Remember, healthy workplace boundaries are not about being aggressive or confrontational
Around the world, Canadians are known for their polite and friendly demeanour. (Although if you are Canadian, you may argue that this is seriously up for debate). While this can create a welcoming and collaborative work environment, it can also lead to people overstepping your boundaries.
Sometimes, people push too hard, ask too much, or even expect too much of you. It can be challenging to navigate such situations without offending the other person or creating a hostile work environment.
One way to address such scenarios is by setting healthy boundaries. This can be done by communicating your needs and limits clearly and respectfully. It may be uncomfortable initially, but it’s a crucial step toward creating healthy relationships and maintaining your well-being.
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For example, let’s say you work with a colleague who constantly interrupts you during meetings. You find it challenging to convey your thoughts and ideas without being cut off. To address this, you could approach your colleague privately and communicate your concerns. You could say something like, “I appreciate your input during our meetings, but I’m finding it hard to convey my ideas when I’m being interrupted. Could we please take turns speaking so that we can both contribute to the discussion?”
If your colleague continues to interrupt you, having a more direct conversation may be necessary. You could say something like, “I’ve noticed that I’m not being given the opportunity to express my ideas during our meetings. This is important to me, and I need your help to make sure that I’m being heard.”
Remember, healthy boundaries are not about being aggressive or confrontational. They’re about creating a respectful and supportive work environment. When you communicate your needs and limits calmly and clearly, you’re more likely to be heard and respected by your colleagues.
It’s also essential to practice self-reflection and identify what triggers you and causes havoc in your life. This can help you become more aware of situations that push your boundaries and how to address them effectively. For example, if you know that you get easily stressed when you have too much on your plate, it may be necessary to say no to additional work or delegate some of your responsibilities to other colleagues.
Finally, setting and maintaining healthy boundaries in the workplace is crucial to your well-being and professional growth. You can create a more positive and productive work environment by communicating your needs and limits clearly and respectfully. Remember, it’s okay to say no and prioritize your well-being. When you take care of yourself, you’ll be better equipped to take care of your work and those around you.
Faith Wood is a novelist and professional speaker who focuses on helping groups and individuals navigate conflict, shift perceptions and improve communications.
For interview requests, click here.
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