It’s hard to value qualities such as patience when we are constantly exposed to stories of “overnight success” in the business world. Why should we exercise patience when we can pre-order our coffees, connect instantly with potential dates, and select same-day delivery on purchases? We don’t need to wait and we don’t have to deal with the hassle of delays and inconvenience.
Despite how overused the phrase is, “overnight success” is a myth; in fact, success is built upon grueling hard work and determination. The latest and greatest startups you read about on your morning commute may have achieved their notoriety overnight, but their success was long in the making. And while long hours, great ideas, and trial, error and even failure can help you succeed, it’s ultimately the virtue of patience that carries you through the ups and downs and works as the underlying wave successful people ride upon.
In today’s impulse society where instant gratification rules, patience has become a lost art. Here’s a guide to practicing patience in the workplace and leveraging it for your own career gain. These are the five ways effective leaders practice patience in the workplace:
1. Do not make rash judgements
Impulse and frustration can often put us in foot-in-mouth situations where we react too quickly and jump to the wrong conclusion. To be an effective leader in any work place, you must be objective, free from judgement and personal influence to understand the viewpoint of others.
Being impartial and actively listening before passing comment and making decisions can go a long way in building open communication and trust in your team.
2. Consider other viewpoints
We can learn so much from how others handle difficult workplace situations, whether good or bad. By understanding frustrations you can work to achieve an action plan in any situation to resolve conflict. By evaluating real scenarios in the workplace and the tensions that arise, as well as the resolutions that are born, you can help build a successful step-by-step plan to help overcome common workplace challenges.
Furthermore, by understanding your employees and coworkers frustrations better, you are better equipped to communicate with them, set in place the frameworks to ease their struggles and build a better system of resolution for them suited to their needs and style.
3. Adopt a Calm Persona
When dealing with challenging situations it’s important to remind yourself to remove your personal feelings towards the situation and approach it with a calm, positive frame of mind. Being impatient and frustrated only exacerbates the issues and adds to the negativity of a situation.
Practice breathing deeply, and smile! When questioning your employees, it’s important that they feel they can share their feelings without fearing your wrath. Ask, and calmly wait for the response. This approach will make the dialogue much easier and will allow you to get to the root of the problem faster.
4. Ask for help
If you don’t feel as though you are prepared to seek out the resolutions, alone, then don’t. It’s always okay to not know all of the answers all of the time. Reaching out to a trusted friend or colleague can be very beneficial in gaining some practical advice. If they’re not directly involved or impacted, an objective point of view can be valuable. Exercising patience here is important as you do not want to escalate the issue further or sweep it under the carpet if you’re not in a place where you think you can resolve it alone.
5. Be accountable
Oftentimes as a leader, personal frustrations and impatience are born from dealing with employees who don’t take direction very well or make poor decisions. It’s important to find the source of this behavior and be honest with ourselves if the issues stem from poor leadership and unclear instructions. By exercising patience to uncover underlying issues with your employees you can stand to build a better working relationship and a better informed, productive employee and team.
How do you exercise patience? Check out this great article to get a greater understanding on what triggers our impatience and how we can take steps against it.