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Sometimes Waiting is Work

business communication May 19, 2024

I could teach a Masterclass in waiting. Not being patient, just waiting.

It’s a large part of my job, and that can be frustrating for someone who likes to be on-the-go, not to mention efficient in attacking a to-do list.

After more than two decades in sports broadcasting and countless hours spent waiting for people to be ready to talk to me, I’ve accepted it’s part of my job. I’ve also come to these two realizations.

Waiting is work. You are doing something. In “real life” we thinking waiting is a waste of time, but for me it’s a large part of success. It’s far better for me to wait until a player is ready to talk to me than to force my agenda and timeline on them. That never leads to the type of interaction I’m looking for and doesn’t do much to further the relationship.

Smiling counts. I won’t try to tell you to be patient while waiting. I’m usually not. I’ve actually found it’s not about being patient as much as finding different ways to measure success. That’s why I smile and say “Hi” to everyone who walks past which is part of the relationship building process. It doesn’t sound like much but it’s a small measure of success and productivity while I’m waiting for a longer conversation or interview to happen.

If it feels like you’re in a lull or if you’re frustrated by a lack of movement toward your next big goal look at the bigger picture. Before you push forward and force activity for the sake of doing something, stop to evaluate the situation.

  • Are you actively waiting?
  • Are the wheels in motion?
  • Is the timing right?

Sometimes waiting is part of the job and can help get you where you want to go.


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