Is Patience a Virtue?
We live in a world where the pace is constantly increasing. An analysis of the history of technology shows that technological change is exponential, contrary to the common-sense ‘intuitive linear’ view. So we won’t experience 100 years of progress in the 21st century-it will be more like 20,000 years of progress (at today’s rate), according to Wikipedia. Accelerating change — Wikipedia
90% of the world’s data was generated in the last 2 years How Fast Is Technology Growing Statistics [Updated 2021] (leftronic.com) . The adoption of mobile devices has led to the mass adoption of mobile banking technologies. 5G network technology is expected to be 100 times faster than the 4G standard, delivering 10 gigabits per second. The technological progress of mobile broadband networks will enhance IoT, bringing faster wireless internet to cars, refrigerators, and other innovations.
Workers in technology companies and other high-growth industries, routinely work 60+ hour weeks just trying to keep up. In the last 40 years, Americans, just on average, have been working longer hours for more weeks a year. The average worker in 1980 put in 38.1 hours for 43 weeks a year. Today, the average employee works 46.8 weeks a year for a total of 38.7 hours a week. Small increase but hey add up!
So, does patience Four Reasons to Cultivate Patience (berkeley.edu) have a place any longer in our amped-up society? It does when it comes to human interaction. You can be impatient with the process, focus on meeting deadlines and project plans and strive to deliver ahead of schedule. However, there is an inverse relationship between being able to achieve the above and the amount of patience you show to the individuals on your team. Give your employees time to finish their thoughts before jumping in. Make sure you listen more than you speak. It can be tempting to jump in right away with your own ideas but resist that urge and just listen and ask probing, not leading, questions. For many people, silence is uncomfortable. A break in a conversation for too long can feel awkward. Rather than succumbing to it. Use it to your advantage. Next time you feel like jumping right in to say something, pause and count to 10 in your head. You’re likely to find the other person in the conversation will step in to fill the silence. If you’re a manager, this is a powerful tool. It gives your people an opportunity to fully share what’s on their minds. How Managers can be more Effective Listeners to Better Lead their Teams (getlighthouse.com)
Different people process information at different speeds. Giving your team members the freedom and opportunity to process all of the information and then revert back with questions will likely yield superior results in the end. They will usually be more receptive to whatever change you are bringing forth as they will have had the time to adjust. Not everyone can move at the same pace and human nature is to resist something until you have had time to think it through.
Start with the strongly held belief that everyone comes to work wanting to do their best. Giving your employees the space they need and being patient with those who move at a different pace is the key to successful leadership!
Originally published at http://sherriesuski.com on September 13, 2021.