Patience at work involves the capacity to ask questions, listen for answers, seek input from others, and adapt to changing circumstances. Instead of forcing a sense of urgency, patient individuals take a step back to carefully observe a situation from different viewpoints. They thoughtfully consider all aspects of the situation before taking action.

Causes of impatience

Impatience can be a byproduct of a high-pressure work environment that prioritizes measurable outcomes. When employees feel the need to constantly achieve specific goals or performance metrics, they may become irritable and demanding of their colleagues. This can result in frustration for both team members and supervisors, leading to decreased productivity and job dissatisfaction.
The Western work culture emphasizes punctuality, competition, and rapid advancement, often seeking out individuals who possess qualities like ambition, energy, and efficiency. However, many companies are now recognizing the advantages of patience and taking time to assess situations before making hasty decisions. Patient individuals are able to consider multiple perspectives and wait for appropriate answers, ultimately leading to better outcomes.

Tips to improve patience at work

Patience is a skill that can be developed through self-awareness and practice. Recognizing the physical signs of impatience, such as a flushed face and faster breathing, is a good starting point. When this occurs, take a break and try deep breathing until you feel calmer. Identifying triggers for impatience and reminding oneself that some things require time to develop is also helpful. Inc. suggests changing unproductive thought patterns and behaviors, accepting what can and cannot be controlled, being kind to oneself and others, aiming for work-life balance and pursuing a hobby that requires attention to detail. Setting priorities and avoiding non-essential tasks can also help.

Patience and leadership

Effective leadership requires the cultivation of patience. Taking the time to analyze situations and listen to employees’ concerns builds trust and motivation. Patient leaders respond to mistakes with compassion, empathy, and constructive feedback, resulting in fewer errors and reduced anxiety. The Financial Times reports that patient leaders encourage shared ownership in outcomes by involving others in decision-making, even if it slows down the process.