Article: Patience: Rewire the lost virtue in young leaders


Patience: Rewire the lost virtue in young leaders

Five unconventional ways to develop this overlooked and underestimated trait which is much needed to develop leaders of all ages.
Patience: Rewire the lost virtue in young leaders

This leadership trait helps in managing relationships at workplaces, help handle problems with ease and convert failures into success. With patience you hear more, you see more and you learn more. On this note, let us see five unconventional ways to develop this art:


If you have the tendency to rush and hurry things in every situation, want to finish every task in the blink of an eye, you crave for your team to wrap up things immediately and can't wait a single minute to make stuff their natural course, STOP. It’s time to retrospect.

Patience - A trait and sometimes referred as a skill, actually makes a leader successful in his journey by enhancing his ability to remain calm and not become annoyed when waiting or dealing with problems or difficult people. Patience perhaps is a combination skill which by default gives rise to self-control, humility and generosity.

Back in the 1970s, there was a study conducted by Stanford University on delayed gratification. A group of children was given a treat of marshmallow and biscuit which they could eat immediately. However, it was instructed that if they waited to eat it until the researcher returned, they would get two treats instead of one.During this experiment, some of the children ate the treat immediately, and others waited for the researcher to return, and claimed for their double reward.What is interesting about this experiment is that follow-up studies found that the children who waited, and claimed the greater reward, had better outcomes in later years. Their parents reported that they were more competent and they had better educational attainment.

Patience is not overt; it does not put a person on display. For some, having patience seems to be a weak action. But, it is one of the most important ingredients of success. It is often included in the list of primary attributes we look for in leaders. 

This leadership trait helps in managing relationships at workplaces, help handle problems with ease and convert failures into success. With patience you hear more, you see more and you learn more. On this note, let us see five unconventional ways to develop this art:

  1. Replace your judgment with curiosity

    If a colleague is late to a meeting, it is not always required to judge him or fume about his lack of respect for you. In fact, this limited perspective can give cause to impatience, anger, and conflict. Seeing workplace events and situations in such perspective often create impatience. Be curious and find out about the real background, the actual reason and move ahead with no self-created judgments.

  2. Identify the trigger and consciously start managing them

    In this hyper-connected world of “instant” living; which gives way to impatience, a slight delay in anything triggers in-equilibrium in the brain. Sometimes being able to accept a delay is much needed. Identify what triggers this imbalance. Find out what motivates those behaviors that trigger you to struggle with patience. Make a concerted effort to take your time and think about everything you do. Start noting them down in a diary and become conscious of your reactions to those triggers. Slowly, reduce your tendency of giving immediate reactions and keep marking these positive changes in your reactions. Gradually you will become more mindful and take charge of the situation with utmost ease.

  3. Be Creative

    Painting, gardening, sculpting, cooking and other creative outlets help develop greater perseverance and patience.It is well known that if you really want to be more patient, purchase some orchids, learn about their growth patterns and try to maintain them. Creative self-expression can be agonizing when ideas don’t click. 

  4. Read, Read and Read!

    All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone’, states French mathematician and philosopher Blaise Pascal.
    Reading help you practice the art of being quiet at one place. By reading, we train and program our minds for what is arguably the greatest human challenge of today’s time. Make a target of reading10 pages of a book every day. The habit of reading is one of the most effective and easy ways to imbibe patience. You can finish a book only if you start reading it patiently.

  5. Self Talk and Practice

    Developing patience is like developing a skill which we all are not born with. It is much like a physical exercise that requires a lot of persistence and effort. You can say to yourself that ‘I don't like this, this is uncomfortable, but I can tolerate it’. Just imagine how it would feel if we never felt rushed, or hurt by another's impatience with us. Isn’t it worth practicing?Take a deep breath and start noticing your feelings of anger (for example, when your team member gives silly excuses for reaching late to the office). Chew your food slowly. By eating slowly, you can train yourself to be less impulsive and more patient. Patience is like a hard-earned discipline - the more we practice, the more patient we become.

Look where you’re going!

It’s easy to conjure up a big idea, a big goal and to do nothing to achieve it. That’s not called patience. Pace yourself in the right direction! Evolutionary theories state that patience helped our ancestors survive. It allowed them to do good deeds and wait for others to reciprocate rather than instantaneously demanding immediate compensation. This process thereby created a culture of trust in people and the institutions around us.

Patience may not be flashy, but it is crucial for your own well-being and effectiveness. Trying to develop patience has never been more important now than ever before.This is what modern psychological and brain science are preaching when it comes to developing leaders in your organization. The road to achievement is generally long. And those without patience may not be willing to walk it. To conclude, one can say that practicing patience in everyday situations will not only make life more pleasant in the present but will also help lead your way to a more satisfying and successful future.

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Topics: Leadership, Life @ Work

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