships can develop into the critical assets for the success that they were meant to be.
Work Your Authentic Genius.
- Where is the friction in your relationships at work and home?
- What boundaries do you need to set?
- Whose boundaries do you need to respect?
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