We all want to perform well at work, but that doesn’t mean that you have to put up with everything on your path. Respect requires boundaries, for yourself and others. Mutual respect is the key. In order for others to respect you, you will have to respect yourself first.

When we are over-stressed, we tend to take the problems we have at work into our homes, and this is not good at all. Setting boundaries in the workplace and at home is extremely important because it will keep you from facing too much stress and from mixing your professional life with your personal one.

But how do you set boundaries at work so that your boss and colleagues won’t get offended or see it as a bad thing?

According to psychologists, setting boundaries will show people that you actually have a backbone. Of course, you will have to be diplomatic about it and transmit your messages in a calm, clear but assertive manner. Thus, you need to be properly prepared to make this step and utilize communication as the best tool to do it.

So, yes, it is not going to be an easy task, but with some planning ahead, a good strategy, and trying to communicate your thoughts in the best way possible, you will succeed.

Be as clear as possible when communicating your boundaries, to make sure that everybody will understand them. For example, if you don’t want your colleagues or clients to call you all the time, be specific when telling them between what hours you can be reached on the phone, so you can talk about work.

And when a boundary is broken, make sure to mention it and not just get upset, bringing it into discussion weeks later. If you allow time to pass by, the power of your boundary will fade away, this is why it is important to reinforce your boundaries each time someone forgets about them. Do this in a calm and diplomatic manner.

But it is not enough to set boundaries at work, as you will have to do the same at home. How are you going to avoid stress if you continue checking your e-mail right before dinner or fidget on your mobile device while spending time with your family?

Everything else that is related to work will have to wait until you reach your office the next morning.

A respectful and boundary-focused life works for most everyone.


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Joanne Victoria
JOANNE Victoria, The I Know What Works Coach, is the author of 7 books including Lighting Your Path - How To Create the Life You Want and Pushy For a Moment-Instant Solutions to Everyday Challenges. Joanne lives in the Seattle area. After professions such as Real Estate Broker/Owner, CFO of an investment company, CFO and Sales & Marketing Director of a home-building company, owner of New Directions, a business development firm as well as Gemma & Bixley, a coaching and consulting company, Joanne was ready for her next adventure, helping IT people live the life they want. Joanne took her business and personal development, added in several ounces of intuition and humor, along with studies in philosophy, Buddhism, and leadership, all to be the best qualified I Know What Works Coach ever. Joanne is the host of the "The San • IT Project Podcast", and partners with IT Professionals in Telecommunications, Technology, Entertainment and Mass Media whose work/life integration plan has imploded and who want more success, more confidence, more fun and more inner peace.
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