How to stand up for yourself and set boundaries in the workplace

Are you a people pleaser at work and have a hard time saying no to coworker requests? While this may make a good impression at first; however continual acceptance of additional tasks may put you behind with your own work and also make the serial requesters think you always have extra time available for their projects and work.

Expectation Management

In order to find a middle ground here, so you can continue to be helpful and contributing team member, but also teach your colleagues to respect your boundaries; a technique known as expectation management must be established.

Eventually, every employee needs to learn to use this technique. If they didn’t, they would never leave the office! In many office based jobs, there isn’t usually a defining moment where you can say “Great! My work is complete.” So it’s up to you to gage what is acceptable and how to set a boundary around your working day.

3 Rules for managing others expectations:

• Don’t make assumptions.
• Saying no is ok.
• Communication is key.

You can use the Expectation Management technique the next time someone asks you to take on an additional project. You can accept it, and as you do you should also let them know when they can realistically expect to receive it from you; given your other tasks and duties you’re responsible for. You have to remember here not to assume everyone in the office knows your workload, but it’s up to you to let them know.

If you have recently started a position, you will grow into it and with it, your workload and confidence levels will increase habitually, while your available time to take on others projects will naturally decline; along with any enthusiasm to be taken advantage of, regardless of how helpful that person was when you were still in the training stages of your job.