“Thank you for your patience” has been a more common expression these days, replacing the “Sorry for the Wait”, which probably aggravated a few people over time. The Macquarie Dictionary says ‘Patience’ is ‘calm and uncomplaining endurance’. It is to have a sense of ‘calmness in waiting; have patience a little longer’.
When we use the word ‘sorry’ it is linked to ‘sorrow’ and thus ‘sadness’ so it may leave the person in a somewhat negative state while ‘Thank you for your patience’ is a positive way of telling you that your patience is appreciated.
The irony is that the more of this ‘country’ I travel, the more I hear the use of the word ‘sorry’. It’s usually linked with ‘mate’, hence the expression ‘sorry mate’. I hear it on the street, at the checkout, with relatives and farmers. It’s become such an ingrain habit. If you think about it though it often comes from a sense of slight panic that we may have disappointed someone so we are in a place of continually apologising.
If you would like to change that habit and come from a place of calm confidence then you may like to say ‘next’ in your head when you are about to say ‘sorry’ and change your statement to ‘Thank you for your patience’. This allows you and the other person to remain positive and to give them a positive intention for the delay or the mishap. Let’s face it ‘stuff happens’. You don’t have to be sorry for it, especially when you did not intend it to happen.
I was on a Qantas plane flying down to Melbourne to speak to a group of people. We are all ready to take off and a passenger decides she has to leave the plane. That means all her luggage has to be found underneath and taken off the plane also. It meant a one hour delay. I now know I am going to be late for my audience. The head Air Stewart is now saying ‘Thank you for your patience’ which actually kept everyone calm because it was out of our control. Had they kept saying ‘Sorry for the wait’ there could have been a different feeling on the plane and thus a different outcome.
When I arrive in Melbourne the head of the audience phones me and I told them what happened. I still felt calm and did what I could to get to the venue in the fastest way possible. I thanked the audience for their patience and told them I had learnt a lot that morning. One lesson is to fly down the night before so I am on time in the future and the other is to remain confidently calm that I am doing my best under the circumstances offered to me at the time.
It only takes 21 days to change a habit. Imagine the positive influence you will have on yourself, your family and the people you connect with everyday when you are thanking them. Give it a go.