Patience Grasshopper. Patience.

foot tapping, funny, laugh, business, multitasking, work, professional,

Michael’s in my head again. Jabbing. Jabbing. Jabbing. Gracefully dancing and landing punches like Sugar Ray. With similar effectiveness. Each one leaving a mark. Punch line popping: You are RUDE.

If you want to pay someone a quiet compliment, give them some serious attention when they are speaking.

I’m in the groove. Making up lost time on a long neglected project with a looming deadline. And, then a colleague with unscheduled “drop-in” meeting walks through my door. My flow is interrupted. “It will just take a few minutes,” was the request. Rather than setting expectations as to my time upfront or scheduling a meeting to accommodate the discussion, I reluctantly shoe-horn it in.
We’re five minutes in. And we are wading. In a swamp. My mind begins to wander. (My foot starts tapping. I start playing with my pen. I sneak glances at my watch. TRIGGERS. Susan’s post intrudes: You see the triggers pal. The alarms are coming at you in waves. Pull up. Pull up. Do not go to the “automated response.”
To change a habit, change the automated response.
  • Don’t interrupt.
  • Don’t lead the witness.
  • Do.Not.Hijack.This.

I think they call it “cognitive dissonance.” Repeatedly doing things that you know will have a bad outcome.

Like the little boy who has to pee. Like Jim Carey on Liar Liar. Can’t hold it back any longer. The dam bursts.
  • I know the history.
  • Do we need to boil the ocean here?
  • Would you mind getting to the point.
That was just wrong.
No, Dave, that was just RUDE.

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  1. You’re more than half-way home, for you saw the triggers and the consequences. So, you can either kick yourself for your reaction or pat yourself on the back for having the sensitivity and awareness to acknowledge it. I think you should opt for the latter.


  2. I agree with Mimi–it’s not always easy to recognize where “the train when off the rails” in a timely fashion, let alone admit it. Now you’re aware and next time you’ll respond differently, David. Focus on that..


  3. “Fall down seven times, get up eight.” Changing the trigger is easy to say but hard to do. Arrividerci! (as best as I can spell it before 7:00 AM!)


  4. Thanks for sharing. Some great encouragement above! I am so often tempted to think that the task at hand is THE most important thing…I’m learning to make time for people and trust that the work will work itself out. I absolutely love this quote: If you want to pay someone a quiet compliment, give them some serious attention when they are speaking.

    Thanks for sharing and good luck with your project.


  5. As Mimi said, being aware is the first big step and one many people never take. Big high five to you!


  6. But what do you do when giving people serious attention only allows them to continue “boiling the ocean” and your day is a-wasting? That’s SO frustrating! I suppose I need to learn some tactics that are polite but help to steer things better… except I know that “Ocean Boilers” are very hard to steer. Do I sound like I’m waffling? Or not…or maybe I am…


  7. I have to add that every time I look at the clip with the feet tapping impatiently, I have to laugh!


  8. LaDona's Music Studio says:

    Lessons for parenting, too – do not interrupt your teenage daughter when she’s trying to tell you exactly what you had hoped she would say anyway. You’ve won. But you’ve lost.


  9. Recognition is the first step in being able to make a change….you are right there!


  10. A few days ago I read a quote on a friend’s blog . . .

    “I’ve learned to value failed conversations, missed connections, confusions. What remains is what’s unsaid, what’s underneath. Understanding on another level of being.” — Anna Kamienska

    Patience for yourself too, eh?


  11. Patience runs thin in our blood.


  12. Hi, yes its a very irritating habit while someone is talking.


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