Patience and Team Building

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Do you remember the last time you lost your cool at at work?

Perhaps it was because you were waiting for others to show up to start a meeting. Or you had an employee say the wrong thing to you at the wrong time. Or the AV equipment froze at the start of a very important presentation you were about to give.

Whatever the reason, losing your patience doesn’t solve anything. Most of the time it hurts you, the person we are impatient with, and your reputation. In fact, people who are impatient are often catergized as:

  • Arrogant
  • Insensitive
  • Impulsive
  • Poor decision makers and
  • Judgemental.

Not exactly wonderful characteristics, right? So, what are the causes and what should you do about them? Below, are the two major causes and five things you can do to keep patience in your plan.

TWO MAJOR CAUSES

Triggers

Most acts of impatience are caused by a “trigger” mechanism.

Without a doubt, we all are progammable beings. We encounter something and “wham” we think we know the potential outcome because we encountered that same action or feeling with another human being whether it be a co-worker, friend or ex-wife.

But the truth of the matter is this: That person who TRIGGERED your emotion is not the person who PROGRAMMED it. And all of the sudden, the person you work with experiences an anger in you that they do not understand. If the situation is not handled properly, they will lose all respect for you and the relationship will be damaged irreparably.

Physical Factors

In addition to triggers, lack of sleep, food and dehydration can also cause impatience. In fact, researchers now believe that a good night’s sleep can be the answer to many problems including productivity and creativity issues.

THE KEY TO PRACTICING PATIENCE: Know Thyself

In team building, patience is the glue that bridges teamwork and camaraderie. The most important thing to remember, is you need to know your own emotional threshold. Some people think first and emote later. Others emote first and think later. If you think first, most likely you have some level of patience and have learned to filter through your emotions. However, if you are emotional, you may wish to practice the following:

  1. Get the heck out of there. If possible, get away from the situation that is causing you stress. If it is a meeting and you are chairing it, end it until tomorrow. Go take a walk. The main thing is to get away from the person or thing that is causing you to lose your cool.
  2. Slow everything down. For a sundry of reasons, you may not be able to leave. Instead, slow your breathing, talk and movements way down. This will give your brain a chance to decompress what is happening.
  3. Become an active listener. Rather than reacting to the situation at hand, listen to what is being said and reflect upon it. Repeat what the person said and ask a lot of questions. Don’t give an opinion at that moment; just reflect on what the other person said.
  4. Remind yourself there rarely is an upside to impatience. For all the reasons listed above and the fact that it brings stress into the workplace, it is best to be patient!
  5. Practice acceptance. You are not going to be able to change your job, boss or life by being impatient. Instead, if you do not like your co-workers or boss, look for another job. If you don’t like things in your life, change them or change your attitude.

Fun Team Building based in Atlanta, Georgia is a national team building organization that works with employees to build patience and trust in the workplace. Give owner Larry Lipman a call at 770.333.3303 to understand all that Fun Team Building can offer your organization!

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