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Most people who know me at all, know that personally and professionally, I do a lot of talking.   Communication is essential in our private lives and professionally.

But, sometimes, I have to be quiet.   

In fact, 2020 has been a great teacher for me, both in the global classroom and in my personal life, and one of the skills that I have sharpened, if not learned from scratch, is forbearance.

Forbearance is the life partner of listening.   Listening requires that at least one person engages in quiet.   Forbearance is something more than just listening and quiet.  It is the discipline of self-restraint.

When we refrain from certain words or hold ourselves back from certain actions, we spontaneously create an unseen universe for the person who has come to us for advice, counsel, help or simple companionship.  That is a universe where preconceived notions and inhibitions can be suspended and we provide the opportunity to grow, advance and gain altitude.  

Perhaps most importantly, forbearance creates an opening for peace.  The offspring of Forbearance and Listening are aspiration and creation.   

Forbearance isn’t easy.  At least, I can tell you, that it hasn’t been easy for me, but Forbearance is a practice that bears fruit in every aspect of our lives.  It enhances professional collaboration, problem-solving and personal connection.

AND, Forbearance establishes a kind of private efficiency that makes the moments when action is required more clear and impactful.  It allows us to focus our energy and launch in meaningful, sustained ways when circumstances demand action.

As we approach the close of 2020, try practicing Forbearance.   You will see the power that it will deliver to you and the people who surround you in 2021.