6 Ways for Leaders to Set Boundaries and Stick to Them

by | 1 Jul 2022

“You have to be able to set boundaries, otherwise the rest of the world is telling you who you are and what you should be doing.” Oprah

Boundary riding (ooops) I mean boundary setting is a really important leadership skill. The setting of your boundaries is linked to your values. In fact, your boundaries are the way you can connect with and ensure you live in alignment with your values. Your values are the things that are important to have in your life so you are happy and achieve your potential while contributing to people and things that are important to you. So, when you look at it like this, boundaries are super important to you as a leader. It’s just as important to communicate your boundaries with others as it is to set them. Today I want to introduce you to LIMITS. It’s an acronym I learned from Dr Rebecca Ray and will help you set and maintain healthy boundaries.

L = Leader – Set boundaries with others when you are thinking at your clearest. Be a leader. Set boundaries in alignment with your values.

I = Identify the boundary – Decide if the boundary is for you or if it’s to let others know what your limits are. Is it physical/emotional? Get clear about your boundary as this will make it easier to share it with others.

M = Make the boundary known – If the boundary is for you then write it down and or share it with a confidante, especially if accountability is important to you. If the boundary is for someone else then share it with them – share it verbally as well as in writing and be firm when you do.

I = Introduce consequences – Think through the consequences – get clear about what they are as this will then help you to not go there! Decide if communicating these will be beneficial for others.

T = Take a stand – This is when it hits home. If the boundary is crossed then you need to reset the boundary and implement the consequences. There must be consequences, otherwise, there’s no point in having boundaries in the first place.

S = Status check – Monitor your boundaries. Ask yourself these questions often, Has the boundary strengthened? Has a boundary been crossed by yourself or someone else? Do you need to adjust your boundary and communicate the change?

Now, it’s your turn, take a minute to think of your current boundaries you have as a leader – what’s OK and what’s not OK for you.  Now, find some time and work out if these are working for you and what new boundaries you might need to support you in your role as a well-respected leader. I invite you to use the LIMITS acronym to help you.

We have a free downloadable Values resource here for you. It will take you through a supportive process to uncover your values and your top two values that drive your decisions or behaviours. If you haven’t done values work before, I really encourage you to download this resource and give it a go. Please reach out and make contact here if you have any questions at all.

I hope to hear from you soon.

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About the Author

Jo Eady

Jo Eady

I’m a leadership specialist, a human centred facilitator and a modern day storyteller. I live in Victoria, Australia. For the past two decades I’ve developed and facilitated a range of leadership initiatives, strategies and programs and have coached many across Australia’s agricultural and rural sectors. I love being a change agent and my key motto right now is courage over comfort. I support others to develop their own leadership essence and shine from the inside out.