A great way for your business to start off the new year is by clearing the past and moving forward with a clean slate. One filled with goodwill and renewed energy for a new year of success and prosperity! The way to do that is through forgiveness. Yes, business and forgiveness go together!
Sometimes in our business world, we may feel like we have been wronged or taken advantage of, either from an outside party or from within the organization. From outside your business or work environment, the damage could come from a lawsuit, negative press, false claims against your product or service, being stiffed on a bill or a libelous personal statement. Injury on the inside can occur with a company downsizing, a dramatic employee exit, disputes among co-workers or a merging of companies. Regardless of where the disturbance begins, it can rock the boat of even the most stable and harmonious work environment.
It does not ask us to give up our ethics or values, rather it is a virtuous means through which to give up the emotional charge that keeps the organization or an individual upset.
Often times, it is difficult to stay on course in these troubled times. That’s where the practice of organizational forgiveness can be a valuable way to stabilize the business and bring greater harmony to the workforce. Forgiveness has a way of neutralizing volatile situations in which emotions run strong. It does not ask us to give up our ethics or values, rather it is a virtuous means through which to give up the emotional charge that keeps the organization or an individual upset. When we incorporate forgiveness into business, it creates a more cooperative, harmonious and productive environment.
Take for example the story of a business in which an officer of the corporation had misappropriated funds. It was revealed by the media and created a public relations nightmare. Or a re-organization of a company happens and some people are let go, upsetting many people and causing morale to decline. These are extremely difficult situations to handle from the inside of an organization. The emotions could become poisonous to the well being of the business. People start to dread coming to work and are highly guarded while there.
Bringing an attitude of forgiveness to the corporate environment makes it possible for the people in the company to overcome highly charged aspects of this devastating circumstance, and move on to determining how to proceed. The rebuilding of trust could begin on the inside.
Now I am not saying that we should forgive and forget, necessarily. What I am saying is that if we can take all of that highly charged emotional energy that is pointed at the wrong-doer or difficult situation and apply it toward forgiving and re-building, it would be much more productive.
As an enlightened leader in your business, be it one person or hundreds, forgiveness is a great leadership skill to have in your organizational toolbox. It fosters and enables a supportive environment, creating a space in which even the most wrong actions can be addressed and not have it permanently cripple the company.
When your organization can mitigate powerful emotions with the virtue of forgiveness, it makes for a more productive workplace.
Even in the event of a circumstance that seems unforgivable, forgiveness is possible. Forgiveness is not grounded in the emotions or the intellect. It is not the rational mind that forgives. You can’t rationalize and think your way to forgiveness. It comes from the spirit, from beyond the human thought process. Forgiveness does not ask us to pardon or to excuse the behavior of others. It does not ask us to give up our ethics or our values. Forgiveness is really the means by which we give up the emotional charge that keeps us or people in our organization upset and out of balance. It is something we do to take care of ourselves and our business.
If you would like to experiment with the technique of organizational forgiveness, think about any old grievances, resentments, guilt or anger, you have about your workplace and/or the people you work with and forgive them. Try it now!
“I am now ready to forgive ________ for ________________________________.”
See how that feels? Forgiveness is neutral. It’s about letting it all go. Allow your business to prosper through acts of forgiveness in the workplace.
Have a very happy and prosperous New Year!