A woman thinking about how to set workplace boundaries

How To Set Healthy Boundaries at Work

Episode 67

Whether it’s a new job or a change in management, people are always concerned about setting boundaries at work. But boundaries, when not deployed or managed in a balanced way, can do more harm than good. Jonathan and Mark are back to discuss some best practices to help us all set healthy boundaries at work.

Host(s): Jonathan Saar from Market Me Social and Mark Howell from Howl Creative Concepts

Show Highlights

With the great resignation in full force, many find themselves starting new jobs. Others are faced with new management challenges. Regardless of why you are starting with a new team, now is the time to reflect on what you are hoping to accomplish in your new role and be sure that while you are setting your boundaries, you aren’t creating barriers.

Key Questions/Topics Covered

Are your boundaries holding you back?

There are few things worse than hearing someone say, “that’s not how we did it.” If you loved how much things were done with your last company, then why didn’t you stay? Or, if it’s the case of new management, comments like this are not productive and can result in greater alienation vs. the integration that a functional team needs. Change happens, and while we want to retain our healthy boundaries, we have to understand they we may need to tweak them according to our new circumstances.

Part of integrating with a new team or new management is closely paying attention to what is going on. Listen carefully to what others are saying and doing and contribute when appropriate. It’s tempting to try and have an answer for everything, but this is not necessarily a great practice. Having unrealistic expectations and trying to do too much can only lead to burnout. Additionally, taking a hard line with your team and insisting on your way of doing things will also not produce the results you are looking for. Having balanced boundaries means having a meaningful share as a team member, allowing others to help and contribute to a truly combined effort and result.

Sharing your healthy boundaries in a constructive way

The best way to share your boundaries with your team is to get to know them. What is their love language? Be patient with your fellow team members and be realistic about your expectations. If you find yourself in a situation where you feel that your boundaries are being encroached upon, talk it out but be sure to wrap your words in kindness.

Part of having healthy boundaries is how people feel when they are around you. When you walk into a room, what is your aura? What is your mindset? If you are focused only on your needs and boundaries, you will have difficulty melding with your team, and they will most likely want to avoid you.

Boundaries are there to serve as a protection, but they should never interfere with our career growth. Take some time and review what is important to you and your new team or managers and make a plan and jump in with an open mind.

Class dismissed!

Jonathan (00:16): Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 67 of the Juvohub podcast. My name is Jonathan Saar and I'm having another wonderful, awesome show with my friend. Mark Howell from Howl Creative Concepts what's cooking, dude?

Mark (00:32): Me? You know what, I'm over here, cooking, man. It's warm. And the summer has kind of set its place around here. So that's what's cooking.

Jonathan (00:43): Yeah. Yeah. I know here we are. Atlanta goes from winter to summer in like less than 24 hours. And actually I would, we actually had a kind of a nice spring, but this isn't the weather channel. So we'll try to avoid going into the average temperature of the last couple of weeks here. Today's topic we're talking about, you know, so our audience, you know, we get into a lot of different subjects regarding career path retention and so on anything to like going to a new job, moving from job to job. So today's episode is talking about new job boundaries. So let me kick it to you, Mark, like highlights objectives. What are a couple things that we wanna talk about today in relation to that topic of new job boundaries?

Mark (01:35): You know, I think we could talk a little bit about the dos and don'ts when you are new to an organization or new to a job, what should you be mindful of? What are some of the things that you should try to avoid? And I have seen that a lot here lately where people will come into a new organization and look, this is not a new thing. I hate it when people say, that's not how we did it at X, Y, Z. It's like, oh my gosh, could that just be the first thing that we stop saying that we talk about? that kind of stuff. Maybe it's the dos and don'ts of your new career, your new adventure.

Jonathan (02:16): Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Some nice boundaries and yeah, we kind of we, when you go from one place to another and especially if you've been there for a while, you know, that's, it's real easy to be like, you want to take with you, all the things that all the things that you really enjoyed and appreciated. So you touched on one, so that's, that's kind of a good one. Let's talk about that one for a second. Well at you know, where I worked, let me tell you how, how successful we were when we did it this way. So why is that a, a no-no in your mind, Mark?

Mark (02:53): Well, first of all, unless you are asking, if someone wants your opinion or advice, then stop offering it. You are working for an organization that has probably already put together a department or team of people that have come up with a roadmap or path of success. And when you let's just say a property manager, leasing consultant, maintenance person will wanna say, well, the way we did it here worked a lot better than the way you're doing it here. You're not just asking to change one process for one property. You have to change that process globally. And I think if we really listen to what we're asking for or what we're trying to make happen, it's not always a very reasonable request. You're wanting to change one little thing because it's convenient for you, but you're not taking in consideration that that change has to be a global change for an entire organization.

Mark (03:50): So it's frustrating. People don't want to hear how you did it better before we're not there anymore. We're here. This is the new path. And unless you're asking a question of, Hey, are we open for suggestions? Are we looking for new ways to make things more efficient? I have some ideas about that. I think people respect that more, but make sure that you're asking that or saying that to the appropriate people. If you're going to say it to someone in a forum that they can't really support you, or, you know, talk you off the ledge, then your opinion and your voice is falling on deaf ears, you know, and all you're really doing is aggravating the people around you. So number one, and I have seen this a lot. I work with a client that acquired some properties and some employees. And let me tell you the way things were being done and the way they're being done today are absolutely opposite of each other. And I hear this constantly out on site. Well, that's just never the way we did it before. Right. But we're not there anymore. Right. And the way that you guys might have been doing things before wasn't necessarily the great way to do it, in some cases, even the legal way to do it. Right. And so, I don't know, it's just very frustrating, like stop saying that, be open to the idea of maybe this way is the better way.

Jonathan (05:13): Right. Right. I think that lends itself to just being realistic about yourself too, so right. You could go into a new job saying, well, they hired me because of my experience in this. I mean, you could have that kind of crazy attitude about yourself, a little bit inflated, and there may be some components to that hire, like they did appreciate your particular experience and what you could bring to the table, but it doesn't go well. When, if that's your demeanor, when you walk into your, your new job, you know, to your new property that you're managing or your new position at corporate, you know, your experience certainly is going to lend to the building up of the team, not the building up of yourself. Right. And so that's such a big difference when you have one or the other attitude coming into a new job position, one is gonna get you alienated the other, you're just gonna be easily integrated into the team environment. For sure.

Mark (06:26): You know, you said something interesting; alienating. And when I think about people that are starting new careers, new jobs in a new industry, working with new people, I think that there's a level of, like you said, self-reflection your own insecurities. If you are starting your job needing to change everything, or let me be the solution. Like, that's why you hired me. That's why I'm here. It's not necessarily true. You were hired for probably many reasons, many of your attributes. But I sometimes think that I see a lot of insecurities in new people in an organization that there's this constant need that I need to show them how valuable I am. And I think that's also, my advice is have that self assurance that your background, your knowledge, and the reason you got hired is enough. You are valuable enough that you don't have to come to work every day with a solution for every single problem that the company has. You know, sometimes just keep that under your hat and see where things fall and then offer advice. But to me, it's almost like an insecurity. It's a, it's a reflex of being a little bit insecure and feeling that need to constantly, always shine. And let me tell you that will burn you out so fast. Yeah. That it worries me when I see that.

Jonathan (07:53): Absolutely. Yeah. Awesome points, man. Awesome points. So let's pivot for a second to another objective here. So, you know, you're making a career change. It's coming, you know, maybe you're moving, maybe you're moving to a new, a new town, a new state. So that's coming and maybe that you've already got that job and you start two months from now or something along those lines. What have, what have you thought Mark, like as knowing that you're about to take a new position, is there anything that you've done, that's been like kind of helped kind of get your game face on any mental prep preparation that you did, anything along those lines?

Mark (08:38): Hmm. You know, I'd have to follow my own advice that I just gave in sort of the same fashion. It was. I left my ego at home and I started this new adventure thinking. I don't know everything. And I wanna get to know your, I wanna see where I can best be helpful. So I listened more and you guys know I'm a talker. So that's hard for me. It's hard for me to sit back and just say, Mark, shut up. Just listen. So I do encourage myself and others to do more listening. At first, when you are about to start on a new journey and everything is new, the more listening you can do the better it's kind of self-awareness. Its part of the emotional intelligence is just sort of reading the room, seeing where other people's frustrations are, what maybe is on their plate, what hasn't been working.

Mark (09:33): But for me, that'd be the best advice that I could give is go into your new role and just be prepared to listen more at the beginning and really absorb everything that you think is either a perk or a pro or a con in the organization. And then I think you'll be able to have better offerings, better solutions once you've been able to go back and digest them a little bit, a lot of people who wanna raise their hand right off the bat, again, to me, that's this, let me be the show off, let me have all the answers. So I look really important. They feel like they hired the right person. It it's kind of the opposite. What, what happens is it ends up being the opposite for you.

Jonathan (10:13): Yeah. Yeah. Good points, man. Appreciate that. So one other objective that I think is really, really interesting to in this conversation is because people don't know you like you're walking in there brand new personalities is a new team. We get into the conversation about personal boundaries and, and how do you, how do you share like what your personal boundaries are without being offensive or without coming across as, you know standoffish or not a team player, you know, things that you could be, you know, walk in and, you know, I just imagine this in this particular topic, it's like, oh, hi, nice to meet you. New team member. Here's my list of rules. Please review them very carefully. I don't like any of these things at all. So if you do them, I'm going to get upset. So what, what's a, a more logical approach, a kinder approach when it comes to workplace boundaries, any thoughts on that topic?

Mark (11:20): Hmm. You know, that's a good one. And interesting. I wish we all did. I thought if we all had to wear a little name, badge that listed all of our quirks and isms and things that you need to avoid, I would love that because I would learn to not get on people's nerves or, you know, make enemies. But we don't, we don't come with an instruction manual. Right. And so unfortunately, some of this stuff is are the things that we learn along the way. But I do encourage this. If you are in an organization that believes in any type of team meeting, doing assessments that help uncover people's wants desires, who they are, love languages, anything like that, communication assessments, I find that those tools are the most helpful. Especially if you, and look, let me say this the right way.

Mark (12:13): You may already have an established team, Jonathan, you and your, your team over there. And I'm joining it for the first time. But when I joined doing the team meeting with the personality assessment, although you guys know each other, doing it for me means that I get to see all of y'all's personalities as well. Right. You're teaching me something about your group. If you only do it one on one, meaning you only find out about me, then I don't ever really get to find out about you. So some people will say, oh, we already did that assessment. Or we've already done that before. And I'm like, yeah, but you have new people on your team. Isn't it important that you all kind of go back through this and understand it again. And so I do think that you can find out a lot about people by the things that they, even with the love language assessment, when you find out what is it that, how do you feel praised?

Mark (13:09): What are the things that you enjoy? Little comments. If you're truly listening to the answers, then you will find out some of their boundaries, some of their things that they like their desires or dislikes. So but yes, unfortunately those are things that you have to find out along the way. But the key to this, the best advice I can give is find out don't let someone's shyness or quiet or ability to be outspoken, make you want to avoid them and not to find out like look, I know it happens. Many of us will say, oh gosh, the new guy's kind of weird. You know? Like he keeps to himself, he doesn't wanna eat lunch with us. He doesn't want to talk with us about other people by the water cooler. Like he's so uncool. Well, you don't know that you, you you've shut that off just because of one thing or one, one little, maybe his shyness, you have to help them get out. My advice is find out, find a way to find out what their, what their isms are.

Jonathan (14:12): Yep. Yeah. Beautiful, beautiful awesome advice. Yeah. And I totally resonate with all that. It's like, you you've, you have to be patient with yourself and just, you know we keep talking about so many different initiatives for a more tolerant environment, more tolerant world. It starts with the little things, you know, just with how we, we treat each other when it comes to our, our new job. So don't just be realistic and don't have those kind of expectations. People will pick up on those cues and they'll see, you know, what you like and what you don't like. And you can in a nice way, you know just as FYI, you know, I, this, this is kind of my take on this, but, you know, I appreciate your viewpoint, whatever it is, it's always wrapped in, in kindness. If there is a need to be able to express those those boundaries, if you feel like you're, you're being you know you know, someone's kind of like in your space, so to speak, you know, emotionally, literally whatever the case may be. But I love that that that option too, about having assessments and, and talking about it and having those team meetings, just to kind of get to know each other, like, what's your, what's your fun fact, what's your fun fact about yeah. You that nobody else knows and, you know, kind of gives you a little bit of insight into, into your team member.

Mark (15:43): Very, very good. A good example. You even look at you and you and me. When we first started working together, who in the world, would've paired us together all these years later doing something like this, like, we are totally different, you know, different personalities, you are the intellectual, you have all of the answers. I'm the mouth. I don't know. I don't know how we became friends. But what's funny is that you know what, I don't ever see people as just one thing. I see them as being multiple things in a, a sort of, of knowledge, whether it be, you know, intellectual knowledge or fun knowledge, or just idle gossip, I don't know. But, you know I go back to just looking at both of our faces on the screen and thinking like, who would've ever thought, if we weren't willing to open our minds and get to know each other and see the value in what we come from different walks of life. And so it's just one of those things. Yes. It takes time to know that about one another, but I, gosh, I mean, I'm so glad I did. I appreciate everything that, that, you know, I wish I could just pick your brain even a little deeper and, and well, I need to absorb some of it. This is the problem I need to, to take some of your brain and put it in mine.

Jonathan (17:05): yeah. I don't know what I dunno. No, I, likewise, Mark it's I it's been amazing to be on this show together and, you know, I've learned a ton from you and you know what, my wife she looks at these shows as she's editing them and she gets such a, a kick out of it cause she sees how well, how well we work together. So yes, to the subject at hand and to many other things, it's a Testament to how you treat each other when you first meet someone and what possibilities are there? You know, there's just such an open book of, of possibilities. So it's like, for me, the takeaway from this show is you can, you know, the question is like what are those new job boundaries? Like, what should you, is, are they really boundaries? Do you know the balance between a boundary and exploration? You know? Yeah. So there's you, you have to, when you're walking into that next step of your career path, what, what is your aura mm-hmm as you walk through that, that office door, you know, what is your mindset as you're ready to start on that first day?

Mark (18:20): Love it. Yeah. Yeah.

Jonathan (18:23): Well that's episode 67. Thanks a lot for again, man. Nice to be in the show and

Mark (18:29): Absolutely

Jonathan (18:30): Lots of, lots of good takeaways from today. How can people connect with you?

Mark (18:34): Yes, you can reach me at howlcreativeconcepts.com. Howl is spelled H O W L creative concepts.com. Or you can reach me on LinkedIn at Mark Howell, which is H O W E L L.

Jonathan (18:47): Awesome. Yeah. My name is Jonathan Saar Juvohub. Make sure you connect with us in all of our social. So this is in podcast format. It's in YouTube format. We're on Instagram at Juvohub. Make sure you sign up for our newsletter so that you don't miss a thing. And there's so much more to gum. So thank you for turning in today's show, today's class. Class dismissed. Take care.

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