I heard a little story this morning about a woman who, frazzled by her child’s lack of co-operation stated firmly that she had run out of patience to which her daughter replied (holding up a her chubby index finger): “Don’t you have one more patience, mommy?”

In negotiation, patience can be defined as “the ability to withstand the costs of a temporary impasse” which in turn translates into bargaining power. For the mother, running out of patience, meant succumbing to either her daughter’s misguided behavior or to her own explosive reaction, quite likely a lose/lose scenario.

When we are working with people in teams our ability to manage our needs and wants can have a dramatic impact on organizational success. Artful leadership is all about balance, generosity and strength of vision. Yet so many organizations and teams are led by tyrannical managers who misuse their power to get their way. Our culture is a particularly impatient one. Because of this, we ambush creativity, restrict input, settle on mediocrity, ignore robust disagreement and when all else fails threaten those around us.

The child disarmed the conflict by questioning the obvious: What’s the rush?

Patience is power, bargaining power. By withstanding the temporary impasse, by not rushing to push our agenda through, we make room for innovative ideas to emerge