The Learning Game of Boundary Setting

This evening, I watched an automatically curated playlist of Simon Sinek videos. One of the things that stood out to me is that leaders (he’s specifically speaking about those in the workplace) are not necessarily the ones with the authority. They are the people who help the one sitting to their left and the one sitting to their right. On another video joined by Sara Kuburic a psychotherapist, Simon speaks highly of having a clear set of boundaries for his team. However, they both explain that if your boundaries are too rigid it could be as harmful as having boundaries that are too flexible. In this discussion, (which you can listen to here) he goes on to discuss how there’s there’s “extenuating circumstances.” So boundaries are a learning game of knowing when to be mindful and support the team in times of need, and knowing when the line needs to be drawn.

Which leads me to this, when he says helping the one to your left and the one to your right it’s within reason. It’s with a clear set of expectations and boundaries. It’s ok to be off the clock everyday on time and to make family a priority on weekends. But it’s also ok to stay late to support a new employee (an example he used in his video). As a team, we should respect expectations and boundaries but at the same time, we should allow ourselves and those around us to have some flexibility. It’s not black and white. Navigating this flexibility and failing at it for some time, is part of what makes us human.

And like I say often, learning when to be flexible and when to be rigid relies a lot on knowing your values. But mostly, knowing yourself.

Great leaders don’t need to act tough. Their confidence and humility serve to underscore their toughness.

Simon Sinek

Published by Jayne

Jayne is a writer. On her free time she likes to be with her family hiking outdoors and traveling. New England is her home and place of birth. When asked what she wants to teach the world she replied, "Don't stop searching. Too many times, in my old life, I put my search aside for more 'important matters.' I didn't realize the thing I was searching for held what was most important; my soul purpose." Jayne works daily improving her craft and at times can get down on herself, but her favorite morning mantra is "It's a new day." and that's what she strives to start with.

4 thoughts on “The Learning Game of Boundary Setting

  1. Good thoughts. Great leaders are facilitators. “How can I help you succeed? How will this help the company?” Give leeway. That’s how your team will be able to practice creativity. Well timed compliments help, but should be spontaneous. Company guidelines should be followed. The trick is the understanding by the great leader is that each team member requires different input and tasks. Some lesser managers see this as “babysitting.” Advanced leadership takes this role on, shoulder to shoulder, with the team to become just as integral as the team members, in my opinion.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can see the challenge with the time and effort it could take to understand each team member. I think you’ve shared a lot of great points here and I’m glad you did. I appreciate leeway and creativity. Interesting comment. Thanks for taking time to share you thoughts with me.

      Liked by 1 person

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