In the fast-paced world we live in, where we are tasked with delivering business results for tomorrow and want our own needs to be met instantly, talking about cultivating the art of patience seems misplaced. However, as leaders and working parents, the ability to pause, think, and only then act can significantly influence our professional and personal success. In our latest coaching blog, I would like to share the benefits of cultivating patience daily and a few practices that can help you develop this skill.

We need to remember that practising patience is a difficult lesson and takes time; nevertheless, the benefits speak for themselves:

  • Better decision-making and strategic thinking. If you allow yourself to self-regulate and reflect instead of reacting, you can make better decisions for now and the future.
  • Stronger relationships and influence. Having a ready solution and imposing it on others (because ‘it’s obvious and there is no time) can discourage your stakeholders at work and your close ones at home. Discussing different approaches and taking time to influence others can impact future collaborations.
  • Stress and emotional regulation. If you are a working parent and an ambitious leader, I can confidently guess that your nervous system can get overstimulated quite regularly. The feeling of overwhelm can push you into rushing through your tasks and feeling stressed, maybe even emotionally. Practices developing your patience will support your emotional and stress regulation so you can feel more in control.
  • Leadership, becoming a role model for your colleagues and your children. Whenever you react, you are watched. Your behaviour as a leader creates culture at work and shows that this is normal and can be repeated by others. At home, your kids will always learn best by following your example. If they see you cultivating patience or regulating your emotions before acting, they will copy you.

Based on my observations and reflections on working with my clients this month, I would like to share a few actions to help you to improve your patience.

  1. Understand your values, as they are often the key to discovering your triggers. For example, if you value problem-solving and others take longer to accept your solutions or find their own, this can cause frustration and test your patience.
  2. Prioritise and fulfil your role. Knowing your objectives and priorities, setting clear expectations and boundaries, respectfully saying ‘no’ and allowing your team to perform without micromanaging them, will help you create space to reflect, not only react.
  3. Work on your active listening. Approaching conversations with real curiosity and listening to others to learn and understand without ‘knowing the answer’ will create space to slow down and have deeper conversations (at work and at home).
  4. Empathy and self-compassion. Have you noticed that when you try to bring results now, rush through your tasks or chase someone to complete their job, some judgment or criticism often appears? If you try to look at a situation from someone else’s perspective, you can understand their point of view, feelings, behaviours and actions more. Also, if you look at your thoughts driven by your inner critic, from someone else’s perspective, you may discover that this rush and pressure you are putting on yourself is not necessary.
  5. Choose and practise being present. You can try breathing techniques, body scans, mindfulness: observing the present moment through your senses or meditation. When you regularly do these, you may notice that your mood improves, you start sleeping better, you regain focus and clarity of thoughts, and you will be able to react more effectively when the next triggering situation appears.
  6. Rest. When you allow yourself to take a break and rest, your nervous system will have a chance to recover, and when you do something for yourself, you will find more patience for others. I had clients who practised walking, running, yoga, took regular relaxing baths, read books or visited art galleries, and they admitted that it allowed them to have more patience at home and work.
  7. Create your strategy to activate your patience in the moment. That may involve taking a deep breath, leaning backwards to create more physical space, closing your eyes for a little bit longer and/ or choosing a mantra or a question that can help you get a distance and a different perspective. You may try some of the below:
  • If I look back at this issue in 6 months, how important will it be?
  • What is important here?
  • What is it really about?
  • How is my reaction going to impact the recipient of it and others involved?
  • What are the opportunities and risks here?
  • What would happen if I did nothing and let it go?
  • What would my role model do in this scenario?
  • If this is a situation I will be remembered for, how do I want to react now?
  1. Reflect and celebrate your progress. Building your patience will not happen overnight. I would encourage you to write down your mini successes regularly so you can monitor your progress and celebrate your self-development.

If you would like to develop your skill at being patience, please get in touch to arrange a free discovery session and let’s discuss how we can work together.

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