I see you in the blurred boundaries of my canvas. -Jugni
For many of us, the past six months has been an exercise in boundary setting. With many leaders working from home, the office walls have come down and been replaced by walls we share with loved ones. It has been a gift in many ways and also a challenge. We spend fewer hours away from those we love as the world of work morphs into something new during this time in history.
Working from home does not mean the demands on leaders recede. Quite the contrary. Leaders are now tasked with reinvention of the “way we do things.” Leaders are responsible for keeping people engaged without being able to see them in person. Leaders are expected to find new ways to create value for stakeholders and clients who are also trying to find their way in this new uncharted landscape. And, leaders are trying to balance work and life, in many cases under the same roof, which is perhaps the greatest shift and the greatest opportunity.
Here are some powerful guidelines to help with boundary setting that work at home, and at the office, but especially when the office is at home. These steps come from the social anthropologist, Angeles Arrien’s work, captured in the book The Four-Fold Way
The Four-Fold Way Basic Tenets:
- SHOW UP: Be open and fully present, not preoccupied. Pay attention to what has heart and meaning. Being present allows you to access the human resources of power, presence, and communication.
- TELL THE TRUTH: It is your truth without blame or judgment. Say what is so when it is so, and acknowledge it is your perspective. Without acknowledging it, you are not owning it is your story about what is true. We all have stories and they frequently differ but that doesn’t make them any less true.
- LEARN FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE: Be open, curious, and permeable. Courage comes from being open, not closed.
- BE OPEN TO OUTCOMES, NOT ATTACHED TO OUTCOMES: Openness and non-attachment will help you recover the human resource of wisdom and objectivity.
In your journal, or on a device you use for reflection, answer the following questions:
- Name one or two ways you truly SHOWED UP and were present to others this week. Choose one example from work and one from your personal life. What is one thing you could do in the coming week to enhance your ability to show up?
- Name one or two ways you TOLD THE TRUTH this week and give an example from both work and your personal life. Explain one situation you can do a more effective job of naming as your truth in the coming week.
- Name three ways you showed you were OPEN TO LEARNING this past week. In your opinion, would others have seen those actions or words as open or closed? What is one thing you can commit to in the coming week that shows those around you your are open to learning from your experience?
- On a scale of 1-10, 10 being completely detached and trusting the process and 1 being completely attached and forcing outcomes, how would you rate yourself in your interactions this past week at work? At home? What is something you can do tomorrow to move that needle if you feel you still have room to grow as it relates to TRUSTING THE PROCESS?
Instead of looking at this time as a loss of balance, it can be powerful if we stretch ourselves to see the opportunity in the blurred boundaries. This is a time of expansion or contraction, and it is a choice many of make each day, and sometimes each moment of each day.
The ‘Office’ is no more. We live. We work. We move seamlessly between spaces, states of mind, disciplines and ideas. -Arper