Six months into the Covid-19 crisis, I was discussing topics for an upcoming leadership workshop for women surgeons. By that time, all healthcare workers had been under enormous strain for months. I was sharing with the chairperson which themes my coaching clients had found useful in that timeframe, and when I mentioned boundaries, she said, “That’s the one.”

Women leaders routinely juggle family needs, a demanding career, and finding time for self-care. Feelings of frustration and resentment surface when boundaries are pushed beyond comfort time and again. During the pandemic, that may have translated into extraordinarily long hours or balancing work while home-schooling young children.

Understanding how critical healthy boundaries are and using the setting boundaries worksheet will help you develop greater resilience and impact.

Healthy Boundaries Support Resilience

The solution for women leaders is managing boundaries with clarity, respect, and firmness, but in a way that supports resilience and leadership impact. Women physician leaders need a defined method of setting these boundaries and then trust they can follow through and enforce the boundaries they establish. 

Successful leaders across all industries have in common a clarity about who they want to be, how they want to interact with others, and what they want to achieve. Lucidity on these issues helps achieve better outcomes, but it also allows leaders to feel more positive and stable amid chaos.

The 3Cs of Healthy Boundaries™

My process to establish and maintain boundaries teaches women leaders to:

Clarify – Identify your boundary and the consequence for violating it to be sure it’s worth following through on.

Communicate – Make your boundary request simple and direct so you can assess whether or not you’ve reached an agreement.

Confront – Resolve the issue without guilt or conflict so that you have the opportunity to preserve the relationship. 

The setting boundaries worksheet, linked to at the bottom of this article, goes into more detail about using the 3Cs.

Maintain Boundaries for More Resilience and Impact

Healthy boundaries allow you as a physician leader to exercise control over where you spend your precious time and attention. Clarity about how you want to interact with others, both at home and in your career, boosts your resilience. When you feel more positive and stable, you get better outcomes, and you are confident that you can keep up your good work. 

One of my clients said the 3Cs process helped her reach agreement on an emotionally charged boundary with her husband. She used the process and got agreement on a boundary challenge that had been draining her energy. Now she has more capacity to focus on that critical project at work.

Using the Setting Boundaries Worksheet

Use the setting boundaries worksheet next time you are struggling to set an important personal boundary.

Click here to download your copy of The 3Cs of Healthy Boundaries worksheet.

Additionally, if you have questions or want help getting started, you can contact me to book a consultation.

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