By Jen Fisher, Chief Well-being Officer at Deloitte
We do a really good job protecting our things: We lock our homes. We lock our cars. We put up gates to safeguard what matters to us. But while we are great at setting physical boundaries, we’re often much worse at setting boundaries that protect our physical and emotional health.
And yet these boundaries are crucial: They give you the time and space to take care of yourself. What’s more, upholding your boundaries sets the tone of what you allow and expect from others.
There are certain boundaries in my life that I am very good about keeping. I habitually protect time and space for exercise and sleep — it’s a core part of who I am and how I live my life. For me, these are non-negotiable. And if I let those boundaries down, I know that over a period of time I’ll feel exhausted and I won’t show up as the person I want to be.
Of course, there are other boundaries that I’m not good at preserving — determining and sticking to your boundaries is a work in progress for everyone. But these are some of the best ways I’ve found to get to know your boundaries, enforce them, and get others to respect them as well.
Find your line in the sand. Not sure what your boundary is? You’ll know it when someone unknowingly says something or makes an ask of you that raises an internal flag and makes you uncomfortable. It may make you think, “That’s not who I am,” or, “That doesn’t feel right.” That feeling is a big red flag — a boundary is being pushed. The next step is up to you: Will you allow it to be pushed?
Sometimes it’s good to push boundaries — like learning to swim after being afraid of the water for most of your life, for example. It may lead to adventure, or personal or professional success. On the other hand, if you find yourself regularly negotiating away your personal guardrails, take inventory and assess how it feels. If it’s stressing you out, or pushing you to compromise in ways that feel counter to who you are, stop.
Bend, but don’t break.
Life doesn’t always go according to plan. When something pushes against your boundaries, consider how you can be flexible, but avoid compromising where it really counts. For example, if you usually exercise in the morning, but you work for a global organization and have early conference calls, consider another time you can carve out of your schedule without ditching your workouts altogether.
Even with my own non-negotiable boundaries, I’ve found easy ways to flex as needed. I prefer to go to bed between 9:30 and 10 p.m., but sometimes I choose to blow that up to hang out with friends. Of course, if we constantly allow ourselves to ignore the boundaries we’ve set, it’s a problem. And letting others’ priorities consistently take precedence over our own can also take a toll. It’s important to respect our own boundaries (as much as we can) so we set the same example for others.
Ask for what you need.
You’re entitled to set boundaries, but getting others to respect them starts with you. If you don’t talk honestly about your priorities, people won’t know what they are.
Be vocal about your boundaries in the early stages of any relationship. For example, if you know you need to leave work a little early on Tuesdays for an important appointment, clarify that need with your team at the start. Explain that it’s an important boundary in your life, and that you’d like their help in sticking to it. This is another spot where flexibility comes in: Maybe you can make yourself available early on Tuesday mornings to ensure that your team has access to you when they need it.
Not long ago, I was asked to speak at a very cool event. I really wanted to do it, but it was on a Friday morning during a week I was already traveling to three other cities. To get there on time, I’d need to land well after midnight the night before, then be on stage at 8:30 the next morning. So I was honest with the person who invited me. I said, “Can I make it work? Yes. But will I show up at my best? No. Can I help you find another speaker instead?” I was willing to do anything else I could to help, so that I didn’t overrun my boundaries and give the audience anything less than my best.
You can apply this idea to the workplace, too. If someone asks you to help on a project, or do something that pushes against your boundary, weigh the benefits. If the people or the project or the mission is important, then have a real conversation with the person. Maybe you can contribute in a different way, or at a different time, than what was asked — or just by opening up a conversation, you may be able to work with them to adjust the request so it’s doable for you.
Of course, if you’re working in an environment where you feel threatened or afraid to uphold your non-negotiable boundaries, think about whether this is the right workplace for you. If your boundaries are being frequently overrun, it will affect your mental and physical well-being.
Share your goals.
It’s important to talk about your boundaries and your well-being goals. Sharing those with others — in your personal and professional life — lets them know what matters to you as a person. And as a leader, being open and authentic creates a culture that gives others permission to do the same. It makes everyone feel that what matters to each of you matters to everyone else, even when your priority might be your kids, and another person’s might be their knitting group. With this mutual respect in place, people will show up to work and not feel resentment toward someone with different boundaries and priorities. Of course, some boundaries are private — and in that case, there is no pressure to share it so openly. But it’s good to remember that wanting to support someone else is human nature. If you know a person and like working with them and want them to be happy, you want to let them get home to marathon train, to have dinner with their kids, or to make it to book club. And then in turn, they support you. Speaking up about your boundaries and priorities empowers others on your team to set and stick with their own boundaries, better manage their well-being, and take control of their lives.
By Marina Khidekel, Head of Content Development at Thrive Global
More people than ever are working from home in the wake of coronavirus, and for those of us who are adjusting to this new normal, building new routines can be a challenge. Take exercise, for instance: If you were used to walking to and from your favorite lunch spot near the office, you might need a different strategy. Or if your gym is closed, as many now are, you may need to try an at-home workout to continue to fit movement into your day.
We asked our Thrive community to share the small ways they stay active when working from home. Which of these ideas will you try?
We wish you good health, emotional and mental strength during these difficult days.
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By Toby Nwazor
Having clearly defined goals can do a lot to improve yourself. In fact, research shows that specific and sufficiently challenging goals led to a higher performance rate compared to easy and not specifically defined goals. The benefit of goals does not lie in the act of setting them, but in the effort taken to achieve each goal.
Self-improvement is what will make you successful in life. The reason is simple. Personal development attracts better relationships and an increase in wealth.
Personal development is something that should be practiced daily. This will keep you constantly prepared to face any challenge or obstacles life throws at you.
This is the reason why you should set personal development goals in your workplace. These goals will not only improve you in the long run, but also improve the overall running of the business. So whether you are the boss or employee, personal development goals are a must.
Here are 5 personal development goals that will make you successful in your workplace: ...
By Adam Fridman
"Purpose Inspires, Values Guide, Habits Define."
Purpose is the why of your organization. Purpose is what gives work meaning. But purpose is in danger of becoming "GWOP" - Goals Without Plans - unless it is aligned with your culture. Putting it another way, purpose is about where your company's journey is taking you. Culture is the combination of values and habits that will get you there.
Purpose, Values or Culture: What's the Difference?
Some people confuse the ideas of purpose, values and culture. They are three similar but distinct concepts. If purpose, values and culture were a math equation, they'd look something like this:
by Travis Bradberry
The ability to manage your emotions and remain calm under pressure has a direct link to your performance. At TalentSmart, we have conducted research with more than a million people and found that 90 percent of top performers are skilled at managing their emotions in times of stress in order to remain calm and in control.
There is some startling research that explores the havoc stress can wreak on one’s physical and mental health (such as this Yale study, which found that prolonged stress causes degeneration in the area of the brain responsible for self-control). The tricky thing about stress (and the anxiety that comes with it) is that it’s an absolutely necessary emotion. Our brains are wired such that it’s difficult to take action until we feel at least some level of this emotional state. In fact, performance peaks under the heightened activation that comes with moderate levels of stress. As long as the stress isn’t prolonged, it’s harmless.
By Rebecca Muller, Assistant Editor at Thrive Global
Carving out time for regular recovery is essential for your mental well-being and performance — but sometimes, planning a traditional vacation can feel overwhelming, or is simply unrealistic with a tight timeline. For instance, if you’re a new parent, an anxious traveler, or a caregiver for a loved one, you might not be able to book a last-minute flight to a far-off destination to unplug and recharge — and that reality alone can be stressful.
“The kinds of vacations we take are highly constrained by the demands of family, school and work calendars, and finances,” Alex Soojung-Kim Pang, Ph.D., author of Rest and The Distraction Addiction, tells Thrive. “One size doesn’t fit all.” Pang notes that a getaway is often most valuable because it helps you tap into a mindset that allows you to relax — but you don’t have to go away to hone in on that vacation-focused mindset. In fact, even people who do go on traditional getaways can miss the point. “Too many people go on vacation and stay connected the whole time,” adds Arthur Markman, Ph.D., a psychology professor at the University of Texas at Austin and author of Bring Your Brain to Work. “They don’t give themselves a chance to recharge.”
By Jessica Hicks, Editorial Fellow at Thrive Global
Knowing how to delegate is essential to successful leadership, but it’s a skill that can be challenging. Some managers don’t like to hand over responsibility, while others might be nervous about appearing disengaged — but what these leaders don’t realize is that delegating can provide growth opportunities for their colleagues, and reduce stress for the entire team.
Plus, managers need additional support. A recent Gallup report found that managing various types of employees and stakeholders can escalate stress for managers, who “need protected time to think, do their own work, and respond to requests.”
If you’re a manager who’s unsure how to hand over a task, check out these tips to make the process more thoughtful and effective:
By Rebecca Muller, Assistant Editor at Thrive Global
It’s incredibly gratifying to achieve a goal you’ve set for yourself, but the real challenge often begins after you hit your target, when you have to maintain the practices you have begun in order to see prolonged success. According to a new Stanford study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, individuals are more likely to continue their positive habits after the fact if they see their goal achievement as “completing a journey” instead of “arriving at a destination.”
The researchers looked at people who managed to reach their individual goals and continued succeeding afterward, and asked which mindset allowed for their continued wins. “This question is critical, because it helps us to redefine success,” study co-author and General Atlantic Professor at Stanford Graduate School of Business, Jennifer Aaker, Ph.D, explained in a statement. “It moves us from focusing on the short-run win associated with attaining a goal, to the longer-term benefits associated with continued improvement after the goal.”
Dianna is the thought leader behind Cylient's unique, comprehensive approach for instilling coaching cultures.
Is building a coaching culture for your enterprise a strategic priority for your organization in 2019, or does it fall further down the list in the “nice to do someday” category? If building a coaching culture isn’t at the top of your priority list, here’s why I think it should be:
I believe that many of the top priorities that Learning and Development professionals focus on are actually symptoms of using traditional “direct and correct” leadership approaches to try to manage our current multifaceted, ever-changing work environments.
Here’s why I think that:
When people lead by telling people what to do, and then correcting them when they think they are “wrong,” it teaches the people they are leading to:
Self-Help Book / Personal Development