There is a saying - You teach people how to treat you by what you allow, what you stop, and what you reinforce. When you work for yourself, you are so focused on completing tasks, and getting projects done, that you may not think about setting boundaries or why they are necessary.
When you work for a business or corporation, in general, boundaries are set for you. HR usually gives you an employee handbook on day one, outlining work hours, behaviors, etiquette, etc.
Consider this: If you start answering calls from a client at 7 pm at the dinner table, or respond to email within 15 minutes, you may be setting yourself up for major headaches later. It could be very hard to expect a client to respect boundaries when you have already set expectations for them.
Do you know what the ‘non-negotiables’ are in your business?
Non-negotiables are what you will and won’t accept from your clients, customers and yourself.
It is also about creating boundaries in your workplace and in your life as a business owner or entrepreneur. Here’s how to get started.
Step 1. Define your non-negotiables. First you need to know the difference and identify the ‘nice to haves’ and the ‘non-negotiables’.
Examples of ‘Nice to Have’
Examples of ‘Non-Negotiables’
Not accepting calls after 7 pm
Not accepting calls on the weekend
Not working past 7:30 pm on weekdays
Drop and pick up kids at school
30 minute block of time, 3 times a week, for meditation
Lunch with a friend, one time per week
Step 2: Define your non-negotiables and communicate them to others. Make sure others know where you stand. It is important to follow through, so be prepared to say ‘No’ if necessary.
Step 3: Review periodically to keep current. Time will bring about changes in your life and business. Consequently, your non-negotiables may evolve and change. It’s helpful to review your list.
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