Is Patience Really a Virtue?

It’s a fair bet that at least 90% of all mothers try to teach their children that “patience is a virtue”.  Like, “You can’t open that present till Christmas, you’ll just have to be patient.” Sometimes you were super excited about an upcoming family outing and bugging your parents to get going, and you got: “Patience is a virtue”, or, perhaps in the car you drove them nuts saying, “Are we there yet?”  The answer was to be patient.

However, when you grew up, you may have found that it isn’t always true that you should have patience!  For example, when you own a practice, you want your staff to be instantly trained, knowledgeable and fully functioning, right?  But is that possible?  Not 100%, … Even if you hired an experienced person they don’t know all your patients’ idiosyncrasies and how YOU like things done in your office.

There are right ways and wrong ways to train staff that will determine how fast they are in sync with your office and your preferences. Just dumping them on the job and hoping for the best is the least likely to be successful.  Having someone in the office who is already totally experienced on those functions train the new person is more ideal.  Sometimes that is not possible, however, and you are going to have to spend some of your valuable time training and correcting.  If you don’t do that, you will suffer mistakes a lot longer and perhaps it will cost you some patients and income.

Conversely

If you are sometimes too “patient” you could be said to have fallen into the deep hole of procrastination.  For example:  From one of your staff:  “Don’t worry, I’ll get the books done and over to the accountant, just be patient.”  Three months later, “Don’t worry, I’ll get the books done and over to the accountant, just be patient.”  That probably doesn’t work for you, right?

Here, the trick is not to “buy in” to the “just be patient.”  You could instead sit down with the person and get an exact schedule worked out as to how the books could be done in 1 week.  Perhaps she needs other duties taken off of her by someone else in the practice for a week so she can concentrate on just the books.  (This is just an example to illustrate the idea.)

Getting things done as close to “now” as humanly possible makes life a lot easier and you feel much more in control when you do.

So, just assess the situation with an eye out for procrastination when you hear “just be patient,” and decide if it can be done sooner or if it is a case of procrastination that needs to be cured.

Have fun with this.

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