Lately I’ve been wondering whether forgiveness belongs in the work place and have come to the resounding conclusion that, “Yes! …100% it does!” Most exceptional leaders are engrafted with a forgiving heart because they inherently understand that the way to personal and corporate maturity is through not letting personal offenses, slights, or disruptions have the last say, and having the ability to move quickly past them. They understand that failure and blunders, more often than not, give way to growth, evolution, and transcendence. They see failure and moving past conflict as a rite of passage on their way to success. As leaders, they recognize that they are not perfect and they do not expect anyone else to be either. They seek peace and pursue it.
If you and I are like most people, we hold little grudges even though we don’t acknowledge them as such. We accumulate little mental markers similar to the Monopoly cards that say “Go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200”. We quarantine offending persons into little categories like “do not trust this person and most definitely do not like them”. The critical difference between mediocre leaders and exceptional ones are that exceptional leaders see the “big picture” and do not let petty grievances serve as distractions or impediments. Their gaze is firmly fixed on the end goal and they inherently know that harmonious, peaceful, loving work environments are breeding grounds for success in character and in organizational effectiveness. They resolve conflicts expediently and unflinchingly. They shine a bright and blinding light on the proverbial “elephant in the room” and expose strife for what it is. They dismantle un-forgiveness in its infancy.
Exceptional leaders know that in order to maintain a clean, crisp, visionary, and progressive organization, there is no room for un-forgiveness. They lead by example and “walk their talk”. They see the term “Conflict Resolution” as a nice, technical way of saying “Forgiveness Resolution”.
Un-forgiveness is a germ that, when allowed, can pollute and poison a potentially dynamic organization otherwise poised to accomplish great things.
So how can we deal with this deadly emotional virus? There’s a simple solution – name it, confront it, root it out, and move on. Life can be challenging enough without the unbearable weight of un-forgiveness. The minute un-forgiveness rears its ugly little head in the form of slights, dirty looks, off-handed remarks and the like, act swiftly; nip it in the bud, use tact and diplomacy and, most of all, large doses of love. But don’t ever ignore it … don’t ever ignore it!
Your challenge for today, this week, and this lifetime, is to examine all of the ways that you have been un-forgiving and decide to make a change right now; evolve into a better version of yourself – a forgiving version of yourself. I dare you!