What Can I Do? The World Is So Dark!

In the face of continued loss and tragedy in our world, we heard from many of you saying:

“I’m so overwhelmed that I’m paralyzed. What can I do?”

These are dark times, with many people on both sides of the aisle still grieving the election and the resulting divisions.

We find ourselves stunned by blatant acts of racism, sexism and homophobia in our country, as well as the escalating threats to our safety posed by North Korea. We’re grappling with how to support the victims of hurricanes and flooding, mass shootings, and the stories from around the world of horror and genocide.

What can you do when horrible things happen?

Whether it’s a natural or man-made disaster, we can’t help but be affected by the tragedies that seem to be happening almost weekly. As if the news itself wasn’t bad enough, there are also the grossly insensitive and incompetent responses to these incidences that make getting through them that much more challenging.

We originally had a different post planned for this week, but we wanted to switch gears and instead create something to support you as you consider the question, “What can I do?”

What to do in the face of overwhelming tragedy and loss:


1. Don’t overload your brain with endless news and images of the events.
  • It’s traumatizing to re-watch footage of human despair and destruction.
  • We encourage you to STOP re-watching traumatic footage – your viewing it multiple times won’t change the outcome.

2. Notice how you’re reacting and hold yourself gently.

  • You may feel anxious, unsafe, irritable, angry, vigilant, helpless, sad, have headaches, fatigue, problems sleeping, it may be hard to concentrate, etc.
  • Many people find that they’re flooded by memories of their own life traumas in the face of others’ trauma.
  • It’s also not unusual to have no reaction at all – especially in the face of so many overwhelming events.
  • Honor what you’re feeling and be patient with yourself.

3. Get support, which is different than venting.

  • Reach out to people who can support you in your experience of these tragedies.
  • Limit conversations that leave you feeling worse. Be careful that you aren’t spending time with family and friends simply rehashing how horrible things are in the world.
  • Reach out to a coach, therapist, or clergy member who can help you explore how the current tragedies interact with your fears and wounds so that together you can create a plan that helps you move forward.

4. Take action.

  • Write a letter to your congressperson, donate blood, volunteer, or send money (even five dollars would help) to an organization that you believe in.
  • Don’t get paralyzed by the amount of need in the world.
    • Identify the 1 – 2 things that speak to you the loudest and support those efforts.
    • One of the wonderful things about our differences is that if we each pay attention to the 1 – 2 things that speak to us the most, things that matter will be covered. Our differences let us respond with passion to different issues and tragedies.
  • Taking action is important to help you have a sense of being able to make a difference rather than collapsing into helplessness.

5. Join or create a community that shares your values.

  • This may be as simple as beginning to have conversations with your neighbors and friends about ways to make a difference.
  • Consider organizing an informal group (e.g., through Meet Up). Such activities can provide a forum for support.
  • For many people, they find community in a spiritual or religious organization.
  • Increasingly, there are groups forming around the concerns and challenges of our time, and they may help you feel less alone.

These are difficult times and you need to take care of yourself as you integrate the sorrow and loss. You cannot fix the world, but you can make a difference in someone’s day, you can seek wisdom from others, and you can contribute to organizations that do things that matter to you.

We know it can be paralyzing to wade through the number of charity organizations out there. To help, we’ve included a couple of recent articles by Consumer Reports and Business Insider that include tips as well as lists of their top rated charities.

We’re here if you need us.

- Your coaches and allies at Carpenter Smith Consulting

Are you feeling overwhelmed or paralyzed?

Get in touch with us today, we’re here to help.

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Batsh!t Crazy

Two weeks ago we did a post on losing a great boss. We were touched by some of the stories we heard from you in response. It’s clear that it’s an incredible gift to have the opportunity to work with a great boss.

Some of the ways you described their impact included increasing your self-esteem, changing your understanding of your skills, growing you in unprecedented ways, helping you overcome fear, opening doors, etc.

Great bosses can change lives.

In addition to the stories we heard about the impact of great bosses, we also got a powerful email from “Mike” who asked, “Yeah, but what about when you have a boss who is batsh!t crazy? What do you do then?”

His comment highlighted an experience that a number of you shared. Many of you said something along the lines of: “I’d love a great boss but I am suffering under a really challenging one.”

So what can you do when you have a boss who is batsh!t crazy?

  • Start by exploring if you can lead into a different kind of relationship with your boss. Set a goal for the relationship and then, whenever you are going to meet with your boss:
    • Pause and ask yourself “Is what I am about to say or do in alignment with my goal?”
    • Then consider, “What am I afraid of in this situation and how would I show up if I felt safe?”
    • Then ask yourself, “What is my boss afraid of in this situation and how can I help my boss feel safe?”
    • Now, Act with POWER . . . coming in with a sense of possibility, owning the success of the effort and sharing why it’s important to you, creating we-focused goals with your boss, discussing how you can enable action and then reviewing and refining the plan to move forward.
    • We know you may think to yourself “this will not work!!!!” but exploring it thoughtfully gives you the opportunity to consider how to increase the chances of being able to influence your boss.
If you have determined your boss is not influenceable then you have a couple of options.
  • Consider how you can avoid, or at least decrease regular contact with your boss while partnering with others to get the work done in ways that create success for the organization and a sense of pride in your life.
    • It is important that you do NOT badmouth your boss to others in the organization. When you describe to others what you want to achieve, it’s important that you frame your goals in terms of organizational goals. If your boss is, in fact, batsh!t crazy, others know that and don’t need to hear it again. Besides, you don’t want to be seen as someone who complains vs. someone who brings solutions.
  • Explore other opportunities within the organization and outside the organization.
    • Sometimes your only option is to leave and yet leaving is not always something you can do immediately. So, begin by getting as much distance as you can from the crazy behavior and then start your search for a new position while you maintain your current one. Get your resume up to date and set up networking meetings where you can let people know you’re ready for a new opportunity.

We know that some people would recommend you go to your boss’ boss. In some instances, that is an option, but it is rarely successful. If you do choose to go to your boss’ boss, you have to be careful not to be seen as the problem . . . the person who can’t get along with others.

Your boss’ boss is likely aware of the erratic behaviors of your boss, and for whatever reason they’ve decided not to take action, or they would have already!

The tricky part of being a human is that all humans . . . ALL OF THEM . . . are messy and can act out of fear or a personal agenda, so you need to be intentional about your behavior. If you spend your time focusing on creating benefit for the organization, rather than complaining about your boss, you’ll have much greater success.

That said, you need a place to share your frustration, fear, and concern, so make sure you have a friend, colleague, or coach who can help you navigate this challenge in a way that is good for you.

Take good care of yourself!

- Your Coaches and Allies at Carpenter Smith Consulting

Are you dealing with an exceptionally difficult boss? Contact us today. We can help you navigate this tough situation.

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To Get Around Fear, Seek Experience

We’re so touched and impressed by the stories of personal leadership that people share with us that we decided last year to create special posts to highlight those people. We’ve called this series, Faces of Leadership. Today we have another great story of personal triumph and leadership from Lorianna Kastrop.

It is tempting to let fear control our lives. Fear can be a strong, visceral feeling that is like an alarm bell going off in your head warning you of danger.

There are those times when you must listen to your fear. Feelings of fear that actually alert you to impending danger or high levels of risk – that fear you need to listen to. But for most of us, our day-to-day fear, the fear that can really stop us in our tracks, is not impending danger fear. It is more about a lack of experience than about something that is truly dangerous.

Lorianna Kastrop, Vice President, CFO of The Kastrop Group, Inc. Architects responded to one of our posts about courage. Her wisdom is a powerful reminder that we don’t have to let fear stop us.

“I do a lot of public speaking, and I’m often called upon to host or be the M.C. at large public events, sometimes with thousands of people in attendance.

I’m comfortable speaking from a script, or off-the-cuff, and into a microphone. I am also comfortable singing in public and will do so, when asked.People who request my help often thank me profusely, as though I have really bailed them out.

I always say that it’s no problem for me, it’s just something I know how to do.

Many folks have asked me how I overcame the natural fear of public speaking. Here’s the reason—

I had a speech defect when I was born.
I had a lot of speech therapy. My mother took me weekly to a doctor who taught me how to breathe, how to swallow, how to say a variety of words, and eventually how to speak in sentences.I had to practice with the doctor and at home. I had to sip water over and over while the doctor watched to make sure my tongue was in the correct position. I said lists of words until I was blue in the face, making sure that I didn’t mispronounce or slur any of them.
I got over my self-consciousness because I was just trying to complete the task.
I still have trouble with what is called a “sibilant S”, which is a slight hissing sound on words with the letter S. It bothers me, but I can live with it.Malcolm Gladwell noted that “Ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness”.  My speech therapy wasn’t 10,000 hours, but it was a lot, and it was while I was a child.

I build upon those hours every day. So, by now I probably do have 10,000 hours of speaking in front of other people. And I’m delighted to say, I’m no longer concerned about it.

I’ve learned that some of the things that cause fear are just a matter of inexperience. Try the skill, and if you have an aptitude for it, then get training. After that – practice, practice, practice.
Eventually you will no longer be afraid. You may not be perfect, or even be an expert, but you will no longer be afraid. Now that’s an accomplishment.”


This week, spend some time observing yourself to identify those times when you let fear stop you – believing you are in danger – when in fact, the fear is about doing something that you don’t have experience with.

As Lorianna shared with us, pushing through your fear can bring a great sense of accomplishment and in some instances may even help you develop a skill that you become recognized and respected for.

Let us know your experience of managing and overcoming your fear.

- Your Coaches and Allies at Carpenter Smith Consulting

We’d love to hear your story. If you have a leadership story that you would like to have highlighted in our Monday Morning Business Coach post, please submit it to: leader@carpentersmith.com. Please note that we receive many more submissions than we can publish, and we often have to say no to good proposals due to limitations of time or because they’re not distinct enough from other pieces we have published.

Are you struggling with fear and would like to overcome it? Contact us today. We’re here to help you learn ways to get around your fear.

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3 Key Steps to a Great 1:1

In many companies, managers meet regularly with their team members in what is called a 1:1. Over time, these meetings become the norm; it’s on the calendar and the meetings happen, but many managers report that they don’t really know how to structure those meetings so that they’re helpful for them, as the manager, and to their direct reports.

In many ways, these 1:1 meetings are mini-planning sessions.

You’re coming together to identify a vision for the work you’re doing, to identify any obstacles that may challenge your success, and to create a plan for getting around the obstacles to achieve success.

We’ve found that the very structure that we use to help organizations do their strategic planning is a powerful structure for 1:1 meetings.

If your 1:1s could benefit from a new approach on focusing the efforts of your team, here are some pointers for how to introduce this idea and how to run your future 1:1s.

Making the transition to this framework can be as simple as starting to talk about what you’re focusing on going forward, then going through the steps, or you may want to say something like:

“We’re going to structure our meetings somewhat differently going forward and then we’ll assess if it’s helpful. As you know this is our company’s strategic plan/vision/focus (review the plan) and these are the things that our department needs to do to bring it to life (review those).

If we’re going to be successful, we need to be certain that our day-to-day activities line up behind these efforts so that individually you succeed, as a department we succeed, and the organization thrives.

So, let’s start each meeting with a review of the things we agreed to at the last meeting, and in addition we’ll:

  • Review your focus for the upcoming days, weeks and month
  • Identify the things that are in your way and where you may need my help or other resources to succeed
  • Discuss your plan for moving forward so we can have a shared agreement about your next steps and any ways I need to be involved

Do you have any questions or concerns?”

You can use your own language, but be sure to lay it out for them so that they understand where you’re heading and why.

Again, here are the 3 key steps to a great 1:1:

  • Ask about their vision for what they want to achieve within a specific time frame.
    • When you’re managing effectively, you and your team member need to have a shared understanding of the work they’re focusing on to be certain that it’s aligned behind the company’s and departmental visions.
    • You may talk about this as a “vision” but in 1:1s you’re more likely to talk about what they have on their plate, their focus, or their goals for the upcoming week, month, quarter, etc..
  • Once you have an agreement about where they’re focusing their efforts, ask them to review with you the challenges and obstacles they believe could get in the way of getting this work done effectively.
    • In knowing the challenges and obstacles you and your team-member are looking at, you’ll be able to make a realistic effort to create success and identify support and resources they’ll need to be effective.
  • Finally, explore ways they’re thinking about getting around the obstacles to create success and then support them in creating an approach that has the highest chance of succeeding.
    • Wrapping up the meeting with a plan, timeline, accountabilities, etc. creates a shared plan that you can follow up on in starting your next meeting as you talk about their upcoming days, weeks, and months.

Using this structure – and teaching your direct reports to use it with their team members – powerfully increases your department’s focus and the focus among the members of your team.

Do you struggle to create effective 1:1s with your direct reports or employees? Contact us today. We’re here to help you find new ways to focus yourself and your team.

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Losing a Great Boss

Losing a great boss

We regularly hear people talking about their work and what they like about it, where they struggle, and what they wish could be different. And, there is a consistent theme for those people who really love their jobs – they have a great boss.

One of the things many of us in the working world today have in common is the experience of the loss of a great boss. Whether your boss has gotten promoted or taken a position elsewhere, losing a great boss can be very disruptive to your life and to your career.

Sadly, great bosses are not a dime a dozen in this day and age, so while many people may respect their boss, a great boss seems to be something of a rarity.

People regularly describe a great boss as passionate about the work, fair in how they manage differences in people, committed to helping their team and the organization get the results needed for success, and most importantly, they care about the individuals on their team.

With a great boss, you believe you matter to them. 

Losing that boss, who paved the way for you to succeed and grow, can be very frightening and fill you with grief.

So what can you do when you lose a great boss?

  • Give yourself time to grieve. Like any other loss, the loss of a great boss leaves a hole in your life and your heart and it takes time to move from looking back to turning forward. Be kind to yourself during that time.
  • Spend some time thinking about what made that person a great boss for you. How did they help you, challenge you, invite you to stretch and grow; how did they mirror back your gifts and talents; how did they increase your confidence that your contributions made a difference; what did they do to remind you that you, personally, matter?
  • Look for other ways to get some of that same “stuff” now that your boss is gone. It may no longer come from one person, but it’s important that you consider the range of relationships that nourish your soul. Consider other leaders in your organization, colleagues you trust and value, a coach who is a fierce ally.

Great bosses remind you that you matter. Don’t go too long without that kind of support in your life.

If you have a moment, please share your story of losing your great boss and how you handled it.

- Your Coaches and Allies at Carpenter Smith Consulting

If you’ve lost a great boss or are struggling to find purpose in your career, contact us today. We’re ready to help you step into your leadership and clarify your meaning and passion.

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As you may know, at Carpenter Smith Consulting, we believe that leadership is the willingness to influence your world and the willingness to be influenced by your world. Recently, we had someone write and ask us this:

“You talk a lot about influence. I’m just not sure it’s all that important. What’s made it so central to your model of leadership? What about power and authority?”

We love these questions!

We know that people often believe that leadership is about a role or title, where power and authority are keys to success. So, when we started to work with leaders and aspiring leaders, we believed that was true, too.

As we worked with people, we found that

leadership was more a way of being in the world.

People who were willing to step in and influence (vs. standing on the side lines with their arms crossed waiting for someone else to step in) were people that others wanted to follow. And, they became even more compelling as leaders when they sought to be influenced by the people they were leading.

When we created our leadership approach, the Leader in You framework, we were astounded by the success people started to have at work, in their communities, and with their families – influencing others and being influenced by others was clearly a key to success.

This was further supported by a study that originated with couples and was later applied to work settings. The research found that when one member of a couple believed that the other person was no longer influence-able, the relationship was over. They may have stayed married for a few more years but almost all of them could name the moment when they were done – that moment when they realized they could no longer influence their spouse.

Research on business relationships found the same thing. One’s ability to influence determined how long one stayed in the organization. Influence gone? Done.

The ability to influence those who matter to us is pivotal to relationships.

As leaders, if we’re experienced as not influence-able, the people we lead will be done with us. They may stay in the role because they need the money, the experience, or they see the role as a stepping-stone but in terms of their engagement in the working relationship – it’s over.

And as leaders, if we find we cannot influence our staff & teams, we’re done. If we can’t influence the team, we instinctively know that we will never create success.

So, to sum up our answer to the question, “WHY is influence is so important to your leadership model?” – simply put, it’s because we’ve seen that influence is so important to leaders’ success. Whether it’s with your boss, your team, your partner, your spouse, or your kids, influencing and being influenced by can create healthy and resilient relationships that can grow and evolve over time.

Let us know how you influence and are influenced by others in your own life.

– Your Coaches and Allies at Carpenter Smith Consulting

If you’d like some coaching on how to influence and be influenced by your teams (or even your manager), give us a shout today. We’d love to help support you.

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Total Eclipse of the Sun

Bringing 100 Percent

Good morning,

Living in Portland, Oregon, means that we’re within 30 miles of “the path of totality” – the path where one can see the total eclipse of the sun later this morning.

In our office, we’ve had lots of discussions about whether it’s really necessary to seek out a viewing spot that will be in the path of totality; we wonder, “how much better could 100% be than 99%?”

Well, after doing some reading, the difference between a 99% eclipse (visible from Portland city limits) and a 100% eclipse (visible 30 miles to our south) is dramatic and described by experts in the eclipse field as a “must see” opportunity.

This got us thinking about the notion of 100% and human behavior. And we found ourselves asking, what would it take to bring a full 100% to everything we did?

We boiled it down to these three things. There are probably more, but we were looking for the three nuggets that we believe have the biggest impact in reaching 100% effort.

  1. Only say yes to the things that are important, even if it’s not urgent. Don’t dilute your skills or your attention on things that aren’t important!
  1. Take a moment to pause before you start – everything. Pausing before you begin will let you set your intention and make sure that you’re present for the current situation. Remember: you only have control over the moments you’re living right now.
  1. Take responsibility for yourself. The only person who can make you better is you – never blame others when you don’t bring 100% of your best self. Own it so you can fix it.

It’s unreasonable to expect perfection, but it is inspiring and confidence building to bring your best self forward whenever possible. The goal is to stretch into your greater self, BUT not beat yourself up for not being perfect.

Bringing 99% of yourself is fabulous, bringing 100% is inspiring!

Here’s to your best you!


Do you want help bringing 100% to the things you do? Contact us today. We’re here to help.

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Two Powerful Tools From One Powerful Leader (Part 2)

Creating an effective charter

Last week in Two Powerful Tools from One Powerful Leader (Part 1), we described how visionary leader Kathy Broadwater utilized virtual departments to get work done at the Maryland Port Authority.

This week, we’re sharing her approach to solidifying those virtual departments by creating a specific charter or compact to ensure that everyone is clear about the goals and deliverables, how the work will be done and who will do it, and to formalize the commitment to being a part of this unique “department.”

To create an effective charter or compact, Kathy suggests specifically designating the staff functions that will drive success and having everyone involved sign the document to indicate their commitment.

Some of the things she’s used in charters over the years include:

  • An Issue Statement
  • Objectives
  • Deliverables
  • Identification of a Steering / Oversight Committee
  • Team Leader
  • Team Members
  • Facilitator
  • Timeframe with specific dates and milestones
  • Meeting frequency
  • Decision making authority
  • Resources available
  • Reporting requirements

Other leaders we’ve known who have used charters and compacts have also included:

  • How the group will work together
  • Communication expectations
  • Values and behavioral commitments
  • How disagreements will be handled
  • What will happen if a member of the department is not meeting their commitment

As you can see, the best charters provide structure and clarity as the department moves forward.  This is particularly important in a virtual department because you can be assured that the department members will have a considerable number of other commitments demanding their time.

We believe the idea of creating a time limited – or in Kathy’s case, occasionally ongoing – virtual department can be a brilliant solution when an organization is facing limits in resources, needs a functioning department for a specific objective or time period, or has a breadth of expertise internally that when configured in new ways can get results on an organizational challenge or initiative.

While we frequently hear about virtual teams that emerge as a result of physical distance, this idea of virtual departments of people who work in the same location that come together for the good of the organization is a new one to us, and one that we really believe you should know about.

Let us know your thoughts.

Do you want help creating the most effective charter for your team? Contact us today. We’d love to help you create new ways to foster commitment and efficiency.

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Two Powerful Tools From One Powerful Leader (Part 1)

Building a virtual department

On June 14, 2017, Linda had the privilege of presenting to the American Association of Port Authorities on Promoting and Celebrating Internal Communications – or what we describe as creating cultures of leadership and engagement.

For the presentation, Linda was on a panel with Kathy Broadwater, a Principal at EcoLogix Group, Inc., in Parkton, Maryland. Kathy had spent 16 years as the Deputy Executive Director at the Maryland Port Administration and shared two tools she found powerfully effective in her work there.

These are great tools for working in a wide range of organizational settings and we’re delighted to share them with you here. Kathy has graciously given us the go-ahead to discuss these with you and we’ve interpreted them through our lenses to support you in using them effectively.

This week we’re describing how to create a virtual department, and next week we’re going to talk about building a charter or shared compact for your virtual department, or any team working to create alignment on their goals and focus.

There’s a lot of information out there on virtual teams but this is the first time we’d heard of someone creating a virtual department.

This is a brilliant strategy when resources are tight, when an effort needs representation from across the organization, or when you’re trying to get a group focused on an important effort that has yet to become an actual department in the organization.

To create a virtual department:

  1. Identify the key leaders who are stakeholders in the idea of creating a virtual department.
    • Help them understand the benefits and the costs of allocating manager and staff time to this effort, the expectation for time commitment, an approximate date when the work will be done, and how the success of the “department” will be assessed.

      Building a virtual department

    • When you bring together managers and staff from across the organization you must have the buy-in from their bosses that they will be committing a specific amount of time each month to this new “department.”
  1. Invite staff with an inherent interest in the work of the virtual department.
    • As with an actual department, you’ll always be more effective if you find people who are interested in joining instead of being forced to join.
  1. If possible, involve people who already have established working relationships to shorten the time it takes to build a sense of “we.”
  1. Define the broad objectives for the work and create a set of general guidelines.
    • It’s key that all involved – from leaders/stakeholders to participants who will join the “department” – understand the broad objectives for the work and have a set of general guidelines.
    • This is where a charter or shared compact, which we’ll be discussing next week, can be very powerful.
  1. To engage the team in this new department, it’s critical that all voices and perspectives are treated with respect and feel valued.
  1. Ensure that recommendations for solutions, initiatives, or investments are developed in a way that all members of the department can see their fingerprints on the work and can feel ownership of the process.
  1. One of the things that Kathy always did that was brilliant was to provide public recognition and celebration for the work of the “department.”
    • This kind of public recognition is a wonderful form of payment for this work and it conveys that joining a virtual department is an honor that’s respected and rewarded.

This week, take some time to consider if creating a virtual department is a solution for an organization that you’re a part of. Let us know if you create a virtual department and how it unfolds.

Do you want advice on creating and maintaining a virtual department in your organization? Contact us today. We’d love to help you explore the benefits of a virtual department.

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Creating Healthy Boundaries

Creating healthy boundaries

In last week’s post, we talked about what it means to step in as a leader while not “doing it all.” This week we’d like to follow that up with some tips on how you can start to set healthy boundaries.

We all know that we should have healthy boundaries, but for many of us we think we’re being mean or lazy when we set limits that take care of our own needs.

Having healthy boundaries isn’t about being mean. It’s about taking care of yourself, knowing and understanding your limits, and communicating them to the people in your world.

If you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t have the energy, interest, or focus to do the things that really matter in your life!

The following 5 steps will help you create healthy boundaries so that you can live your life, your way—doing the things that matter to you and caring for the people you love.

  1. Identify your limits.You can’t set effective boundaries if you’re unsure of where you stand.
    So, identify your physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual limits. By “limits” we mean the point in your life where you go from feeling good and effective to starting to feel depleted and spent. Think of it as the line that separates feeling good about what you are doing and feeling overwhelmed.
    Think about these limits or this line when you PAUSE throughout the day.


  1. PAUSE often.Whether you’re at the beginning of your day and planning how you’ll spend your moments, or you find yourself in a heated conversation about responsibilities. PAUSE. Take a few breaths and center yourself.

    In this moment, ask yourself, “Is what I’m about to do or say in alignment with my goals?”
    Now, respond rather than reacting in old, habitual ways. As a leader that means influencing others and being open to being influenced by others. You’re a leader. You matter and they matter.


  1. Communicate regularly.Of course, it’s not enough to create boundaries; you actually have to follow through and maintain them. It’s important to be diligent in communicating with others about your boundaries, so they’ll be less likely to cross them.

    Don’t wait for the moment to arise!
    Let people know up front what your boundaries are so that they can respect them. And, you don’t have to say the words “My boundaries are . . . ” Something as simple as “I will need to leave the meeting by 3:30 pm today, what do we need to focus on to get that done?” will work well and not sound quite as harsh.
    Just as your habits are hard to change, so are theirs—you may need to continue reminding people about your limits.
    In a respectful way, let the other person know what in particular you need and work together to address it. Working together is very powerful and helps them feel like a part of the process.
    Remember, when we suggest working together, it’s about how to meet your need for healthy boundaries, not whether or not you have them.


  1. Give yourself permission.You have a right to personal boundaries.

    You might fear the other person’s response if you set and enforce your boundaries, or you might feel guilty by speaking up or saying no to a family member.
    Yet, if you try to do it all, you’ll wind up unable to be truly present in what you’re doing. It doesn’t make you a bad person if you say “no.” It helps you be your best when you do say “yes.”


  1. Seek support.It’s often hard to see how you can do things differently when you’re so busy doing, doing, doing.

    Getting the support of a trusted other can be really helpful. Consider starting a group of like-minded friends or colleagues; ask a friend, minister, or mentor to help you move forward; or seek out the support of a professional coach or ally.Boundaries aren’t just a sign of self-respect, they’re also a sign of respect for others.

You’ll find that the better your boundaries are, the more effective you’ll be at doing the things you’re doing. You’ll be happier and more present with others.

You can do this – we believe in you!

– Your Coaches and Allies at Carpenter Smith Consulting

If setting and enforcing personal boundaries seems like an insurmountable task, contact us today. We would be happy to help you set your healthy boundaries.

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    Carpenter Smith Consulting

    Linda Carpenter and Stephanie Smith started Carpenter Smith Consulting in Portland to support individuals and teams who dream about having the power, impact and influence to create success and meaning in ... Read full profile
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