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Setting Realistic Business Boundaries for 2021

Setting Realistic Business Boundaries for 2021

The past year has undeniably changed the way we work. Returning to the office full time has been put on hold, and remote work has taken over. With remote work as our “new normal”, the issue of maintaining work-life balance has come to light. The truth is, boundaries between professional and personal lives are now blurred. A study by Bloomberg found that employees around the world are now working more than ever before, with employees in Canada, USA, and the UK, working as much as 10 hours per day. 

With your new office in the comfort of your own home, it’s easy to stay in your work mode and never stop. However, as we mentioned in Breaking Up with Being Busy, when employees are overworked, it can have adverse effects on their performance, productivity, and emotional well-being. 

Business leaders need to instill the message that it is okay to set boundaries in their work day to their team members. Boundaries do not have to be physical and tangible, but can also take form as emotional and intangible limits. Once these boundaries are stated, leaders need to acknowledge and respect these expectations and boundaries. With such a fine line dividing personal and professional lifestyles, setting boundaries will prevent the team from crashing and burning. By establishing boundaries, leaders will see a stronger culture, increased productivity, and higher employee retention within their team. 

Setting Boundaries with Emotional Intelligence

Leaders need to understand that everyone has different boundaries. There is no complete set of boundaries that will work for everyone in your team. Setting realistic boundaries begins with knowing your employees on an individual level. One way to understand your team on a deeper level is by tuning into your emotional intelligence. 

Emotional intelligence is beneficial in building relationships with others; by effectively managing your emotions, you will be able to notice how your emotions impact your relationships. A strong foundation between a leader and their subordinates is formed from a basis of understanding and acknowledging individual differences. 

Below, we have highlighted strategies on how to set clear boundaries with your team, by using your emotional intelligence competencies! 

1. Understanding Your Team Member’s Needs 

As highlighted above, it is essential to understand what works best for your team. Take time to ask your employees how you can best support them, by asking them questions such as, “What is your ideal work environment?” or “What is your preferred method of communication?”. By obtaining a sense of their preferred conditions, you will be able to adapt your practices to build an environment suited towards their needs. For example, one employee’s ideal work environment may start off later than the usual 9-5 schedule, as they dedicate their mornings to caring for their children. To assist in this transition, a leader can offer flexible working hours. Instead of starting at 9am, allow your team member to start at 10am so they have the extra hour to tend to their kids. 

Your emotional intelligence competencies of flexibility and empathy will aid you in understanding your team’s needs. Flexibility is the ability to adapt emotions, thoughts and behaviors to unfamiliar situations. Being flexible will allow you to implement new solutions in creating boundaries for your team. In addition, empathy is concerned with recognizing, understanding, and appreciating how others feel. Leading with empathy will make your team members feel heard, seen, and cared for. Taking the time to understand your employees’ needs should not be optional. Rather, it should be seen as a required step in effective team management. 

2. Ask for Feedback

Again, there is no formula in establishing boundaries. Boundaries need to be catered towards an individual’s needs. Once you have a clear understanding of your team member’s needs, it’s time to create an action plan to make any necessary changes, then follow up with asking for feedback. Obtaining feedback is crucial so you know what is working well and what needs to be refined. Garnering feedback from your team members shows how you truly care; it is within your best interest to respect their boundaries. 

This is where your emotional intelligence competency, reality testing, kicks in. Reality testing is the capability to remain objective by seeing things as they are; this competency enables you to realize that while something may work for one team member, may not necessarily work for another. By tuning into your reality testing, you are actively challenging your assumptions as you find the perfect set of boundaries for each team member. Additionally, emotional expression is another competency that can assist in gathering feedback. Emotional expression is all about openly expressing your emotions, either verbally or nonverbally. Asking for feedback is a form of emotional expression; you are exhibiting vulnerability, are demonstrating you care about your team members’ opinions, and that their feedback will have an impact on your actions. 

3. Make Time for Breaks

It is easy to fall into the habit of continuously working, that you forget to take a break to recharge. As mentioned in Breaking Up with Being Busy, hustle culture is taking the world by storm and emphasizes the need to be busy all the time in order to be successful. Break the cycle of hustle culture and hold your team accountable for taking breaks. As a leader, communicate that it is okay to take a break, instead of continuously working into overdrive. If breaks are not taken, team members are likely to become easily exhausted, resulting in lower quality of work, decreased productivity, and poor emotional health. Implementing breaks into the workday gives team members time to unwind and relax their minds. These breaks can be as simple as taking a stretch break midway through team meetings, to allowing team members to take longer breaks if they feel the need to. 

The two competencies that will assist you to make time for breaks is your Social Responsibility and Impulse Control. Social Responsibility involves acting in the best interest of the group; by implementing breaks, you know that the team will benefit from taking a breather. Impulse Control is the act of resisting or delaying an temptation; this competency equips leaders to avoid acting upon rash behaviours. Continuously working without breaks can result in fatigue, meaning that you or your team members are not working at optimal performance. Impulse control will prevent you from making any brash decisions while exhausted and remind you to take a break instead. 

The Results of Setting Realistic Business Boundaries

When you set realistic business boundaries among your team, you will see results impacting your team’s productivity, culture, and overall happiness. Your team members will feel valued as their individual needs are met, allowing their productivity and effectiveness to flourish. In addition, your team culture will benefit, as you cultivate an environment of trust, respect, and understanding. By building a work environment catered to your team members’ needs, your team will be happier and want to stay for years to come. 

Learning how to establish boundaries is essential to a successful organization. If you’re interested in learning more about how to set boundaries in your team, reach out and book an appointment with me here

For more, you can also check out my Stress Management Strategies Workshop, where you will learn strategies to manage stressful situations and methods to alleviate stress.  

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Improve Your Well-Being with Self Management and Emotional Intelligence

Improve Your Well-Being with Self Management and Emotional Intelligence

Regardless if you are the CEO of a company or a super successful entrepreneur, there is always room for personal and professional development. Oftentimes we get so caught up in our job, friends, and family that we forget to take care of ourselves.

When is the last time you took time for yourself?

This is an important question for two reasons. One, it allows you to reflect on how you treat yourself, both mentally and physically; and secondly, it shows how much you have invested in self-management for both your personal and professional life.

You could be very successful in your business life, but if you are not looking after yourself as an individual, it will soon catch up to everything you do.

Improve your well-being with self-management and emotional intelligence or else…

  • There will be a decrease in your mental and physical health
  • You have the potential to lose valuable relationships
  • Your work ethic will decrease
  • Your motivation decrease

Emotional Intelligence gives people the ability to manage their emotional and social awareness well-being and build up their emotional muscles.

Now, I know life gets in the way; we get stuck in routines that it almost becomes impossible to spend time to improve our well-being. Emotional Intelligence has 15 competencies of which 4 of them are the key to self-management and self-care.

1. Emotional Self-Awareness

Understanding your emotional cues is vital to self-management, but can only begin by paying attention to your emotions. What makes you angry, sad, happy, excited? Discover your feelings at the moment. When a situation arises, stop and analyze:

How did you react when first presented with the situation?

What are you feeling?

What outcome do I want?

How can I approach this?

 2. Stress Tolerance

Stress is something everyone experiences in their daily life. Having high stress levels dramatically decreases your mental and physical health. When you are presented with situations that increase your stress, stop what you are doing and breathe to remain calm- you will be surprised how helpful taking 5 deep breaths will be. We are all busy people, but it is important to take a little time and de-stress. Some things you can do are:

  • Read a book
  • Listen to music
  • Talk it through with your mentor
  • Mediate
  • Exercise
3. Impulse Control

Impulses, everyone has been a victim of acting on an impulse. Maybe it was that chocolate bar that was right by the checkout or that new gadget that you need to buy right now!

Although not every impulse ends in a negative outcome, they contribute to the decrease in your overall well-being. It is important to control your impulses and rationally think about what you are about to do.

4. Interpersonal Relationships

Even if you are a workaholic and your job takes up 90% of your time, it is important to create and maintain friendships outside your work life. If you are surrounded by business 24/7, it will start to weigh on your mental health. When you leave work, leave everything work-related, including your work-related thoughts, behind. It is great to make work-friends, but just remember when you meet outside of work, don’t talk about it. Surround yourself with people that are going to lift your spirits; who understand your beliefs, opinions, and will support you through all aspects of your life.

Self-management is a never-ending process. Remember that taking care of yourself first doesn’t mean you are not looking out for others; rather, it demonstrates your passion for your self-worth, which is an important value to have!

Take our EQ Assessments to learn more about yourself and your well-being.

To learn more about emotional intelligence and how it benefits your organization, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you’re looking to improve well-being, self-management, and emotional skills, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and Instagram to keep up with our latest blogs!

Coaching: Don’t Press Send On That Email!

Coaching: Don’t Press Send On That Email!

Have you ever sent an email message and then regretted it after it was too late?

A rule of thumb should be that whenever you need to have a difficult conversation or give feedback, you do it face-to-face, never send an email.

Words in an email are powerful and can be misconstrued.

 

BODY LANGUAGE SPEAKS VOLUME

Did you know…only 7% of what people hear are words, 38% is the tone of voice, and 55% is body language.  Both the tone of your words, and your body language cannot be seen or heard in an email; therefore, email communication can often be interpreted incorrectly, and the message may not be received with the intention it was sent.

Workplace coaching face-to-face is necessary to ensure your feedback is received appropriately when the need for a difficult conversation arises. Michael Massari, the VP of Caesars Entertainment, discusses with Forbes the importance of face-to-face communication and its impact on collaboration. Regardless of the industry, all businesses require the need to create prosperous partnerships, and that is done through building trust and engaging others in face-to-face communication.

Now, if you are investing this time into business partnerships outside of your organization, you should definitely be investing the same time into your people.

 

So, what drives effective leaders to make email mistakes?

Impulse control.

One of the 15 competencies in EQ-i 2.0 model developed by Multi-Health Systems (MHS) is impulse control – the ability to resist or delay an impulsive, drive, or temptation to act.

It is your impulse control that leads you to spew off a clever and snappy reply to the person who just sent you a nasty email.

But wait, breathe and figure out a strategy on how you are going to broach the difficult subject in person, face-to-face.

Like building any muscle…you need to work it to become stronger. To have bigger biceps, you need to do more bicep curls.

In order to build your emotional muscles, you need to work them.  To become better at controlling your impulses, you need to resist the temptation and don’t send an email, even if you really, really want to.

 

Impulse Control Best Practices

Try these best practices for Feedback that Works from the Harvard Business Review:

  1. Focus on business outcomes
  2. Give feedback often
  3. Don’t assume you are right
  4. Ask questions
  5. Follow-through
  6. Gather feedback on how you give feedback

Use the business outcome as an opportunity to solve problems rather than criticize the person you are speaking with. This allows for the chance for you to align your goals and find a solution together.

“Difficult feedback is rarely about getting the facts right, it’s about conflicting views, feelings and values. Reasonable people differ about all of these things.” – Robert Witherspoon

When you are coaching someone you should be looking at the whole picture, the business goals, their perspective, and the follow-through if necessary. Conducting these meetings face-to-face will build rapport, encourage your team, and develop their commitment to growth, so don’t do it over email!

Take a minute to reflect on your impulse control, does it affect how you respond to your team? Do you fall victim to your impulse control and press send too quickly?

To learn more about emotional intelligence and the purpose of coaching in the workplace, sign up for our biweekly newsletter here, where you will receive our latest updates, an inventory of resources, and much more!

If you need help with coaching and mentoring in the workplace, book a call with us here; we’d love to listen and provide support in any way we can.

Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Facebook, or Linkedin to keep up with our latest blogs!