Different situations call for different levels of tolerance. Let's take some examples to drive home the point.
- Colleague/Friend/children drinking and driving; Zero Tolerance
- Employee cheating on an expense statement; Zero Tolerance
- Your child lying to you; Zero tolerance
- Employee under performing because she has a learning curve; A mutually agreed level of performance and a stipulated time elapse before your tolerance will go to zero.
- An employee under performing because of an attitudinal problem; Mutually agreed performance level and clarification of your zero tolerance level.
There are many areas in our life we need to examine and think through to set our tolerance levels. While it is not realistic to have zero tolerance in all areas of our life, we, however, should be clear, in our minds, about our tolerance threshold.
Some sample areas to think through:
- Disorganized house
- Unplanned work
- Our weight
- The amount of sleep we get
- The time lapse between our vacations
- The amount we spend beyond our limits
- The amount of time lapse before we prepare for an exam
- The amount of time lapse before we submit our reports
- The amount of project delay before we put our foot down
- The number of customers lost before we re-look at our strategy
It is important to set standards of performance and determine our tolerance levels. It is my experience that the higher the standards we set for ourselves and others and lesser the tolerance levels we attribute to them, the more the chances we have that we perform at these high standards levels.
If you don't set standards and if you have not predetermined your tolerance level, you will, sooner or later, break your back because very soon, if not immediately, the last straw will be placed on your back.
I don't think you can go too far with a broken back.
Setting standards and tolerance levels for yourself and others will be one of the most fruitful activities you ever could undertake.
Now tell me how much will you tolerate the time lapse before you set standards and tolerance levels for various areas in your life?