[Wikimedia-l] Patience

ENWP Pine deyntestiss at hotmail.com
Fri May 17 19:25:14 UTC 2013

> Date: Thu, 16 May 2013 12:47:08 -0700
> From: Michael Snow <wikipedia at frontier.com>
> To: wikimedia-l at lists.wikimedia.org
> Subject: Re: [Wikimedia-l] Patience
> Message-ID: <519537BC.6000503 at frontier.com>
> Content-Type: text/plain; charset=UTF-8; format=flowed
> On 5/16/2013 11:52 AM, ENWP Pine wrote:
> > I agree that patience is a very important virtue in some situations, such as when we coach newbies or seek consensus among many people. But it's sometimes not a virtue, such as in many crisis situations. As a metrics and performance enthusiast, I feel that it's possible to have an appropriate mix of patience and impatience, and people should be appropriately accountable for their performance.
> I suppose it depends what implications you attach to those words, but I 
> would not recommend using "impatience" when what you really want is 
> "urgency". In my experience, the self-discipline that goes into everyday 
> patience can actually remain a virtue in crisis situations as well, as 
> it may help you remain clear-headed and make better decisions than you 
> would if you let the circumstances overwhelm your ability to think 
> rationally. And as Fred points out, a big part of my message relates 
> especially to making emergencies out of things that are not.
> I also do not believe that patience is in any way incompatible with 
> accountability. Patience does not require ignoring commitments, 
> discarding performance evaluation, or even disregarding agreed 
> timeframes. However, it does mean that the results of the evaluation 
> should be well-considered and any consequences appropriate to the 
> circumstances. Impatience tends to drive us to choose excessive 
> consequences, like a lot of the "somebody should be fired" kind of talk 
> over things that are honest mistakes.
> --Michael Snow

I think I understand your distinction between urgency and impatience in
the sense that the former doesn't necessarily imply the brusqueness
that the latter can.

Whether a situation is an emergency is sometimes subjective. I think
that someone on this list pointed out that something that's a crisis
for one entity may be viewed as a minor issue by another entity.

I agree that employment consequences for poor performance
should be carefully considered prior to implementation. However, 
sometimes demoting or firing someone is appropriate, even if a poor 
decision was an "honest mistake". Serious negligence is unacceptable.

On the other hand, it's also a good idea do praise and celebrate
success and good performance, as we're doing now with regards 
to Spanish Wikipedia's significant milestone.


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