Wednesday, September 24, 2014
Setting Boundaries and Maintaining Them
In business and life it's really important to set and maintain boundaries. The key (and this is important) you can't fold on your boundaries and move them. I've had it explained to me like this, with children they need consistency (they crave it). Consistency shows them the lines. When you show them the line and give them consequences for walking over it, they come to understand that line has meaning (consequences) that are negative. Without boundaries adults have the same problem. If you set a boundary and move it, adults don't know where they stand: what you say has no meaning. When you have a situation, especially one that involves, for example, substance abuse, and you let the abuser continually walk over your boundaries, they will keep right on doing and never hit rock bottom. If you have a worker than fails on his or her job, but she gets to keep her or his job anyway, nothing stops the behavior. Even if it's the two warning principle: do it once and I warn you, do it twice and you're fired. I don't believe in the three warnings because by the third time it's useless. When you act on your boundary it shows people the rules, it shows you mean the rules, and they come to understand (and here is the kicker) AND respect you because you held the line. Sometimes though it's hard because holding the line may require you remove that relationship from your life. It's not always easy to let someone you love go, but if this person doesn't respect you then it's an unhealthy relationship anyway. I've been through many, many different situations in my life. And I've learned all of these lessons the hard way. So I know what I'm sharing works whether in your professional or personal life.