Friday, October 11, 2013

Workplace Boundaries- can solve conflict and improve communcation

Boundaries are an essential part of building healthy relationships, however, having unclear boundaries can create a number of challenges.  Sharon Sayler was a guest on my Conversations with Charmaine Radio Show and we talked about boundaries, communication and the art of saying no. 

Sharon talked about boundaries in the workplace, and that “loose” boundaries can demonstrate a lack of respect for each other. It can create confusion and sometimes unwanted behaviors because the boundaries weren’t clear.  Clear and healthy boundaries result in everyone knowing the framework for relationships and communication, and can actually be preventative.

Here is the link to our discussion so you can listen to the great tips shared by Sharon:

Communication is a challenge that many teams face… and Sharon reminded us that men and women do communicate differently on some levels.  For example, their language is different, women will often use the term “issue or challenge” whereas men may refer to this as “problem.”  Language can impact how we listen to others, interpret their message, and, what with do with what we hear. 

Sharon talked about saying no…without guilt.  “When you don’t know the value of saying yes, you won’t know the value of saying no”, what a powerful statement this is. It reminds us to think carefully about our choices and to know that conflict sometimes surfaces when you dodge the “no.”

Here are a few tips to help with boundaries.

First, differentiate between a “need” and a “want.”  Take the conversation to the “need” level, this is where you begin to really understand a person’s underlying interests and motivators. Then ensure you minimize assumptions and the “they should have known” statements.  

Second, if someone's behavior, actions or communication is bothering you, provide them with respectful feedback. People can't change their actions if they don't know there is a problem. 

Third, practice the art of saying no. Say no to little requests to start. If you say YES to everything, there is no time or energy to do the things you really want.

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