The Virtues of Patience

So far, we’ve talked about change and how to adapt to it. This week we’re going to look at patience, one of the keys to adapting to any change.

During an interview with Phil Lambing, a Support Specialist at Ember IT, I observed how patience is beneficial during times of change. Phil, who is responsible for going out into the field to work with clients, the work conditions brought on by COVID-19 bring him new challenges.

Phil must now walk his clients through their support needs remotely, a significant change from working together in person. In our interview, Phil emphasized the importance of staying patient with his clients and how remaining calm and understanding allows him to provide the same quality of support remotely.

I understand the importance of deadlines; as a college student, I know all too well how inflexible due dates can be. However, operating within a specified period does not mean you can’t remain patient in your approach.

To use a sports analogy, I liken it to a Quarterback in the pocket. For every passing play called, it”s the Quarterback’s job to get the ball to a receiver in time. Each play, time in the pocket, is limited, so the Quarterback must decide who he is throwing to under pressure.

In this metaphor, the deadline is the defense, and we are the Quarterback. We only have so much time before the pass rush (deadline) reaches us, so we must make the right decision under pressure.

Although they are under high levels of scrutiny every play, the best Quarterbacks remain calm and patient regardless of the pressure. The point is that even though we may find ourselves under the scrutiny of time, we still can take a patient approach in our work.

I can personally attest to how patience has helped me transition into my current role at Ember IT.

My first two weeks at Ember IT were a learning experience. Being as though my prior internship experiences have all been in the Sports industry, my tasks, responsibilities, and expectations at Ember IT are entirely new to me.

Adjusting to the new professional practices and habits expected was not a seamless transition. The entire process presented challenges for both my supervisor and me. We each became frustrated at times with communication breakdowns and different expectations on the methods in which tasks would get completed.

At the time, it was difficult to see, but looking back on it, we were both able to quickly resolve any issues because we remained patient. One aspect that helped me stay calm was, to some degree, I expected to hit hurdles early on. Going in, I approached the position with the mindset any obstacle I faced would serve as a learning experience.

In my experience, patience and frustration is a delicate balance. It’s MUCH easier to become frustrated than it is to stay patient. I’ve noticed when trying to remain patient, it helps to change your viewpoint and empathize with others.

For example, I’ve found myself frustrated with the quarantined conditions on more than one occasion. Outside of work, I coach my younger brother’s AAU basketball team, watching old NBA games during quarantine has only fueled our desire to get our team back on the court.

I’ve had to remind myself that our situation is far more critical than sports. Healthcare professionals are fighting every day, doing all that they can to contain and stop the virus. I’ve learned to approach our quarantine, not as a hurdle for my own life, but as something that helps remove obstacles for healthcare workers across the country.

Changing my view on quarantine has helped me remain patient and remove moments of frustration from my everyday life. I would encourage anyone who is feeling frustrated with a change in their life to shift your perspective, act like a Quarterback, and remain patient.