The Waiting Game

You spend your life waiting. You expect to wait in line at the post office but other waits are less predictable.

Waiting might seem like a waste of time. But becoming good at it is useful. It helps to lower the frustration that wells up when you’re forced to bide your time.

What strategies can you use to make waiting a pleasant and productive experience?

Be prepared

Develop the ability to shift when a delay occurs. Change your expectations. Have the foresight to use your newly found ‘free time’ to do something useful. Like writing a to-do list, for example.

Observe

Take a look around a waiting room. Most people apart from the very old, very young or very stubborn will be hunched over their phone. Probably trying to beat their Candy Crush high score.

While you wait, watch others. There is a lot to be learnt from observation as any infant will attest to. How does body language differ? What actions are producing positive outcomes that you can emulate? And what should you avoid? Detecting subtleties and applying what you’ve learnt will make you more effective in your future interactions.

Waiting is an opportunity. Next time you miss a flight, don’t curse the sluggish baggage crew, thank them for the chance to hone your people skills.

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