Jun 19th, 2020
Are you someone that can set healthy boundaries for your life or do you let people treat you the way that they want to treat you and then feel bad about it later? Hi, this is Grant Herbert, International Influencer and Sustainable Performance Coach, and today, I want to continue our conversation around developing our Emotional Intelligence in the competency of Personal Power by talking about exercising some assertiveness and setting healthy boundaries.
Personal Power will empower you to not only set healthy boundaries, but to enforce them as well. There's no point putting boundaries in our life, if we then allow people to come within those boundaries without there being any consequences. And I talked about being assertive, so assertive is not aggressive.
So once again, as with all things to do with working with people, with relationships, it's not so much what we do that gets us in problems, it's how we do it. So, being assertive says, "No, no, no. I actually have something that is a value to me and I'm letting you know that." To do this practice that I'm going to teach you today, to take this strategy and use it, I want to remind you of, firstly, of two components of this whole Personal Power journey that we have to grasp before we'll do this.
The first one is self-care. So if you're still somebody that even after going through all these with me up to date and you're on the journey with us, if you're still someone that thinks self-care is selfish or self-care is not something that you deserve, then I would consider getting with someone, whether it be a friend or a coach, someone who can help you to realise that this is a prerequisite to having Personal Power. This is a prerequisite to being able to be assertive and set healthy boundaries. So, the first key element in boundary setting is an understanding and a belief that you are worthy of having those boundaries and what those boundaries give you. So point number one, exercise self-care.
The second principle to grasp is speaking your own truth. Now, we talked about a couple of weeks ago removing the masks and being who you really are. And as you can see, once again, and this is a sequential journey that we're going on now because we need to remove the mask so that the truth we speak is actually our truth. It is actually your truth.
So once again, it's not about what we do here, it's how we do it. Feeling worthy, feeling valuable, knowing that you've got something to say, that your boundaries, that your values, your beliefs are important is what we definitely need to have in place so that we will speak the truth. Because as you'll see, as we go into the strategy of how to set these boundaries and how to enforce them, we need to be able to speak up with a voice of authority so that people get the message.
So, the first place we need to set boundaries is for ourself. As we go through this process, I'll be talking about dealing with others. But what I want you to also consider is your own internal dialogue, your own conversations and behaviour that you have with yourself. And we've talked about retraining that mini-me and getting that into dialogue-healthy and we really need to work on that here with ourself as well.
We need to make sure that we set boundaries for ourself and we make sure that we enforce them in the way that we behave, in the way that we talk to ourselves, in the way that we treat ourselves. So, that's the first place we need to start is with yourself. And then the next place is to work on setting the boundaries with others and to do that, it is a process of two decisions and four steps. Let's have a look at them.
So, let's start with the two decisions. The first decision that we need to make is to decide what it is that we want from other people, decide how we want people to treat us, decide what is important to us and what we need to set boundaries around. So, the first step is to have an understanding of what your priorities are, what's most important to you in your life, and to decide what boundaries you're going to set.
The second decision we need to make is to be extremely sensitive about those boundaries, to enlarge those boundaries, and to be constructive about enforcing them. So, the first part of this process is to make those two decisions: decide what we want and decide that we're going to enforce them.
The next thing we need to look at, now that we've seen the two decisions and we know what they are, is the four steps and we'll go through them one at a time just to get an understanding of them. And then, I'll give you an example and some language and a script that you can use so that you can go and set those boundaries with people.
The first step is to educate and inform people of what your boundaries are. We're not mind readers. Human beings need to know what it is that you want so that you can then enforce those boundaries. So, the first step is to have conversations with people that are in your life, no matter where they are, whether it's in your family, whether it's in your workplace, and do it in a matter of fact way. So, we're not being aggressive and saying, "This is what I want. These are what my boundaries are and don't step over them." We're just letting people know who we are. We're letting them in a little bit. We're saying, "This is what's important to me." So, step number one is to educate and to inform people of what the boundaries are.
The second step is to let people know that if it continues, this is what you're going to do. So if the behaviour goes outside your boundaries, the next step is to make sure that people know, "Hey, if you continue to do that, this is what I'm going to need to do." And the second part of that is to make them understand how it makes you feel when that behaviour happens. So, we've educated people and we're now telling them what we're going to do if it continues. So, let's now have a look at what the third step of the process is.
Step three is where we really need to exercise our Personal Power, where we need to be able to speak our truth and be true to ourself and step up and give people a warning of what you're about to do if the behaviour doesn't change, what you're going to separate yourself from, whether it be permanently or temporarily until the behaviour changes.
And step four, and this my friends is where the rubber meets the road, this is where that second decision of being sensitive about our boundaries and knowing that we're going to enforce them is to actually do what you say you're going to do, is to actually remove yourself, separate yourself. Whatever the warning that you gave, make that beyond being an idle threat to actually taking place and separate yourself from that situation, from that person, whatever it is, whether it be permanently or temporarily so that people know that that boundary is really important to you.
So now that we know the two decisions and the four steps, what I want to do is I want to give you some language and a script around that so that you can understand it. And you can take this right here, right now, today, and go and talk to someone about a boundary, which might be something that you haven't been enforcing because you didn't feel like you had the power to do that.
So, let's have a little bit of a scenario around this. Let's say that you're in your workplace and you go to meetings and in those meetings, you've got a particular person that continually puts you down, that speaks over the top of you, that raises their voice when they're talking to you and it's something that you're not wanting to continue.
So, let me just use this script now to take you through a process that will help you to understand, if that is a situation for you, what to do and what to say. And if there are other boundaries that are coming up for you as we are going through this that obviously you put that context into this situation.
So, the first thing that we do is we make sure that people know what the behaviour is or make sure people know what the boundary is. So, let's say it's Bob and Bob is doing the yelling and the putting down, et cetera. So, we're in the meeting and we might go, "Hey, Bob. Can I just see you after the meeting?" So, it's a casual meeting where you go to inform Bob of what the challenge is.
So, the first step is to tell them how you feel. And that's why we need to know how we feel and why we need to know how to name the emotion and all the stuff that we've done up until now. So, begin by saying, "Well, when you...", and then tell them whatever the behaviour is. So, in this case, say, "Bob, when you raise your voice at me in the meeting, it makes me feel worthless. It makes me feel like I'm not a part of the team. It makes me feel less than. It makes me feel like I don't want to contribute to the meeting at all.
The next thing we do is tell them what we want. "So Bob, can I ask you that in the meeting? Would it be okay if you just talk to me in a normal, conversational tone like we're doing right now? And if you would let me finish what it is that I'm talking about before you jump in." So, we're now telling them, "What do I want?" So, "When you..., I feel..., I want..."
The last part of the process is to use the term: "If you..., I will..." Now, we can use this in a positive or consequence way. So for example, "So Bob, if you do that, I will be able to contribute more in the meeting." And we could also have, "So Bob, if you continue to yell at me and put me down, I will just withdraw in the meeting as if I'm not even there. And in fact, if it continues after that, I'm actually going to stop coming to the meetings."
So, setting boundaries is a two decision, four step process: Decide what you want, decide to be sensitive about enforcing that, and taking people through a process of "When you..., I feel..., I want..." And "If you..., I will..."
Well, that's it for me for another week. Join me again next week when we continue this journey of Emotional Intelligence in the critical competency of Personal Power by learning how to speak our truth assertively. I'll see you then.