In this mini-series, we discuss in detail what we believe to be the Seven Deadly Sins that stop Business growth in it’s tracks. You will find these lessons to be applicable in professional and personal application.
Missed the First Deadly Sin? Catch up here.
Missed the Second Deadly Sin? Catch up here.
Missed the Third Deadly Sin? Catch up here.
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Sin No. 5: Impatience
“What good has impatience ever brought? It has only served as the mother of mistakes and the father of irritation.” ― Steve Maraboli
Whether or not we like to admit it, we all have things that test our patience. While everyone has a different threshold, it is important to know yours, and even more important to know the limits of those you deal with on a daily basis. As a business owner, recognizing this in yourself and your customers can help retain a customer after a frustrating experience.
A few months ago I scheduled an appointment with my favorite chiropractor. He’s fantastic. He knows the adjustments I need, and he’s thorough. I suffer from migraine headaches and seeing him has made all of the difference. As a customer, I have referred many people who suffer from migraines to him. I can name around a dozen people who have become regular clients because I referred them. I have always had a good experience in his clinic, until this last March.
Out of convenience, I will schedule my appointments during my lunch break. Within an hour, I am easily able to commute, get adjusted, and drive back to work with time to spare. Typically, I sit in the waiting area for no longer than 5 minutes.
This time I waited 25 minutes. I was frustrated. Perhaps I felt slightly entitled to instant, A+, no-wait service because I have referred so many clients. Looking back on what fuels our impatience, it was seems silly afterwards. I often laugh at myself. As I got up to leave in frustration, they called me back.
What happened next made all of the difference.
“I am so sorry,” the doctor began, “I want to make sure this visit is free of charge, to show my sincerity.” He explained to me what had happened, a family emergency had come up. In fact, he had cancelled the rest of his appointments that day but knew I had been waiting for a while and saw me anyways. He was sincere. His apology was genuine. I felt silly for being frustrated over 25 minutes of waiting.
As I felt my impatience melt away, I realized he had taught name a valuable lesson. I learned I should never feel entitled to a customer’s business. Nor should I ever feel entitled to a certain level of service, unless otherwise promised. Every other visit had been perfect. I realized a terrible day of service in his clinic was average or normal in every other one I had visited. Yes, he’s that good.
Every day, every client is earned. They choose you because of the services you offer and the person you are. Those two things go hand in hand.
“When we get impatient because something is taking too long, we should remember that Life waits on us a thousand times more than we wait on Life.” ― Laura Teresa Marquez
Advice for Increasing Your Patience Threshold
- Know the environments your patience is thinnest – You will find there are certain environments where your patience is considerably less than it would normally be. I can name a few of mine: in a two hour line at a popular amusement park with hundreds of other people in the heat, in my car during rush hour traffic, and in an elevator full of people. I know these are environmental triggers for me and I have learned how to increase my patience.
- While driving, I listen to audiobooks, podcasts, or classical music. What I am listening to makes all of the difference. Often, I sit in the car for 5-10 minutes after I get home because I am so involved in what I am listening to.
- In long lines at popular amusement parks, we play Heads Up on our smart phones.
- In an elevator full of people, I take the stairs or do meditative breathing.
- Know your triggers – Our patience is often triggered by emotions. There are a myriad of potential emotions that could be the culprit. A few examples would be when you’re feeling: frustrated, angry, sad, misunderstood, anxious, or nervous. It is beneficial to know your triggers so you know when to be extra vigilant and wary to not lash out. Know when to take a break. Stepping away from what you are doing, even for a couple of minutes, can help you reset and regain your composure. Try meditative breathing. You can listen to audio that guides you or try breathing techniques while counting. I found this article helpful.
“Increasing awareness of our weaknesses empowers us to react more effectively when the time is needed.” – Eskae
Eskae | Creative Solution Architect @ Creative Business GURU