Boundaries, and how we train others to treat us

Thanks for all your comments from last week around our personal boundaries. As a recap, in the Evolved Leadership curriculum (click here to like our new Facebook page), we refer to boundaries in people's lives, and specifically boundaries first, life second. Think of a small tree placed in a paddock of cows. The tree would not survive, but if you pop a fence around it, and nurture it, then it would. It's the same with your life, if you don't put some kind of boundaries in place, you simply won't survive, and there will literally be no fuel in your tank to function.

There are two kinds of boundaries that we refer to (1) the boundaries that we set up in our daily lives, and (2) the boundaries that we place when connecting with others. This week, we are focusing on the latter. 

Do you allow people to treat you a particular way?

If you have an abusive, domineering or just plain annoying partner, work colleague, friend, family member, business partner, or even child, then think about the part you've played in allowing them to treat you that way.

I get that there are some people out there, where NOTHING you do would make a difference to their toxic behaviour, but in some cases, you have essentially trained them to interact with you that way. Now I know that that sounds absolutely horrendous, but think about it. Gently and firmly pointing out to someone that the way that they are corresponding with you is unacceptable could make a huge difference.

One of my first holiday jobs was working in a photography shop in Queenstown. I was around about 19, and I loved working with a bunch of my friends in such a beautiful location. However there was a young girl who worked with me. She was probably only 15, and she used to literally bully me. She had a go at me every single time we saw each other, and she used to just constantly say pretty horrible things to me, and I was too spineless to do anything about it.

One older woman who worked with me said to me one day, "I don't know why you put up with it, " to which I replied "but, I don't know what to do." She said, "Go up to her. Say firmly “ Janet (not her real name!), the way that you treat me is unacceptable. Please stop doing it." With my heart in my mouth, the next time I saw her, I went up and did exactly as instructed. She said, "Oh, okay," and I never was hassled by her again.

I agree there are situations where additional action is required, but the fact is you need to train people around you to behave with you in the right way. That particularly goes for habitual interactions between you and your partner. Just because you have always endured them say having a go at you or putting you down in front of your friends, doesn't mean you can't make a stand, and insist it stops, right here, right now (with some gentle compassionate reminding as they get used to the new agreement).

By the way, that also goes for clients. You need to stand in your power and make sure that you're not allowing yourself to be manipulated by those who pay you. Certainly in the negotiation process boundaries are pretty important; there is real elegance to being unattached and just firmly stating where your boundaries around financial agreements lie.

Laurel, what does this have to do with lead generation, and commercial success, you may ask? Everything! You commit to keeping your boundaries in place (without being a tosser about it) and the air of conviction and groundedness will definitely shine through, and significantly increase your chances of closing business.


Congratulations to Cynthia Kirk who won a place at my Illuminate workshop today!

She attended the webinar last week, and will now not only enjoy spending a day with the most wonderful bunch of people at my workshop, she is also in the draw to come to Oprah with me!


Posted on August 20, 2015 .