Sun | May 31, 2020

Trevor E S Smith | Stressed And Pressured By Impatience? How To Respond

Published:Sunday | February 10, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Ever have the feeling that you have no control over your time?

Do you feel stretched trying to meet seemingly impossible deadlines?

Are you having a challenge working with an impatient supervisor?

“Pat” will be our example of 'impatience is action'. Let us examine how to work with Pat.

If we better understand Pat’s motivation and strategy, we will have a sense of why Pat is so impatient. That understanding should guide us as to how best to respond.


One insight is that Pat seems to want everything yesterday. Urgency is ingrained. The net effect is that your life consists of one unreasonable deadline after the other. You exist in an environment of unrelenting pressure and stress.



Using our DISCerning Communication framework, we classify this aspect of Pat's behaviour as being underpinned by DOMINANCE.

In that mode, Pat's primary focus is on results. Pat is driven by the achievement of goals. Pat simply wants to win!

On reflection, winning often requires extra effort and sacrifice. Success leaves its tread marks.

That is the mind-set that drives Pat's actions.

The issue is that you might not have signed up for this kind of constant pressure. Nevertheless, Pat's actions are impacting your life.


One surprising, high impact approach is to appeal to Pat's primary motivation. Pat wants to win. Pat wants results. How can you use that to deal with the situation?

Engage Pat from a supportive and understanding perspective. Focus the discussion on Pat’s interest in results and winning. Explain that you respect Pat's drive and quest for results. You are happy to be part of the process.

In fact, you believe that you could be even more effective and deliver even better results.

Share that you perform at your best when you know in advance what is required.You excel when given the opportunity to reflect on how best to achieve objectives and are able toplan your work.

Offer to help Pat to identify objectives to be met during the next three months. This could be in the form of brainstorming sessions. Pat would enjoy that as it might throw up new ideas and help refine the execution of plans.Better results!


You need to manage your feelings.

At the very outset, you should reflect on the fact that it is your response that produces the feelings of stress. A colleaguemay welcome Pat’s challenging assignments and be excited to be a part of the team. That colleague decides not to holdnegative thoughts about the experience!

Still others might understand that this is part of the reality of operating in a highly competitive environment and make their peace with it.

You control your feelings. Change the text that you are writing about working with Pat!


The next step is to recognize that you can take action to change your environment.You can be proactive in bringing about new ways of operating.

Instead of allowing an unacceptable situation to continue, you can take action. You have some control over whether you endure or enjoy life. You can make decisions and take action to influence how you feel.

Actions include having dialogue with Pat. You can also change your thought processes with respect to Pat’s impatience. There is also the option of getting a third-party to intervene.

There is of course the option of removing yourself from that environment.

These might be challenging and require courage and a positive outlook of what life outside of the current situation might mean for you. However, compare that to the unrelenting pressure and stress.

Stress has psychological and physical implications. It is important to identify and implement viable coping strategies.


Request a copy of our publication “How To Cope With Stress And Anxiety: A 5-Point Strategy”.


Trevor E S Smith/Success with People Academy solutions align, drive and track performance. Our SPIKE Performance Management, Governance & Compliance e-platform supports Compliance,tracks Performance and guides Learning & Development. We certify Leadership Professionals and Coach/Mentors and develop Engaged, High Performing Teams. Avoid bad hires with FinxSscreening solutions. Ask about howto create your own turn-key coaching business.