5 Tips for Practicing Forgiveness at Work
When working with clients to heal their money stories and the situations that cause resentment (and is therefore hindering them in the present day), work incidents often need to be resolved. Forgiveness is vital in this work.
Of course, dealing with these situations as they arise saves time later and removes the weeks, months and often years of resentment that lurks in our unconscious and sometimes conscious mind, hindering us in many aspects of our lives and business. So to help with this, here are my top five tips for practicing forgiveness at work.
Work relationships are complicated. We're forced together with various individuals daily and are expected to accomplish whatever tasks we're assigned. Sometimes this means working directly with individuals we normally wouldn't seek out as friends or teammates. Worse, on occasion, these relationships sometimes prove to be toxic without much recourse.
If you’ve experienced a less than ideal work relationship, it might seem like forgiveness is the last thing on your mind. But by learning how to let go of adverse situations, you will find work can become much more productive and a whole lot better for your mental health.
So, how do you practice forgiveness in an environment where people rarely apologize or might mistreat you regularly?
Create a Plan
What do you want forgiveness to look like? In every situation, forgiveness might be different, depending on the circumstances. To some, the act of forgiveness is stepping back from the hurtful event, an acknowledgement it happened coupled with a letting go of the outcome you wish you would have had. To others, it might involve setting new boundaries or restricting contact with individuals.
Assume the Best
It's easy to think your coworker is out to get you when they neglect to tell you important information or leave you out of discussions you should have been part of. At the same time, mistakes do happen. Rather than immediately thinking the worst, try to give the benefit of the doubt. It's much easier to forgive the transgression if you consider it probably wasn't deliberate.
Do you demand too much from your coworkers? Maybe they won't ever open up to you fully or be the teammate you wish they would be. A more realistic expectation keeps you from feeling betrayed or disappointed when they don’t deliver on something you already know they can’t.
Be the Bigger Person
You already know some people you work with are not likely to offer an apology or even acknowledge they're at fault. This is especially difficult if the person who wronged you is above you somehow. Accept the emotions you're feeling right now as normal, then when the time feels right, let them go. Remind yourself forgiveness is something you do for yourself, not for them. Never allow others to own your emotions.
Take Back Control
Allowing yourself to feel like a victim only holds you in the past. To deliberately forgive is to take back control. You are now in charge of who you are at work and how you react to those around you.
Less than ideal coworkers are a definite challenge. Remember to prove your strength, value, and worth by practising forgiveness. Learning to let go of grudges and the pain of betrayal will make you stronger and able to go back to work with your head held high, knowing you are already a success on every level.