There will be people that you meet who grasp concepts slower than you and others around them. These people are either plagued by inexperience in the domain which they’ve been thrown into, or are merely slower at grasping concepts than others. There will be times when you begin to lose patience with these people and feel like taking tasks on alone, assigning responsibility to others, and generally pushing the slower folks away from doing important tasks.
Do not fall victim to those feelings. It is critical for you to enable those who are in the learning phases and support them via patient guidance. Being patient and supportive not only enables them to grow individually, but you enable your team to get better. Most of all, you improve yourself in the process. It may be difficult to connect the dots between being patient in the face of others’ education and your own personal improvements as a result. However, below are examples of how being patient towards, and enabling, the learning process of others can benefit your overall influence as a result.
People Respect Those Who Contribute to Their Learning
Think back at the time you spent in school. Who were your favorite teachers? Though they may have been personable and likable in how they interacted with you, they were also likely to be conducive to your learning. Their likability stemmed from a desire for the children in their class to learn. Thereby an attitude of being supportive and patient towards the learning process of others garnered them respect. The same will apply to the people around you whose learning you support. Once they begin to grasp concepts and their progress comes to fruition, your support will be respected on a deep level.
The respect which you garner from being supportive when others are having a difficult time grasping concepts can help you in a myriad of ways. In the professional realm, you will have people who trust and respect your opinions based on their history with you. These people will understand your patient nature and ability to let things play out. Your growth as a leader will be facilitated by the individuals that you lead.
Being supportive in the education of others is one of the better ways for garnering the individual respect which is important for the growth of your influence. You kill two birds with one stone by supporting those who are struggling to get going, you gain their respect, and you improve the quality of your team at a level which cannot be attained by merely hiring a skilled worker to replace those who are struggling.
The Positive Effect on Your Team
If for instance, you are managing a team which includes a few members who grasp concepts slower than others, you have a few options of how to solve that issue. You can arrange to hire talent to either replace, or support your team’s efforts in completing work. You can also reallocate tasks so that those who are slower in completing them can have more time to get a grasp of things. However, the effect you will have on your team by personally being supportive, encouraging, and patient when members of your team are struggling to learn is more positive than you think.
Your ability to support those who struggle on your team will display your positive characteristics to everyone on your team. When people see others being patient with those who are struggling in any domain, they begin to feel confident that if the time comes for them to struggle with a task, there will be less pressure on them. People like seeing those who struggle being supported, because we all dread the feeling of added pressure in times of difficulty.
A leader who is supportive of those who are in the process of improving and learning indirectly communicates positive qualities to others in the group. The respect you garner from others will increase, and the mood will be one of supportive teamwork. Your team will pick up the habits which you display with those who struggle most, and your workload in that aspect will begin to decrease. Supportive behavior will increase among your team members, facilitating a more positive working environment. These are only some of the reasons why you should be supportive of those who are in the process of learning.
Never put pressure on those trying to improve, and always look out for their needs. Your first priority should be to help them get to a level which will help them contribute to the goals of your team. However, be wary of being under pressure yourself to meet timelines and goals, as these pressures will cause you to place added pressure on those who are slower than the rest. It is a delicate balance between the needs of the individual and the needs of the group. You should prioritize the leaning of the individual, in an effort to increase the quality of work your team does in the future.