Setting Boundaries means You Value and Respect Yourself.
Setting boundaries without out hurting another person’s feelings can be difficult at times.
We can set boundaries without being offensive. I’m going to tell a story about a friend and client who I helped to solve this problem – not 100% but 90%. You might not get them all.
She allowed everyone just to drop in to get their promotional attire for businesses. That was not working so well. She was falling behind on orders, working into the wee hours of the night to get things done. Not great.
I suggested that she start booking by appointment only. Although not comfortable at the first thought, here’s what she did.
1. Setting boundaries is a very good thing and can be easily done without offending people. You can do this for everything from business appointments, a coffee meeting to kid’s routines.
- Making it about them puts a positive twist on things.
She changed her website and voicemail to say by appointment only. She consistently said at networking events by appointment and call to book an appointment. Politely she conveyed that her customer would receive 100% of her uninterrupted time.
2. Telephones – turn off the phone for meetings.
- The person in the room has scheduled their valuable time. They should be your focus of attention.
Her phone then went to voicemail when she was with her customer.
Do the same at dinner or during family time.
I don’t know about you, but we talked about our day over dinner when I was growing up and the TV was off. And I still practice this today.
3. Say “No” and tell them why. When you say “no” to someone, offer a reason.
- No,” in and of itself, can come across as harsh and abrupt. Lighten up your communication by extending the conversation with some details.
“I’m so sorry, I have a lot of commitments right now ” or even better “It would not be fair to you if I could not make the commitment you require to meet your deadlines.”
Say, “thank you for thinking of me!” People don’t expect to hear that.
4. Say, “Yes, but …”
- When faced with the inevitable last minute request, typically delivered by those who live in chaos and overwhelm, make sure you’re even stronger with setting boundaries.
If you can handle the task, say “yes” – BUT with the provision that you’ll do it when and only when you have completed your current projects.