Lead with Patience

by Nimia Acebes on January 17, 2010

You probably became the person you are today because somebody had patience with you at some critical points in your life…When you are patient with a person, you make a long-term investment in them.- Blaine Lee

On November 25, 2009, I posted an article titled Leaders Pay Attention to the Details. It stressed that there are projects which fail due to the leader’s failure to be attentive to details.

Most projects and problems encountered by us are not as simple as they seem.  It needs patience to dig into the details of each task and issue.  Much more, it takes a lot of patience to deal with the people doing the task or causing the issue –  people of varied attitude, work habits and experiences.

We develop the people we lead because people is the life of the organization .  We have to study the details of the project or of the job to help our people improve their performance. We could not teach what we don’t know.  Helping people grow requires patience.  We don’t keep digging up a  plant to know how it’s growing.

A Director is discussing the details of the job with her employees.

When I was  new in supervising people, I was so impatient with the slow learners,  slow workers and those who always commit mistakes.  I wanted everyone to be efficient and high achievers to meet and even exceed our goals.  But, I realized that my impatience has affected our relationship and didn’t motivate them to do better. Later on, I learned to be a good coach to them and most of them thanked me for the learnings they got from me.

In his book, The Power Principle: Influence with Honor, Blaine Lee suggests the following words to say to ourselves to check for patience:

Are their efforts acceptable as a place to start?

Must it really be done now?  This way?

Are the deadlines real?

Where are the pressures coming from?

Are the pressures real?

Is this good enough for now?

Are they good enough for now?

Am I open to their opinions?

How do you demonstrate patience to your people and to your peers?  Please let me hear from you by leaving your comments below this article.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

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