If you’re a coach, trainer, speaker, consultant, healer or other helping profession, you may feel challenged by setting firm boundaries around your time and availability. Your nature is to help and serve… but you need to take care of yourself too so you don’t burn out.
Your Talent and Genius (#TAG) deserve this.
Here are a few places to start:
1. WORK HOURS
Create a work schedule with your available days and times. Put this in the signature line of your emails so clients see this, and let clients know your hours when they sign up to work with you. Don’t give the impression that you’re open 24/7.
2. WHAT YOU DO/ WHAT YOU DON’T DO
One of my colleagues recently shared a frustration of being asked endless technical questions from his clients. They didn’t hire him for technical help, but somewhere along the line he must have given some technical help because it opened up the floodgates. Set up the working relationship right by outlining your strengths and providing links to resources people can tap into if they need help you’re not qualified to provide.
We all love the personal touch, but automation can help enforce boundaries. Setting up an auto-reply on your email over the weekend, using an online calendar to book appointments, and utilizing online forums for Q and A are just a few ways to protect your precious time while still helping clients.
4. MODEL WHAT OTHERS CAN EMULATE
Like attracts like. When you model healthy boundaries, you serve your clients. They’ll be inspired to set healthy boundaries in their lives too.
5. BE CHEERFUL ABOUT YOUR BOUNDARIES
Setting boundaries isn’t about being bitchy, reactive, or whiny about what you don’t tolerate. They’re there to kindly inform people how they can best be served. Use phrases such as “in order to best serve you, I’ve created these guidelines”. Put the positive spin on your boundaries and your fear of setting them will vanish.
If you have other tips to add to this, feel free to put them in the comments.
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