by Darity Wesley
To forgive is to abandon your right to pay back the predator in his own coin, but it is the loss that liberates. -Desmond Tutu
Sometimes in our business world, we may feel like we have been injured and traumatized, either from outside the organization or from within the organization. From outside of your business or work environment, the damage could come from a lawsuit, negative press, false claims against your product or service or a libelous personal statement. Trauma on the inside can occur with a company downsizing, a dramatic employee exit, 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. 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.
Forgiveness is neutral and has a way of neutralizing volatile situations in which emotions run strong. Forgiveness does not ask us to give up our ethics or values, it is a virtuous means through which to give up the emotional charge that keeps the organization or individual upset.
When we incorporate forgiveness into business, it creates a more cooperative 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. 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.
With an attitude of forgiveness, the people in the company were able to overcome highly charged aspects of this devastating circumstance and move on to determining how to proceed. The re-building of trust could begin on the inside and the outside. 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.
Category: Articles from OM Times Magazine