Forgiving in the Workplace
“The willingness to forgive is a sign of emotional maturity. It is one of the great virtues to which we all should aspire. Imagine a world filled with individuals willing both to apologize and to accept an apology. Is there any problem that could not be solved among people who possessed the humility and largeness of spirit and soul to do either — or both — when needed?”
― Gordon B. Hinckley
Forgiveness is relevant when living any aspect of life to the fullest, but it’s especially important in the workplace. This is where we spend most of our time with others day in and day out.
When we forgive our co-workers and team members, we set ourselves up to move forward to meet the next task, free and clear of biting our tongues and wishing the situation were different.
While unforgiveness pours on the guilt of errors in hindsight, forgiveness allows the negative feelings of mistakes and missteps to fall away.
Why? Because the person forgiving realizes that he or she needs to be clear more than anyone else.
When we don’t forgive our co-workers and teammates, we hold on to negative energy and feelings that want to pass through us. We just don’t allow them to go on by.
Whether its the boss who is too critical, the co-worker who won’t do the job, the competitive teammate who only wants to get ahead, or the manager who was disrespectful, unforgiveness builds up.
This “holding on,” powered by I’m right or I’ve lost, traps the feelings within, where they cause a plethora of physical, mental, and emotional damage.
Sometimes that damage takes months and years of unconscious conflict playing out in our relationships until we realize we need to let go of our own old, hurt energy.
The good news is that holding on is no one’s fault, but it’s ours to change if we choose.
Here are three tips to fire the holder and hire the forgiver within in the workplace:
1. Forgive Yourself – The toughest task with the most benefits. Allow the critic within you to take a break. Who benefits? You do!
2. Accept the Apology You Will Never Receive – They may never apologize. Why do we continue to suffer waiting on it? No need. Accept that unspoken apology within you and move on. Who benefits? You do!
3. Be grateful – Forgiveness is an act of love and an act of service in the workplace. Follow forgiveness up with the positive emotion of gratitude. It demonstrates that you have the courage and conviction to let go even in the face of someone else’s harsh words or actions. Our internal health and happiness is what’s at stake. Who benefits? You do!
Forgiveness creates an environment of learning from mistakes, freedom for success, higher performance levels, and a greater sense of employee loyalty.
Forgive and move forward…for you.