Encore: Practice patience & politeness

By · Monday, June 15th, 2015

This post originally was published March 18, 2010. It’s about patience, but don’t miss the underlying message.


It’s something we tend not to have a lot of these days, such as when we must wait a few minutes to make a bag of microwave popcorn or 45 seconds to reheat a cup of coffee.

Sitting at a traffic light always seems to take up way too much of our time, as does waiting for someone to finish a sentence.

Ah. The conversation. Now we have it — something we can control.

We have talked about reporters and editors having a conversation as the best way to communicate. We have said it here in our blog posts, in our videos, in our book and in our classrooms.

Asking questions comes naturally to journalists. So does being curious. These instincts come together in a good conversation. But don’t stop there.

When the conversation is finished, and you are in the followup stage, such as e-mail exchanges, remember to keep the conversation going.

How? Respond with a “thank you” e-mail. Acknowledge receipt of an answer you had sought. Or, reply that you appreciate the quick response. But … do something. Don’t leave the other person waiting to hear from you.

Patience might be a virtue, but even patience has its limits.

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