Join Simon T. Bailey for an in-depth discussion in this video Setting appropriate boundaries, part of Building Business Relationships.
When I was working full time for a Fortune 500 company, I started a business outside of my main job. I would use my vacation time to work on my business. When my boss started to notice that I was taking time off, he asked me what I was really doing. I was honest and I told him I was using my vacation time to work on another venture. He appreciated that I told the truth. However, it became the beginning of the end for my career, because he believed that I was no longer committed to the company.
Reflecting on this experience, I could have said that I was using my vacation time to handle a personal matter. However, I crossed the boundary and paid for it. To set appropriate boundaries with your boss, you need to determine what is personal and what is public, and establish how you act in social settings and on social media. Here' s some guidelines to follow. One, determine what is private knowledge. You want to maintain a healthy and respectful boundary in what you share. For example, maybe your boss didn't need to know you were using your vacation time to start your own business.
Two, you represent the brand of your company every day and everywhere you go. Make sure your behavior represents the company in the best possible light. For example, I once worked with a colleague who traveled for company business and attended many evening networking events. Somehow, word got back to our boss that this person was a party animal and was always drunk at events. In less than a year that person was gone from the company.
My colleague wasn't careful to maintain an appropriate boundary and misrepresented the company. Whether or not he left because of his reputation is unclear. Regardless, you would never want this to be you. Three, determine your personal and professional social media persona. In business, you will have an opportunity to build relationships through social media. Social media is social business, so establish appropriate boundaries. A friend of mine heard about a job opening at a company and decided to send in his resume.
Prior to the interview, the hiring manager did some research on the potential candidate via social media. He noticed that one of his older online posts said, my boss is a jerk and should be fired for his incompetence. Well, my friend went for the interview and, during the discussion, the hiring manager showed him a printed copy of the post that had appeared in his online feed. As you can imagine, he didn't get the job. Another friend of mine wrote an email that said, who does this guy think he is? And he meant to forward it to an internal team member, but instead sent it to the originator of the email.
As a result, my friend had an awkward conversation with the founder of the company. The bottom line is, if you're not going to send it, don't type it. In business, your personal reputation is critical to your success. What you say and do at work and in settings outside of work creates a perception about you as a person. Set boundaries in what you share and how you interact socially, in person and online.
You always want to create the right impression and reinforce others' trust in you.
Discover how you can build meaningful rapport, set yourself up for visibility and success, manage up when you don't click, develop executive presence, and cross-train within a team to better serve the organization.
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- Understanding the four key business relationships
- Building relationships in person and virtually
- Supporting your manager's objectives
- Articulating your needs to your manager
- Managing up
- Communicating with difficult team members
- Resolving cross-department conflict
- Identifying mentors and sponsors
- Making first impressions with executives<br><br>
- The PMI Registered Education Provider logo is a registered mark of the Project Management Institute, Inc.