We are often told that patience is a virtue that we should strive to develop in our lives. In my experience, patience has been a valuable tool when communicating. When we don’t exhibit patience and/or restraint, we risk losing trust—possibly denting key relationships.
Having vs Being
Let’s ponder the distinction between having patience and being patient and how having a bit more in both areas may significantly improve our relationships. It might even allow us to put more time into relationships that mean so much to us.
While speaking with a friend on this difference they provided these observations: “having patience” is how we inwardly behave and gracefully accept delays on what we desire or feel we need. Remember that having patience is not just being able to wait, but being able to do it graciously. “Being patient” is how we outwardly project our willingness to wait for what we desire without anger or creating ill feelings with those we are being patient with. If we have patience in our BEing we are practicing patience with our body and personifying patience through our actions.
Our Patience With Others
The experience of parenthood teaches us the virtue of patience as we watch these little beings we are responsible for maneuver through the stages of life. Children assist us to slow down, have patience, and enjoy moments through fresh eyes. Do our children test our patience or do we simply become impatient?
The Patience to Improve
We as leaders also demonstrate being patient to achieve the results we want with those we lead. Our followers, like our children, are growing in their roles. At times we must gracefully watch from afar to allow their journey and growth while not hovering over them or stepping in or on their process. This patience can reveal so many other side effects as we continue to practice it. Through patience, there is creativity, intention, preparedness, etc.
As parents, leaders, and teachers, we often struggle to be patient and have patience when projects are not on target or we didn’t get our way (consider that there may be other roots to this problem that need to be addressed). Then ask the right questions, listen a bit more intently, and breathe as you consider options. Four to five seconds to pause and consider what needs to be said if anything at all. Exercise patience more often.
Imagine if we were patient or had patience a bit more often in 2021 with all those in our life! Remember, the people you serve are watching you. Have patience, be patient, and have fun leading. What would our relationships look like and feel like if we as leaders learned to breathe more and talk less?