Thursday, 26 April 2012

Patience and the Important Meeting

Last Friday whilst on my farmyard adventure we moved some sheep from one field to another. About half a mile of it was along a country road. Obviously when doing this traffic can be affected - which happened on this occasion. A queue of 3 cars developed in the 5 or so minutes it took to move the sheep. One of the drivers asked how long it would take and when told "5 minutes" promptly turned the car around. This has happened before when one businessman exclaimed "but I have an important meeting" and has been known by the farmer as Important Meeting ever since. In both instances the detour taken would have been over 15 mins vs 5 mins of waiting.

I appreciate the frustration - I've been there and done that. When we're busy it's easy to allow our journey to be the most important journey anyone has ever made. To want everyone else on the road to get out of our way. To make moving the goal - especially not moving slowly or even not stopping the goal. It does however highlight some questionable beliefs:

  • I am more important than anyone else
  • Constant moving is more effective than stopping
  • Moving quickly is more effective than moving slowly
  • Others on the road don't have a valid reason for being there
  • and certainly not as important a reason as yours

  • Next time you start to get impatient just look at the underlying belief that's generating that emotion and ask your self about the validity and truth of your thinking.


    Alison Smith
    Helping procurement teams take time to assess the most effective speed of progress

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