10 Traits of a Positive Thinker: #8 PATIENCE
Scott Ventrella wrote the book The Power of Positive Thinking in Business, which is a corporate take on Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s work. Ventrella lists the 10 traits of a positive thinker as the following: 1. Optimism, 2. Enthusiasm, 3. Belief, 4. Integrity, 5. Courage, 6. Confidence, 7. Determination, 8. Patience, 9. Calmness, 10. Focus.
This blog addresses Patience in Leadership. There are several work-related situations that cause impatience, such as bias, lack of interest, ego, poor time management, pressure, personality (Type A: everything’s urgent and must be done now!)
If you can answer “yes” to the following questions, you may be a leader who role models patience…
- Do I allow people time to reach their own solutions?
- Do I caution myself against the “let’s just be done with it” school of fast decisions?
- Do I use techniques that help prevent anxiety from shaking my composure?
- Do I make a conscious effort to consider multiple perspectives before jumping to conclusions?
- Do I practice inquiry before making judgments?
Patience comes from the Latin pati meaning “to suffer.” This is directly correlated with our perception of time and our level of control over our environment. Do we feel like we’re being forced to wait? Do we think there is nothing we can do about the situation? Wikipedia describes patience as “the level of endurance one can take before negativity.”
When we are relaxed and calm, it is easier to organize our minds. The result is a sense of power and control over ourselves. How do you manage stress? What is one thing that you do for yourself EVERY day? Exercise? Meditate? Prayer? Connect with loved ones? Garden? Journal? All of these are proven methods to reduce stress…they are practices that produce eustress. Ever hear that laughter is the best medicine? That is a form of eustress. The “eu” means “good” in Greek.
Eustress is healthy stress.
Eustress is how we adapt cognitively, emotionally, and/or behaviorally to a stressor. If there is an inevitable workplace-related stress situation, then the idea is to increase the eustress to compensate for the environment. If the body cannot cope with a challenge, the body can go into a state of distress or anxiety. However, if the situation enhances physical or mental function (e.g. strength training or championing a business meeting), then it is eustress. Stress Management Intervention (SMI) techniques aim to replace negative and unhealthy reactions to stress with relaxation coaching and other coping strategies.
- Be kind to yourself and towards others. Plato: Everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
- Repeat positive affirmations first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed. Judi Moreo is a fantastic motivational speaker who tickled my funny bone when she said, “I tell myself every day when I wake up: I’m beautiful, I smell good, and people want to talk to me.” Negative ideas produce tension and internal stress.
- Consider suspending or temporarily ignoring facts. This allows us to remain open to new sets of facts. Otherwise, the “facts” as we see them can serve as self-imposed barriers to our happiness and progress.
- Ergo Sum. Practice your healthy self-talk. You are what you think…the mind and heart are our two most powerful organs. Do what you can to fortify them.
- Breathe. Muscles get tight when oxygen doesn’t reach them well enough. Shallow breathing is natural during stress, which is why deep breathing is encouraged in childbirth!
Buddha: In the end, only three things matter…
- How much you loved,
- How gently you lived, and
- How gracefully you let go of things not meant for you.
What are you holding on to that’s holding you back from being the best leader you can be?
Breathe, and be grateful that you can.
Rossina Gil, MSOD, MAIS, is a Leadership and Organization Development Practitioner, author, cultural analyst, coach, speaker, and facilitator. CorporateLookingGlass.com.
Scott Ventrella, The Power of Positive Thinking in Business (New York, NY: Fireside), 2001. (pp. 69-71, 128-129, 158, 164)
©Rossina Gil, 2013