Impatience Management: A Step-by-Step Guide

3 mn read

Impatience is one of the most difficult feelings that we hate with all our passion. Understanding impatience is very important for both marketing strategies, personal decision making, and effective team motivation.

Impatience can lead to rushed decisions, desperation and self-sabotage, which negatively impacts relationships and deal outcomes. It is critical for entrepreneurs to recognize the value of patience in decision-making, deal negotiation and strategic planning. Impatience can impede progress, cloud judgment and undermine trust, underscoring the need for a measured approach that considers the long-term consequences of actions.

In two recent comprehensive studies, researchers have examined how the need for closure worsens impatience, influencing decisions such as completing tasks earlier or favoring immediate rewards over future ones, as well as how people’s feelings change during the wait, and change as the end of the wait approaches.

Understanding the Need for Closure

We are willing to pay more or work harder if it allows us to complete a task faster.

The need for closure explains the counterintuitive preference to work faster or pay more. For example, people would pay $1 more when it allowed them to pay sooner and get the payment off their minds.

It’s also about crossing goals off their list, not having the goal hanging over them. Employees, to avoid thinking about reporting before an upcoming vacation, would rather work one hour of unpaid overtime to finish it than be paid to finish it after the vacation.


  • Consideration of desire for closure is an important aspect and explains anomalies in the market, helping to take measures to reduce impatience.
  • The study also suggests why marketing promotions, such as “buy now, pay later” deals, sometimes don’t work. Consumers may not want the stress of knowing a payment is due.
  • For leaders who want to better motivate their teams: people who desire closure are less likely to procrastinate.

Coping with the Distress of Waiting

The distress of waiting intensifies as the wait nears an end.

Using longitudinal studies that measured impatience with real-world events, greater impatience documented was closer to learning the results of:

  1. receiving the first COVID-19 vaccine
  2. and boarding the bus

Follow-up experiments showed that this effect was based on the desire for closure, and that impatience increased at the end of the wait, taking into account how long people had already waited.


  • For example, if there is uncertainty about when a package will be delivered, it is better to prepare customers for a longer wait than for a shorter one. In this case, the package can be delivered before they become impatient.
  • It is also better to inform customers of a delay sooner rather than later so that they can adjust their expectations accordingly.

Channeling Impatience for Growth

Entrepreneurs can balance impatience and patience in decision-making by adopting a strategic approach that combines the benefits of both traits. This involves:

  • Prioritizing tasks, setting realistic expectations and embracing flexibility.
  • Focusing on long-term goals, ensuring that their decisions align with their vision for the future.
  • Driving entrepreneurs to take swift action, such as meeting a deadline or addressing a critical issue, leading to better outcomes.
  • Inspire innovation, creating technologies that can help curb impatience by providing instant access to information and optimizing processes.

How to Handle Impulsive Tendencies in Leadership

By recognizing the negative effects of impatience and working to overcome them, entrepreneurs can develop strategies to manage their impulsive nature:

  • Seeking feedback and guidance;
  • Embracing failure, developing a growth mindset, and celebrating small wins.

How to Handle Impatient Clients or Partners

To effectively communicate with impatient customers/partners and foster positive relationships use strategies such as:

  • Attentive and empathic attitude;
  • Сlear and proactive communication, transparency and regular updates;
  • Сollaborative problem solving and continuous improvement.

Ending Strong

The peril of impatience lies in its potential to drive hasty decisions and self-sabotage, casting a shadow on desired outcomes. Entrepreneurs, in particular, must grasp the essence of patience to steer clear of pitfalls and cultivate trust through well-considered actions.

Research exploring the concept of closure sheds light on how impatience shapes our decisions and behaviors, offering insights into our responses to waiting. Navigating the discomfort of anticipation calls for adept management of expectations and effective communication strategies.

Entrepreneurs can leverage impatience as a catalyst for growth by blending it with patience and strategic planning. Overcoming impulsive inclinations in leadership entails a journey of seeking feedback, embracing setbacks, and celebrating incremental victories. When engaging with impatient clients or partners, a proactive and empathetic approach, coupled with transparent communication and collaborative problem-solving, lays the foundation for nurturing enduring relationships.

author avatar
Olga Odemchouk Medvedeva
🗣 LinkedIn Top Voice 🦾 Leadership Development | Ecological Leadership Method ♻️ Business Coaching | Women's Empowerment

One thought on

Impatience Management: A Step-by-Step Guide

  • Vasilii Zakharov

    This article offers valuable guidance on understanding and managing impatience, a trait that can be detrimental to both personal and professional success. The author highlights how impatience can lead to poor decision-making, strained relationships and, ultimately, hinders progress. This is a must read for anyone who is struggling with impatience and wants to cultivate more measured and strategic approaches in their lives.

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