Episode #25 Setting Boundaries

In this episode, I invite you to think about your boundaries for what you are willing to do and how you are prepared to be treated.

Here’s how to tell if you need to get better at setting boundaries:

  • you are frequently ‘dumped in it’ last thing on a Friday evening or over a weekend
  • you are frequently given tasks you are overqualified for
  • you are constantly ‘on’ – checking your email late into the night and all weekend
  • you are in a relationship (professional or personal) where you are not treated equally

Knowing how to set boundaries is fundamental to your success and your sanity as a working parent – both at home and in the office. Without them, you will have no control over what you do and how you work, and there is a real risk you’ll be taken advantage of.

So how do you change this? How do you start being more assertive about what you will or will not do? In a nutshell, here’s what you can do:

  1. Check your beliefs about saying no – if you avoid saying no because you are worried about damaging your career or your relationship look around you for evidence that this is just a belief, not a fact, and it’s a belief that is not serving you. To challenge this belief, consider: who do I know who is assertive and successful? who still managed to get ahead?
  2. Have a range of alternative responses you can use when you don’t want to say a straight ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Here are three responses that work for me:
  • the conditional yes
  • the helpful no
  • the strategic no

Tune in to the podcast to learn more.


I am more than happy to share wonderful feedback about you. Working with you has been life changing and continues to inspire me and help me grow.

Coaching client, Director, PwC Legal

Caroline, I can’t thank you enough for the help you gave me while starting to think of family planning. Your level-headed approach to some of the things I was panicking about has put everything into perspective. Not to mention that talking through and planning how to run my company single-handedly with a child was invaluable. I really appreciate having the after-session documents to work through in my own time and have been referring to them frequently. I cannot recommend a Babyproof Your Life session highly enough when starting to think about children – everyone should do this! Many thanks again.

Client T, UK, Babyproof Client

When I came into the office the following Monday, I could see the effect that you’d had. People were visibly changed as a result of your talk.

Oli Holmes, Accenture

Caroline did a fantastic job as the guest speaker at our latest Women with Ambition networking event: 'How to ensure kids don’t derail your career'. Caroline’s talk was engaging and insightful and feedback from our clients that attended was overwhelmingly positive. All of the delegates mentioned they had gained some sound advice from Caroline’s presentation, regardless of whether they were thinking about having children, were already parents or were managing individuals with family commitments. Caroline has been a pleasure to work with and I look forward to continuing to develop our working relationship in the future. I would highly recommend working with her.

Sally Clare, Head of Diversity, Ambition UK

I wanted to let you know that I have been promoted to counsel. Thanks very much to your coaching I have managed to get through one of the most challenging years of my career and managed to achieve what I had hoped to! I might not have made it were it not for your advice and guidance.

Client C, Solicitor

Caroline came to speak to our Balance Employee Network about “How to babyproof your career so you can balance your life”. I really enjoyed preparing this event together. Caroline took great care in understanding the needs of the audience to make her message even more powerful. The whole process from preparing the event invitation to getting feedback was very professional with a wonderful personal touch.

Louise Walewska, Presentation Client, HSBC Asset Management