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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Set a Boundary, Save a Relationship


One of the most crucial steps when beginning a partnership agreement, some scope of client services, even a marriage; is setting clear boundaries from the very beginning.

Unfortunately, setting boundaries is a step that’s all too often missed.
  • I thought we started this firm to sell sports cars, not sports coats
  • I thought you were going to deliver my widget on the 21st, not the 31st
  • I thought we were going to raise our kid as a Quaker
Setting boundaries lets everyone—you and the one(s) you’re dancing with—know the kind of dance you’ll be taking part in, the tempo, and when you’ll be finished.

It’s a terrible feeling to be expecting to waltz when your partner is expecting a tango. It’s even more disastrous and painful when you both start that dance and end up stepping all over each other’s feet and ankles.

Set boundaries at the beginning and then each time new information is thrown into the mix.

Some of these boundary conversations can be difficult but if you wait to have the conversation or don’t have one at all—the degree of difficulty for the road ahead becomes fraught with peril, hurt feelings, and broken relationships.