Boundaries and Relationships Are A Work In Progress
By Shonda King, Gifted Creations Salon & Restoration Hair Loss Clinic, Midway, Georgia
Since COVID-19, things have shifted in the workspace and in our relationships. COVID has taught us a lesson in how to operate and be functional with strict boundaries.
But, reestablishing boundary lines after the fact has been unpredictable. Things that we once believed we controlled are no longer in our control. Employers, employees, clients, contractors, retailers and distributors have all had to reset to regain what we found to be uncertain and unstable.
I believe we can all agree that since COVID we had to face life changes, fear, death, health, emotional and psychological challenges. If not directly with ourselves maybe indirectly with family, a loved one, staff or colleagues. And we all had client and business challenges.
As business owners or business professionals, we take the change from a different stance or in some instances a different perspective. We had to remind ourselves, our staff and our colleagues that our mental, physical, and emotional well-being is vital. Some immature people are not able to handle the boundary shift. The role or job description may not have changed but the responsibilities have.
The big question is, how do we handle boundaries when it comes to our professional and personal lives? We must accept people as they are but place them where they belong. If it must be rewritten in our job description or policy handbooks, we must remember what belongs in the work environment or how much we allow of our personal life in the work environment. There must be a crystal-clear understanding.
I found that understanding boundaries depends upon the level of maturity. One would generally say age, but age is just a number. It’s the level of maturity that makes the difference. Some may handle responsibilities as growth, but one may handle it by understanding that to maintain a healthy work life, there must be a work-life balance. Prioritizing will eliminate being burned out or frustrated.
But just as we expect, or hope people will respect our boundaries we must also learn to respect others. There must be a clear understanding of these boundaries and a work-life balance.
At Gifted Creations Salon, my daughter Chasity King and I had to work and build boundaries. Chasity has been with me for more than 15 years. And if you ask her, it was forced. I truly had to understand and learn boundaries. Just because she was my daughter and we worked together it does not give me permission to infringe on her personal space. Neither did it give her the right to not comply with company policies.
Did we sometimes get close to crossing the line, and did we cross those lines sometimes? The answer is yes. But we had a crystal-clear understanding of a few things, including whether we were going to keep the atmosphere and environment in our salon professional and relaxing and if our team is going to operate in the same manner. We had to decide that if we want our clients to see and feel the difference, we must demonstrate that by being and doing what we set in writing to be.
There is a thin line where owners are still trying to understand boundaries, especially regarding employees or staff. How do we keep it professional? Is there a law that says we must always keep it professional? I had to learn to recognize and appreciate each person as an individual.
We are a work in progress building boundaries as well as relationships. Let’s strive to never underestimate one’s power to build. It’s our responsibility if we are to keep building forward for the next generation.