Professional Boundaries Begin With YOU!

Most ‘Pressures’ are our reaction to what others expect from us.

It may look like you need a special technique or magic wand but making these pressures go away is surprisingly simpler than that.

Set Boundaries. Know when to say NO.

We often complain of stress because of pressure from our clients or managers. We complain that we are doing all we can but it never seems enough and the client/manager always appears dissatisfied with us.

Here is the bitter truth – the Pressures result from reactions and response we offer to the expectations of others. It begins with not being clear about the deliverables to our client/manager, a well as agreeing to unrealistic and out of scope deliverables instead of saying NO.

Lack of clarity leads to the client/manager asking for more than their entitlement and when they are do not receive what they expect they express dissatisfaction, and we react to their unfulfilled expectations as if it were our fault.


Here is what I do when I see things going out of control and react to the unreasonable expectations –

Begin with Preventive Clarity in the Business Contracts.

  1. State the scope of deliverables
  2. List the constraints beforehand
  3. Mention what will incur extra fee or need additional resources
  4. Explain the process, accountability and reporting stages.
  5. Say NO, if client/manager is going outside the set boundaries of the project

Continue with Ongoing and Post Delivery Clarity

  1. Be clear about ongoing deadlines and deliverables
  2. List and tick the delivered items
  3. List the requests out of the scope and that they are not part of the deliverables.
  4. Provide updates at the right time – Not too little, not too much.
  5. Say NO, when expectations are outside the scope & constraints

Respecting your time, effort and skills begins by respecting yourself. Know when to say NO, and what to promise. A great friend said, ‘Under Promise and Over Deliver’ and piggy backing on that I’ll just say, also know how much to over deliver and if it is fair to yourself and your resources.

Remember, you won’t succeed if you are not making a profit, so what’s the point in going Extra 3 Miles if you are not even charging enough for the original mile and expectations are much higher than the payments being made?

STOP. Say NO – first to yourself and then to your client. Respect yourself, your skills, your client but establishing clear, honest and professional boundaries.

Every time the project deviates from the focus it increases the chances of delays and lack of quality of the deliverables. Last but not least remember yourself and remind the client/manager that focused, clear and systematic approach means quality results.

as seen on the ‘almost Naked CONVERSATION’ show on DreamaniacTV

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