Setting personal boundaries is crucial for your sense of psychological safety and overall wellbeing. Equally important is respecting others’ boundaries. It’s a vital part of successful leadership and maintaining effective working relationships.

Horses are excellent at setting and respecting boundaries. It is actually part of their way of life. They instinctively know that if an individual can set and maintain boundaries, they can keep themselves safe and are not a liability to the safety and unity of the herd. When we work with horses, they expect the same from us.

While discovering and enforcing our boundaries is empowering, it’s not often easy to do for us humans. We must learn to have confidence in ourselves, and to communicate our boundaries to others. On the flipside, we also need to recognise and respect the boundaries of others.

Some ways you can ensure you are respecting the boundaries of others include:

  • Good communication skills including active listening, clear articulation and non-verbal cues.
  • Empathy to see situations from the point of view of others.
  • Self-awareness so you can understand how your behaviour is interpreted by others.

Is setting boundaries something you’re good at? How do you cope when someone crosses a boundary with you? Have you ever unintentionally crossed someone else’s boundaries? How did you handle it?