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Workplace Boundaries

Boundary toss
What is a boundary?
o Transition question- What defines a healthy boundary? Unhealthy boundary?
Analogy activity
o Easle, in conference room
o entrenched or collapsed
SLA to Professor, hanging out with one of your professors at a barbeque and discussing
o healthy boundary
same as above
grad intern to grad intern, hanging out with grad interns outside of the office to get to
know each other
o distant or rigid
same as above
SLA does not like professor and asks others to cover for him/her for orientation and
evaluation, does anything to have as little contact possible
o Transition question- how can boundaries look different?
Different types of boundaries
o communicate the focus on the workplace setting when referring to boundaries
interpersonal, personal, job responsibility
"Professional Behavior" video
start to 1:32
o What is happening in the video clip? Was a boundary being crossed? How could she have set
healthy boundaries in this situation?
o same as above
Transition: give a quick couple of sentences summarizing what healthy boundaries could have been set in
the video clips
Healthy boundaries
Tips in Creating Workplace boundaries
Good understanding of job responsibilities
Refer to your SLA Handbook, training materials (name of job description file or
Be aware of your limits and know what you want to accomplish at work.
Ex. Your limit may be (time), not enough time to take on an extra job because
you have full time classes, two jobs, and lots going on with family issues
Resources, knowing that you cant spend any more money for a event you are
planning because youve reached your budget
Skills, knowing to ask for help when you know that your skills are lacking in the
program that you are using.
When boundaries are crossed, address it as soon as possible with a positive attitude.
Ex. If a coworker asks if you can help her out with some data entry it would be
healthy to say that you are unable to help out because you have lots of data to do
Ask for help from co-workers, staff, and supervisor when you are getting close to your
workload limit.
Use the tray by the calendar to put any work that you would like help with , fill
out the green and orange sheets where you can request help from your fellow

o Sets the tone of the office
o a feeling of safety
o a better functioning workplace environment
transition: lets practice , play a role play activity with all knowledge learned
"Practicing our Skills at Setting and Respecting Boundaries" Role Play
Youre working on an important and time consuming project that is due this week. A coworker who you have a good relationship with comes up to you and asks for help. He/she
appears sad and in need of talking to someone about it. What do you do?
will be separated into partners, will be given the same scenario and be asked to read it to
each other and then one will play the role of the person who is crossing the boundary and
the other the one that will be asked to set the boundary in his or her own way
as a group: How did you think you did?





Could the boundaries have been made clearer? How?

Could they have been better respected? How?
Transition: Would we have better relationships with our colleagues if we knew what their
boundaries are? Following activity will help us to clarify what it important to us and how
those values effect how we behave with others.

What makes a good colleague? activity

o http://www.advocatesforyouth.org/for-professionals/lesson-plans-professionals/1199?task=view
o easel will be used
o will practice openly communicating limits and expectations of each other, a tip for setting
instruct everyone to write on an index card a sentence about a quality of a colleague of theirs (reiterate to
think about job role) write a sentence about what you do not like in any colleague. Distribute index cards to
the board:
(Name of colleague) is a good colleague because " I prefer a colleague to not ______
Have participants copy the sentence on their index cards and complete it,. Reassure the participants that no
one but you will see their index cards.
After a few minutes, collect the index cards and place them in the container. Explain that you will read each
one, omitting the name of the friend but reading aloud the qualities mentioned. As you read each card, list
(on the easel) the qualities the participants identified. Translate long descriptions into one or two nouns. For
example, rewrite he always tells me the truth about things as honesty, or he never puts me down as
respect. If a quality is repeated, put a check beside it to indicate that it was identified more than once.
When you have gone over all the cards and the list is complete, divide the participants into small groups of
four or five and give them the following task:
Work together to list five qualities you want in a close friend.
Rank the qualities 1 for the most important and 5 for the least important.
Allow about 10 minutes, and then ask each group to share their choices and rankings.
Conclude the activity using the discussion points below.
o Was it easy or difficult to decide which five qualities were most important?
o What desirable qualities do you bring to the office?
o What qualities would you like to improve?
Read over a couple of what they did not like in a colleague. And ask if is any of this something that you do
not mind and if so how do you go about being respectful of others values so as to not cross boundaries?