We are proud to share the next in our series of TRE’s cultural “roots”, guideposts that have been identified by TRE as critical to our work. Read more about this organizational effort at www.tre.org/blog-tre-roots/.
TRE Root #19: SHOW PATIENCE
Show Patience is an important Root for the work we do at TRE and for each of us personally. Our systems are complex and require that we take the time to navigate them effectively as well as interact thoughtfully when the system is not working as we expect it to. Personally, showing patience can actually support more effective and efficient problem-solving and stronger solutions.
Today’s world provides us with significant amounts of information very rapidly. This has set a faster pace of gaining knowledge and drawing conclusions. It has also set an expectation for us that we can expect things to happen quickly and when it doesn’t, we get frustrated. Our tolerance for frustration has also lessened. Patience is often seen as a virtue, but it is also a tool for managing frustration and driving effective problem-solving.
Showing patience has been a life-long lesson for me. It is not one of my strengths. However, I have learned through my mistakes of making decisions too quickly or forcing solutions before they are fully thought out, that I end up even more frustrated and I have to take even more time to correct the mistake. Practicing the pause has become an effective tool for me since patience does not come naturally. I try to recognize when frustration is building, stop and focus on my breathing, and pause before responding. Recognizing what your body is telling you about how you are feeling about a situation is a great tool for taking action in the most effective way. Pausing also allows me to Listen Generously and seek other perspectives before moving forward.
Taking deliberate action and looking ahead and anticipating in order to be proactive are necessary and important in our work but balancing this with patience is also necessary. Patience can elevate the power of our deliberate and proactive actions. Joyce Meyer says, “patience is not simply the ability to wait – it’s how we behave while we’re waiting.”
Patience requires trust – trust in ourselves, trust in the process, trust in others, trust that we will resolve the issue. Trust is grounded in relationships with people. It is bolstered by Clarifying Expectations and Honoring Commitments.
Showing patience is also about letting go of control and embracing the sometimes complex “flow” of a situation. I lived on the Jersey Shore for a while and there were often news stories about the rip tides that threatened swimmers in the ocean. The recommendations given to people who find themselves in a rip tide is to not fight against or swim into the rip tide to try and get back to shore, but to swim parallel to the coast along with the rip tide until you get to a place where you can make it to shore. This is a good analogy to letting go of control and showing patience. This is also captured in the quote “Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than the one you have in mind.” –David G. Allen
As you go through your work, consider the following:
- Talk within your team about the power of patience and share examples you have experienced that support this.
- Reflect personally on your ability to show patience. What strategies do you use or could you use to support showing patience?
- Share some quotes on the power of patience.