ELAINY MATA: You’re in your first year of your new job and you’ve already learned so much, like your morning routine, how your team communicates, and where the best food is on your lunch break. But there’s still a lot left to figure out, like finding the people that you can trust and talk to, figuring out how to ask for what you need, and there’s one more thing that’s really important that you might not have thought about: how to set good boundaries. Boundaries look different for all of us. Some are about protecting our time. Others have to do with how you want to be treated by the people you work with. And when those boundaries are crossed, you can feel the discomfort.
DUSTIN BRADY: I tense up and I can feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and I grip my teeth a little bit.
CHEYENNE PATERSON: I do get a little bit of that tightness in the chest, but also my body gets hot.
JHYMON MOODY: On the inside, you’re just like, this really doesn’t feel right, the way that they’re communicating with me. It sinks on you.
ELAINY MATA: That’s your body telling you that someone just crossed one of your boundaries, even if you didn’t realize it or know how to put it in words. By the way, those voices you just heard are some of my work friends, and we’ll hear more from them a bit later. Now the thing I didn’t know and I wish I had, is that the sooner you set boundaries at work, the easier it is to keep them. Now I’m talking about first day at your new job type of thing, so let’s learn why and how to do it. Welcome to our very first episode of New Here. I’m Elainy Mata. This is a safe place for you to learn how to play the game we call work. This season, we’re focusing on those big firsts that happen early in your career, the ones you’re not always prepared for, like your first bad boss or the first time you say something in a meeting that doesn’t seem to land right. When I’m in tough moments like those, I usually call a friend for advice. And by the way, we will call some of my friends on this show, but we’ll talk to experts too and we’ll hear from each other. So send us your questions and join our conversation. By the end of the season, you’ll have more tools and self-understanding, so when those firsts happen, you’ll be ready. We chose boundaries for our first episode because I’m learning that so much of my happiness and my sanity is determined by how healthy my boundaries are, especially at work. I’m a producer here at HBR and I’ve been working in media for a few years now, and I’ll be honest, boundaries are still really hard for me, like saying no to extra meetings or deflecting super personal questions. Or standing up for myself when someone says something disrespectful or calls me out. I try to check in with my boundaries every day, and work is probably the place where I check in with my boundaries the most, and what I’ve learned is that if you don’t set your boundaries at work right away, then other people will set them for you. When that happens, you’re not in control anymore. Today we are going to figure out how to define our boundaries at work. Then we’ll look at the best ways to make sure others know our boundaries and how to handle the emotions and the discomfort we feel when they’re crossed, because I’m going to be honest with you, not everyone you work with will understand them or respect them right away. But first, let’s make sure we all know what we mean when we talk about boundaries.
MARIA RAMOS: Hello?
ELAINY MATA: Hi, Maria.
MARIA RAMOS: Hi. How’s everyone?
ELAINY MATA: Everyone’s good. This is my therapist, Maria. She’s a licensed forensic and mental health counselor, and she really helps me define and enforce boundaries in my personal and professional life. This is cool. I’m really excited to bring you on.
MARIA RAMOS: Yes, I’m very excited too. I’ve been looking forward to this.
ELAINY MATA: Yeah. So Maria, you have been my therapist for two, two and a half years.
MARIA RAMOS: Yes.
ELAINY MATA: And this is cool because a huge bulk of the work that you’ve helped me do is boundaries, because I struggle.
MARIA RAMOS: You’re not alone in that, for sure.
ELAINY MATA: Yeah. So how would you define a boundary?
MARIA RAMOS: So boundaries, I look at them as limits that we set with other people, with ourselves, things that communicates to others what we’re comfortable and not comfortable with.
ELAINY MATA: Can you give me examples of healthy boundaries at work?
MARIA RAMOS: Absolutely. I think healthy boundaries would be one, if you know what time you’re supposed to be punching in and out, taking your vacation. I’m a huge fan of people taking their vacation and I cannot stress that enough. One of the other things that’s important is being aware and knowing in detail what your job description is, what it entails, making sure that you’re sticking to that in that certainly there’s going to be times where you may be asked to step up and offer some additional support in some areas, but that should be temporary and only if you feel comfortable with it. I think it can, especially at work, be easy to fall into this slippery slope of overextending yourself or offering more support than you can because you want to seem reliable or you want to feel like you’re a team player. And that may then lead to not only taking more on than you can actually handle, which will then create anxiety and other things, but also it can lead to burnout very quickly too. And so if you don’t set boundaries around the work and how much work you can actually do and be aware of that, it can create a lot of issues for yourself.
ELAINY MATA: So how do you identify what your boundaries are? And I think that’s really scary because sometimes you don’t know what your boundary is until you’re in that situation and you’re like, “Damn.”
MARIA RAMOS: Yeah. Yes. And so there can certainly be new situations, circumstances that you might be faced with that you haven’t experienced before where you may not have a boundary in place for a situation like that. But I always say it’s important to go with your gut feeling and what is going on for you in that moment, and to be able to identify what’s happening and understand that. And from there, figuring out what is it about that instance that made you feel uneasy or uncomfortable, and then consider what would be a healthy boundary to communicate that in the future.
ELAINY MATA: Can we go deeper into that, of how your body feels and reacts in certain ways?
MARIA RAMOS: Sure.
ELAINY MATA: I think what’s been confusing for me is trying to identify what is my gut and what is fear. I think just recently I found out that fear exists in my chest. I feel it. I feel the tightness in my chest, and that’s when I know, okay, I’m scared. Which by the way, that’s been happening for the past 48 hours, and I’m like, I don’t talk to Maria until Monday. But I’ve been journaling a lot. I’ve been journaling a lot.
MARIA RAMOS: Good, I’m proud of you. I’m very happy to hear that. Star therapist moments, as I say.
ELAINY MATA: Yay. Oh my gosh, it’s been brutal.
MARIA RAMOS: Yeah, we can definitely go deeper into that if you’d like.
ELAINY MATA: Yeah, it was hard for me to identify in my body what is a good feeling and what is a bad feeling. Can you explain to me how you can tap in and listen to your body in certain situations and what it’s telling you?
MARIA RAMOS: Yeah, absolutely. So it’s definitely different for everyone, and everyone may have a different kind of physical reaction or internal reaction happening for them. I can use myself an example. I learned that over time when something is not sitting well with me, for example, I feel almost like an immediate, it’s like a little kick in my gut. Like, oh, this doesn’t feel right, something’s wrong here. But I don’t know what exactly it is. I need time to process and figure out why it is, and I’m feeling that way. Everyone has different physical reactions. That could be a change in temperature in the body. You mentioned for you that you feel it in your chest. Some people can feel the stress or the aftermath of it in the neck, or some people can feel it around their feet and their ankles, and so it’s very different for everybody. And so once you start listening to those cues though, you start figuring out what they’re connected to. And that will also help in helping you determine, well, was this a boundary crossing or maybe I just took the information in a different way in the moment, but now I’m processing? It doesn’t feel like a boundary crossing.
ELAINY MATA: So in that moment, and this is something that I still struggle with all the time, is when I feel overwhelmed or when I feel that somebody has crossed my boundary, I feel that tightness in my chest and I know for sure there’s something up. I still am working on what to do in that moment because a lot of the times it will happen at work, and you may not have the opportunity to go somewhere private at that time to recollect yourself. So what can I do to manage my emotions in that moment when a boundary is crossed?
MARIA RAMOS: That is the hardest part because that’s when the emotional management really comes in. And so that does take practice. I know, it’s one of those things that it sounds so simple, but it’s not. It’s like, oh, yeah, well that makes sense. But it does when you hear about it and people can intellectualize and understand it, but it’s not the same as when you’re trying to apply it or in the moment, and so easier said than done. But the more that you become aware of these things, the more present they’ll be for you and the better you’ll be able to management. So ideally in a situation like that is being able to gain control of what’s going on for you in that moment. You’re likely not going to lash out and go off on this person. You may think about it, but not the most appropriate [inaudible].
ELAINY MATA: I may write about it.
MARIA RAMOS: Yeah, exactly. Right. So if you’re in a meeting, sometimes doodling or writing about it can be helpful as a distraction in the moment, but also if you can step away to take a breather for yourself, that would probably be the best, is to remove yourself if you can for yourself, just to take a deep breath and try to check in with yourself. I’m very big on checking in with yourself, a self-inventory. What’s going on for me? Why am I feeling this way, and is there anything I can do in this moment to make me feel better?
ELAINY MATA: Practice.
MARIA RAMOS: Practice. A lot of practice.
ELAINY MATA: A lot of practice.
MARIA RAMOS: A lot, yeah.
ELAINY MATA: So much. So okay, our boundary is crossed and we’ve had a moment to sort of recollect ourselves. What is the healthiest, most clear way to communicate to that person that, “Hey, you just crossed my boundary back there and I didn’t like it.”
MARIA RAMOS: Yeah, I think talking to someone or approaching someone about crossing a boundary doesn’t have to be confrontational. It could be, “Hey, I just wanted to let you know that when this happened and the way that you spoke to me made me feel this way, and I don’t want to feel that way. I don’t want to make you feel that way, and I just hope that moving forward we can communicate differently.” So you’re being clear and direct about a boundary. Now, the other parts of that is that we then cannot control how that’s going to be received by the other person, and people can become defensive. They can become upset. I always say too, you don’t have to stand around and get into a power struggle with anyone and crossing more boundaries, your own and theirs. It’s like, okay, well, I’ve communicated what I had to, and I’m going to move on from this conversation if it’s not going anywhere.
ELAINY MATA: Yeah. And then afterwards you go to the bathroom and cry.
MARIA RAMOS: And you can cry it out. I’m a big fan of crying.
ELAINY MATA: Me too.
MARIA RAMOS: I know. It’s important to. It’s important to. It’s an emotional reset and it’s okay to have a good cry, a good emotional release, and then allowing those feelings to move on and allowing yourself the space to move on to something else.
ELAINY MATA: Yeah. So I have one last question that has-
MARIA RAMOS: Of course.
ELAINY MATA: … nothing to do with what we just talked about. Well, the answer doesn’t have to be anything that we just talked about.
MARIA RAMOS: Okay.
ELAINY MATA: But what is getting you through the week? It’s Friday. What got you through this week?
MARIA RAMOS: Wow. I think just looking forward to the weekend. I picked up my puppies from daycare today, so I was excited about that.
ELAINY MATA: Oh my God, your puppies are in daycare?
MARIA RAMOS: They are, but I’m just going to hang out with family. That’s also what helps me keep grounded and maintaining good boundaries also, and staying healthy overall is being around the people that bring me joy and doing the things I enjoy.
ELAINY MATA: I love that. Thank you, Maria.
MARIA RAMOS: Of course.
ELAINY MATA: This is the coolest crossover ever and the roles were reversed.
MARIA RAMOS: I know. It’s like you’re asking me now.
ELAINY MATA: Cool. Well, have a good rest of your day and enjoy your weekend.
MARIA RAMOS: Thanks, you too. I’ll talk to you on Monday.
ELAINY MATA: Yay, talk to you on Monday. Bye.
MARIA RAMOS: Bye.
ELAINY MATA: Maria has helped me understand that setting and enforcing boundaries takes practice. Of course, that’s easier said than done, but I can say from experience, it does get easier. After the break, my work friends, who you heard at the start of the episode will be here to share their reactions to Maria’s advice and what they’ve learned about keeping good boundaries at work. Be right back. All right. We’re back. Cheyenne, Dustin, and Jhymon met me in the studio. Not this one. Oh my gosh.
JHYMON MOODY: It’s like a different variety.
ELAINY MATA: Yeah. This is lemony. And yes, we brought snacks. Before we start, let me tell you a little bit about each of them. Jhymon works in IT and he knows everyone in the office. He’s funny, chill, and so patient.
JHYMON MOODY: Lemony animal crackers. Lemony animal crackers.
ELAINY MATA: Yeah, say that five times. Dustin is an animator. They’re the person I go to when I want to get a little bit deep about video production.
DUSTIN BRADY: These brought me back too. Just seeing this one, I remember eating the legs off of this every time.
JHYMON MOODY: The good old days.
ELAINY MATA: And I’m still getting to know Cheyenne. She joined our book publishing team recently. This is her first job after college. Introductions, we’ll start here.
CHEYENNE PATERSON: Okay. I’m Cheyenne.
JHYMON MOODY: I’m Jhymon.
DUSTIN BRADY: And I’m Dustin.
ELAINY MATA: What did y’all think-
JHYMON MOODY: That was good.
ELAINY MATA: … of what Maria said? Was there anything that jumped out at you the most?
DUSTIN BRADY: Yeah. No, I mean, I struggle with boundaries pretty badly. Chronic people pleaser.
ELAINY MATA: Yeah, same.
DUSTIN BRADY: I mean, I have a lot to say. I’ve been through therapy and I think all of us want to be accepted and liked, and that’s kind of where we forget to use our boundaries and communicate.
ELAINY MATA: Yeah.
DUSTIN BRADY: I really loved what you were asking about how do you identify a boundary, because that’s the hardest part, right? We know when we’re feeling bad. We don’t know how to act on it, and that’s the biggest challenge.
ELAINY MATA: Yeah.
CHEYENNE PATERSON: I enjoy that your therapist discussed sometimes you don’t know that it’s a boundary until you’re in the moment, and so in that case, I think we can be grateful for the times that we are pushed outside of our comfort zones, just so that we can experience it right then and there and for the next time, you know, okay, I didn’t really like how I felt in that scenario, and I’m not going to allow, or not necessarily going to allow, but if I do find myself back there, I now have the tools to communicate effectively to assure that it doesn’t happen again and that I’m not brought back to that place of feeling uncomfortable. Sometimes you don’t know and you can’t know until you have to go there.
ELAINY MATA: That’s such a positive, I think, a more forward-thinking way of seeing it. You have to, “This situation really sucks right now.” In the moment, I’m like, all right, I feel this way and I’ll write in my journal and say, oh, I feel angry, or I feel sad, or then I’ll cry. But then afterwards I’m like, okay, cool.
DUSTIN BRADY: Decompress.
ELAINY MATA: Yeah, I’m not mad about it. I’m sad, but I’m glad I wrote it down so then I can read it again and see what I did and what the person did or just as a form of reflection and then a roadmap, literally a story that I get to read. And it’s like, all right, how can I do this differently if this situation… Not if, when this situation happens to me again?
DUSTIN BRADY: Yeah. ‘Cause then that’s the great thing about journaling is then you start to get to see the patterns.
JHYMON MOODY: That’s a good tool. It’s something that I haven’t really given much thought to actually up until, I guess recently.
ELAINY MATA: Journaling?
JHYMON MOODY: Journaling, and I haven’t yet involved myself in that activity, but I think it’s something I’m going to try and pick up because-
ELAINY MATA: Oh my God, it’s the best.
JHYMON MOODY: I don’t know why I’ve stopped. I feel like I was a lot more raw and open and just transparent with my thoughts when I was younger.
DUSTIN BRADY: One thing that – I’ve done this for a long time, and I didn’t realize it was journaling, is I just open up my notes app and I just write down whatever, and then everything is raw and then-
JHYMON MOODY: Just leave it all at the altar.
DUSTIN BRADY: And a lot of the time I don’t ever go back and look at it. It’s just getting it out there, which is huge.
CHEYENNE PATERSON: Yeah. To your point of you never go back, I never go back. I’ve had journals going back to 2019 that I keep them in my room, but I cannot bring myself to just revisit the emotions that I felt because it’s just, I feel like I wanted to get it out of my head and release it somewhere, but I don’t want to pick it back up.
ELAINY MATA: It’s hard. So, I started having a journal type for work separate from my personal journal so I can keep track of, “Okay, this is what I did today. This is the meeting that I had with this person. This is what they said, and this is how I reacted to it.” And it helps me not gaslight myself. ‘Cause I’ve seen that. I’ve noticed that.
JHYMON MOODY: Absolutely.
DUSTIN BRADY: That’s the tough thing too, is you can have a certain feeling about it, and then if you go and talk to that person, they’ll have a totally different feeling about it. And what sucks is that both are valid, and really if you’re just going to have some sort of relationship with that person, like a working relationship, the only way that you can work forward is by discussing that and coming to the middle ground, which also sucks because…
ELAINY MATA: That’s hard.
DUSTIN BRADY: That can be really hard, especially whenever there’s power dynamics or anything like that. But I have this sort of mantra I’ve told myself, and it’s because people have stepped over a lot of boundaries with me. I’ve learned that it’s not what you’re saying, it’s how you’re saying it.
JHYMON MOODY: It’s just the reaffirmation of the [inaudible] that’s like communication really is key with a lot of this stuff. If a boundary’s broken and there’s no communication about it, how is anyone going to know where the breakdown was?
ELAINY MATA: Yeah. So y’all have done it? Y’all have approached somebody here or in your work experience in general and have had that tough conversation of, “You crossed my boundary?”
DUSTIN BRADY: Yeah.
JHYMON MOODY: I haven’t. I can’t say that I have. I’ve done it maybe once or twice in my personal life, and it’s still something… I feel like I struggle expressing myself just in general, if I’m really honest. I feel like I’m a type of person to be able to talk about anything externally with little to no problems at all. But as soon as it comes down to trying to communicate how I feel, something about it, there’s a breakdown even within myself to try and get that out to somebody.
ELAINY MATA: Yeah, it’s hard.
JHYMON MOODY: It can be for sure.
ELAINY MATA: Cheyenne, how do you feel?
CHEYENNE PATERSON: So, okay, I don’t think that I’ve had that conversation in my work life, but I would like to throw the disclaimer that I’m kind of new to work life.
ELAINY MATA: That’s okay.
CHEYENNE PATERSON: This is my first corporate job.
JHYMON MOODY: Same.
CHEYENNE PATERSON: And I graduated from college in 2022, so… Thank you.
ELAINY MATA: Congrats.
CHEYENNE PATERSON: Thank you. So I haven’t had those type of productive conversations. I have just quit.
ELAINY MATA: That’s fair.
CHEYENNE PATERSON: Yeah.
ELAINY MATA: That’s fair.
CHEYENNE PATERSON: Okay. But I don’t want it to seem like I just kind of threw in the towel. I have expressed feeling like I was underappreciated and under-compensated. I think, to me, that’s my not warning, but that’s me saying I’m not really happy, and if something does not change, dot, dot, dot.
JHYMON MOODY: Or else.
DUSTIN BRADY: Well, there’s a base level of respect that everyone should get at work.
JHYMON MOODY: For sure.
DUSTIN BRADY: And I feel like up and quitting, that is super valid. If you think that base level’s not being met, I mean, we got to get a little real in that. Sometimes the conversation isn’t going to fix it.
ELAINY MATA: Yeah.
CHEYENNE PATERSON: And I think with the particular job that I’m referencing, I was just grateful to have a job coming out of undergrad, and I felt like for me to say or express myself in any way, I’m just grateful to be here. I don’t want to step on any toes. I don’t want to offend you. I don’t want you to feel like I don’t want to work. You know what I mean? So that kind of silenced me, but soon enough I just got tired of it and I was like, you know what? This is not okay. But I sat and suffered to the degree I worked on my graduation day. I literally worked on my graduation day remotely and was in the car hooked up to my hotspot. Yeah.
JHYMON MOODY: That’s ridiculous.
CHEYENNE PATERSON: It is ridiculous, right? It is ridiculous. And my mom was like, “Girl, I think you need to shut it down.” “Just one more thing.” But looking back on it, I’m like, that’s ridiculous. I would never do that now. But like I said in the beginning, you have to go through things so that you will know. I don’t know, sometimes you start off naive and it takes that experience to refine you. But in my personal life, contrary to my work life, I’ve had experiences where I’ve had to communicate my boundaries a lot, and I do think that one of my strengths is that I can communicate myself and express my feelings and articulate them in a very, very vivid way because I am a words person. I’m getting my master’s in publishing and writing. I’m into books. So that’s all I’ve done since I was younger was read, read, read, and in reading, my communication skills, I feel like were just refined. So in my personal life, I had to do it as recently as today and just be like, I don’t really think that I’m comfortable with this. So going forward, I would rather that not happen. I think that one thing that I can say that has changed over the course of time is the tone and the delivery in which I do that, and I think as I get older, I’m realizing that it doesn’t always have to be so aggressive. It can just be a levelheaded conversation, and I’ve had a lot more peace in learning how to adopt that proper tone.
ELAINY MATA: Yeah.
JHYMON MOODY: I’ve been in situations on teams where there’ll be an initiative or something that we’re trying to achieve just as a group, and maybe my given parameters of just jurisdiction don’t really stretch out to a certain place, but for myself, I feel like if I were to stretch to that place, maybe we could be more effective just collectively as a group or maybe we could get to this place better or just quicker or more effectively if I were to just stretch myself a little bit more. I feel like maybe it’s a personal call, but I’m not sure what you guys might think when it comes to setting up boundaries in terms of just what your jurisdiction is, as to what you cover. I don’t know.
DUSTIN BRADY: Yeah, no, I have a lot to say. I think as a people pleaser, and I feel like everyone in this room probably has done this, we want show up and do our best, and it can be detrimental. It can affect a burnout. I’ve been burned out many, many times. It’s because there’s some deadline set, and then I put that on me and I want to show up because at the end of the day, I love working with everyone and I want to not break down the wheel essentially and keep things moving. So I’ve been through burnout multiple times doing that, and I’ve actually had to start putting up the boundaries and learning how to do this and start… I have this 5:00 PM role where once it’s 5:00 PM, I’m done, and that changes sometimes.
JHYMON MOODY: Has that ever come to a place where you find yourself in a mission and you’ve taken on responsibilities, but you’ve had to scale back?
DUSTIN BRADY: Yeah. I get random messages with random requests that sometimes are outside of my role, but I’m a helpful person. I try to talk to everyone and know a lot of different things and sometimes it’s going and looking up a video URL or something and pulling the little ID to make sure that they know who created this video. That came up yesterday. And it took me five minutes. It’s outside of the role, but it’s not a big deal. But that five minutes, whenever I got five messages doing the same thing, that can be 25 minutes and then you start compounding time and then pretty soon then you’re underwater and you’re behind on a project.
ELAINY MATA: Yeah. So one thing I want to ask as we’re wrapping up, is there anything within this discussion that y’all learned about with boundaries? Is there something that surprised you the most through our discussion talking about this? Whether that was what we heard from Maria, what we’ve heard from each other. And what are you going to take with you when you walk out of the room?
JHYMON MOODY: I think for sure, journaling and taking my thoughts and trying to break them down. I feel like it’s important to try and step back, reflect and try to break down what that situation was, how I was feeling, what might’ve been going on, for just introspection, try to be better for the next time something comes around.
DUSTIN BRADY: That picks up on what Cheyenne was saying earlier about you got to go through the experience of having those uncomfortable feelings and conversations to get better at them. It’s an iterative thing, and Elainy said that she has failed many times and had to learn.
ELAINY MATA: 100.
DUSTIN BRADY: And that’s the only way we learn.
JHYMON MOODY: Not only, ’cause I mean, we can go through things, but not only to go through them, but to not shut them out as well, I think is where I’m coming from.
ELAINY MATA: We’re human. We have emotions. Accept it and look at it as a more like, I’m glad I’m mad right now because if I’m not mad, then I wouldn’t know that this is something to be mad about.
CHEYENNE PATERSON: So I think my takeaway is there is healing in going back and looking at the continuity and the patterns that lie in my past journals and things like that. I think to your point, as I was talking about that earlier, you said to leave it at the altar. That’s sort of what I’ve been, I guess, trained to do. You go through something and you process it, but you can only pick it up so many times. But in hearing you, Dustin, talk about the fact that you’ve gone back to read the things in your notes app and you go back and you look at the patterns and stuff like that, I see now that it’s important to do that. I think even if I don’t go back and read my old journals, it still lives in my mind. So that right there lets me know that there’s a need there, and it’s something that even if I don’t want to do it in my being, my mind, my heart, my emotions, they’re yearning for that, to process and move on.
DUSTIN BRADY: Exactly.
CHEYENNE PATERSON: Yeah. That’s what my takeaway is.
ELAINY MATA: I like that.
CHEYENNE PATERSON: Thank you.
ELAINY MATA: I think my takeaway is that boundaries can change, and you have to keep checking in with yourself, whether that’s through journaling or taking time to yourself to look at your boundary that has just been crossed, examining it, examining yourself and making sure at the end of the day you’re respecting yourself. Where are my standards and how can I continue enforcing them? Thank you so much for wanting to be here and talking to me, and…
JHYMON MOODY: Thank you for having me. Appreciate it.
DUSTIN BRADY: Yeah, absolutely.
JHYMON MOODY: It’s been a pleasure.
DUSTIN BRADY: Anytime.
CHEYENNE PATERSON: Thank you.
ELAINY MATA: I really loved that we could start our new show by talking about boundaries at work, because I think good boundaries are like a good foundation. You can’t build a healthy career if your boundaries are shaky. And remember, boundaries are rules we set for ourselves, not rules we set for other people. You have the right to speak up for yourself at work, and once you know what your boundaries are, that gets a lot easier. Next week, we are putting boundaries to practice because we’ll be talking about bad bosses. If you work long enough, you will have one. We’ll help you get through it though with a little help from my former boss.
ANITA SEN: People forget that you don’t need to know everything about everything, and it’s okay to ask questions.
ELAINY MATA: Yeah.
ANITA SEN: How many times did you hear you can ask me the same question 50 times?
ELAINY MATA: I know. I know.
ANITA SEN: I’d rather you ask me the same question 50 times than do it incorrectly.
ELAINY MATA: Than do it wrong, yeah. Especially with the printer. By the way, we want to hear from you too. What are your boundaries at work? Do you have other questions about boundaries that we didn’t cover here? We want to help. Send us an email at [email protected]. Bonus points if it’s an audio message. We may use it in the episode. And if you liked what you heard in the episode, follow us on Spotify, Apple Podcast, or wherever you get your podcasts. While you’re there, leave us a review and tell us what you think of the show. Then send the episode to your group chat, Slack, or wherever you talk about work. I want to thank so many people for the production of this episode. A huge thank you to my therapist, Maria, for her expert advice on boundaries, and thank you especially to my HBR colleagues, Cheyenne Paterson, Dustin Brady, and Jhymon Moody for sharing their stories. Did you know that Harvard Business Review has more podcasts to help you manage your business and your career? Find them at hbr.org/podcasts or search HBR wherever you listen. New Here was created by Hannah Bates, Ian Fox, Anne Saini, and me, Elainy Mata. This episode was produced by Hannah, Anne, me, and Madeline Johnson. Our editor is Mary Dooe, and our engineer is Tina Tobey-Mack. Supervising editors are Maureen Hoch and Paige Cohen. Ian Fox manages podcasts at HBR, and our theme song was composed by the fantastic Graz de Oiviera. This is our show launch, so I have a long list of shout-outs to all the folks who helped us get this far. Thanks to Kelsey Alpaio, who was a key team player as we developed the show. To Anne Bartholomew, our Director of Product Management, and Scott LaPierre, our video expert. Our show art is by Kevin Morin, Yulia Baz, and Karen Player. And thanks to our business team, Caitlin Amorin, Alex Shore, Alana Doucette, and Yasir Salem. Audience engagement is such an important part of this show, and we couldn’t do it without Nicole Smith, Ramsey Kabbhaz, Kelsey Hansen and Rakshitha Ravishankar. Thank you also to Adi Ignatius, Sarah McConville, Greg St. Pierre, Erica Heilman, Craig Catalano, and Lucy Perkins. And a special shout out to Donica O’Malley and her students at Bunker Hill Community College for helping us shape this episode. Okay, that was a lot. But most importantly, I want to thank you for listening to our very first episode, and I’ll meet you here next week. Bye.