When you are a leader, you go head first into battle, experience joy, success, hurt, failure and disappointment.
Contrary to popular belief, being prone to forgiveness does not make you a weak leader or doesn’t mean that you have forgotten.
Forgiving someone who has harmed you is some way is difficult because you might think that you are giving them a pass, that you are being weak, you are giving in too easily, giving them your power, you don’t love or respect yourself.
Actually, by not forgiving they are holding power over you because nursing negative emotions is only harming you.
Wondering how important is forgiveness in leadership and how to forgive?
The benefits of forgiveness
Forgiveness is a powerful and efficient tool.
Forgiveness is an often overlooked, undervalued gift but it requires strength, character, emotional intelligence and self awareness. Forgiveness is an active process.
In addition, forgiveness helps to resolve conflicts, move forward, promote creativity, build trust and relationships.
Lack of forgiveness in the workplace can heavily affect employee morale, retention, productivity, satisfaction, innovation and cohesion. It can create a toxic workplace.
How to forgive?
People have different values and motives in life. They would not hesitate to hurt you to get what they want, to shift blame and judge. To forgive:
Avoid shifting blame. Take accountability for your actions and take back control of your emotions. When you forgive, you are no longer a victim nor do you become a persecutor.
- Acknowledge what has happened, be compassionate with yourself and give yourself time to recover.
- Own and learn from your mistakes before you make them again.
- Remember that you cannot control the behavior of others and you can only control yours.
In the words of Don Miguel Ruiz in The Four Agreements, don’t take it personally. It is hard to cope when someone’s anger is directed at you. However, their bad behavior has nothing to do with you but everything to do with their insecurities or they are doing the best with the tools that they have.
See an opportunity to grow and see this as a challenge.
Understand that all situations can be resolved. Do what you can, if you can, to repair the situation. If you need to talk it through, have an honest conversation.
- Envision what will happen to your emotions, mind, self esteem if you don’t forgive.
As a leader, encourage forgiveness in the workplace and be a model for forgiveness.
- Don’t let this negative event or negative emotion define you.
Focus on the positive. When we are pushed in a negative situation we can only see the person in a negative light.
- Create new positive memories. Leave the past in the past.
- Be grateful for that experience.
Last Words Of Advice!
The hardest thing is self forgiveness. Our inner voice is most critical of our decisions, actions and thoughts.
If you are the one who has hurt someone else:
- Be honest with yourself
- Forgive yourself.
- Remember that what goes around comes around.
- Think of how you would want to be treated in that moment and if you would have wanted a second chance.
Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!
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