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The Importance of Boundaries in Business

Updated: Jan 23, 2021

Over the years I’ve struggled to develop the 'perfect' communication style in business. The traits that carried me successfully through university and education literally failed me in the world of business.

Putting in extra effort and tireless hours of work in business does not necessary land you the equivalent of getting an "A". As a student we are taught to follow guidelines and adhere to the schedule, if we follow the guideline we are rewarded and successfully move to the next level. Hard work is rewarded as expected and those who comply to the rules often succeed. Business is different. Vastly different, in so many aspects.

I worked for three fortune 500 companies before I was 25 years old and applied the same skill set that carried me through my formative years of education. What happened repeatedly was more than coincidence, but instead was the awakening of what I lacked in myself which is boundaries in business.

From the interview process to the onset of the position there are crucial moments and tests in my opinion that either make or break you.

I have rounded up my top reasons to establish boundaries in business,

1. Being a "self-starter" or taking on more work than your typical role does not impress your boss, it sets an unhealthy precedent that cannot be undone. Furthermore, you are often held to a standard of being an "overachiever" which then leads to exploitation and higher expectations for the same pay. It does not lead to promotion.

2. The rules often do not apply to all, unlike the classroom there are other factors that are at play and far beyond your knowledge. If you are holding onto the idea of fairness and equal evaluation you are in for a rude awakening. For example, your work may be top-notch, but the son's boss is next in line for that promotion and working 10-hour days will never change that.

3. Upholding structure and timelines are not guaranteed, even when in writing. Giving the benefit of the doubt or making assumptions will often lead to disappointment. A common tactic of motivating or encouraging employees with lofty goals or aspirations can often be pushed aside without much explanation.

To develop strong boundaries in business we must begin to look at the situation as transactional experience and nothing else. If more is gained it should be relished and appreciated but never expected. To define clear boundaries, we must first understand our capabilities, talents, and skills and then set clear expectations of what you are willing and not willing to do. Only from this point can you begin to express and manifest your highest value and purpose.

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