Patience...what does this word mean to you? For most leaders, especially those who run school buildings, the word patience invokes several not so pleasant physical reactions. Grinding of the teeth, rolling of the eyes, stomping of feet, or the famous comment "AINT, NOBODY, GOT TIME FOR THAT." To make it worse, the word patience is attached to one-liners like: be patient when something doesn't quite as planned, patience is a virtue, or good things come to those who wait. Great words if you're conducting a counseling session, not so great when you're a leader who needs immediate answers to immediate issues that require immediate action.
So, is there a place and time where being patient can be beneficial? The quick response is yes!! Understanding the actual value of what being patient is all about and exploring some of the benefits that patience has to offer for those who take the time to use it can produce some excellent solutions to meet the most challenging issues and is what separates good leaders from great leaders.
What is patience exactly? Webster says, "Having patience is the ability to tolerate waiting and delays without becoming frustrated or agitated. Moreover, it is the ability to remain calm when facing difficulties and adversity. By controlling one's restlessness and emotions, the patient person can effectively manage the natural impulses that can often lead them astray.”So how should leaders exercise patience Let's look at some ways being patient can be beneficial to a leader?
1. Patience results in better decision-making.
When you Step back and take time to assess a situation, it allows you to see the big picture and gives you time to weigh the positives and negatives. The result of this is that it lessens the chance of you making a big mistake because it is done in haste. As a rule, problem-solving should always require patience and deliberation.
2. Patience helps develop understanding, empathy, and compassion.
Being patient allows the process of compassion and empathy to develop. Taking the time to process your challenges and what it takes to overcome obstacles results in a better understanding of what others are going through. This can also lead to you developing a better understanding of the relationships you have as a leader.
3. Patience helps you understand and appreciate the process of growth.
Two quotes come to mind when we talk about the process of growth. "Rome was not built in a day, and "Anything worth having is worth waiting for." Growth, planning, and evaluation all take time, and taking time takes patience.
For leaders, this is a crucial character trait that can be very useful. Although at first glance, the word patience may be associated with being passive, it is one of the most significant forms of self-discipline. Without it, many for our actions and responses can be counterproductive and waste valuable time and energy. Patience should always be thought of as a time-tested virtue.