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Blurred Lines: Setting Healthy Boundaries at Work

PM ADVISORY 

By Van Moody

USA
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Success in the workplace depends on your ability to relate effectively to people. Research shows that 60-80% of all difficulties in organizations stem from strained relationships between employees, not from deficits in an individual employee’s skill or motivation.1 Difficult workplace relationships are far more than a nuisance; they can cause anxiety, burnout, clinical depression and even physical illness.

Healthy relationships at work can propel you to great heights of achievement; dysfunctional or toxic ones will tether you to mediocrity. When we mismanage relationships, the fall-out affects productivity and quite possibly our ability to advance. Your success at work depends on your ability to set the kinds of boundaries that encourage mutual respect and keep the focus on productivity.

7 Tale-Tell Signs of a Toxic Relationship

You’re in a toxic professional relationship with a boss or peer when they:

  1. Stifle your talent and limit your opportunities for advancement
  2. Twist circumstances and conversations to their benefit
  3. Chide or punish you for a mistake rather than help you correct it
  4. Remind you constantly or publicly of a disappointing experience or unmet expectation
  5. Take credit or withhold recognition for new ideas and extra effort
  6. Focus solely on meeting their goals and do so at your expense
  7. Fail to respect your need for personal space and time

One of the best ways to work with unhealthy people is to set boundaries. Healthy boundaries keep frustration and confusion low. Boundaries remind people of what is acceptable to you and what is reasonable to expect from you. Boundaries prevent unhealthy people from taking up too much of your time, energy, or resources – all precious commodities in the workplace.

Be warned, toxic people don’t like boundaries because they want to shift responsibilities according to their mood or the project. It is important to recognize that toxic people create work environments that mirror their personal environments.

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About the Author

flag-usapmwj16-nov2013-moody-AUTHOR IMAGEVan Moody

USA

Field expert Van Moody is the author of The People Factor (an upcoming release by publisher Thomas Nelson) and a motivational speaker who advises on matters related to relationships as they pertain to friends, family, significant others and the workplace.  He is a “People Scholar” who helps others build their “Relational IQ” to achieve success at home, in their social circles, and in business. He may be reached online at www.vanmoody.com.