Forgiveness: The Invisible Derailer that Frustrates Leaders
Attitudes are invisible but they always show themselves somehow. Your attitude toward disappointment can make or break your leadership.
The way you deal with disappointment is a lid or a platform.
Stumbling toward derailment:
- Unresolved disappointment leads to negative ruminating.
- Negative ruminating leads to anxiety and frustration.
- Unresolved frustrations lead to resentment.
Resentment derails success.
Forgiveness is always appropriate. An offense that lives in your heart rots your life, pollutes your perspective, and
The challenge of forgiveness can’t be delegated.
You’re the only one who can kiss an offense goodbye. It doesn’t matter what other people have done or will do.
Forgiveness is always about you.
Forgiveness isn’t about how deserving someone is. It’s about how big your heart can grow.
Forgiveness is letting go of the desire to punish.
Resentment is holding pain in your heart.
Resentment is messy. It always splashes bystanders.
Resentment always contaminates others. Friends who weren’t directly involved in your issue take offense. They choose sides in a battle that isn’t theirs.
Resentment on a team grinds down trust and fractures relationships.
Forgiveness is letting go of an offense.
Forgiveness is a repetitive process.
The strength to extend forgiveness comes from received forgiveness. People give you second chances all the time.
The next time you struggle to forgive remember that others have forgiven you.
Forgiveness is always appropriate, but reconciliation might not be.
The opportunity of reconciliation involves others.
It’s not appropriate to restore a close relationship with an abusive spouse, for example, but it’s always right to forgive them. You might not reconcile with an employee who stole, but forgiveness still applies.
Always extend forgiveness even if reconciliation is inappropriate.
What aspects of forgiveness seem most difficult?
There are the cases where forgiving is of the extreme difficulty for anyone (violent crimes towards an individual being the primary in my mind). But for those in the sense of lea dership forgiveness is a state of mind.
It requires self-awareness (what is causing this feeling towards this person inside me, why and how can I mitigate it); it also requires empathy (what led this individual to make the mistake? Was it something that fell in the red side of the failure spectrum, where it was malicious, fraudulent, careless).
Lastly the leader should probably take another look at what is his/her fault in the mistake (were there signs that I overlooked; ignored? Is the process that I own by default slightly jacked up to a point this person made the mistake that I now deem unforgivable? Did I fail by default ad the leader to ensure they all have the proper training and the list goes on).
Forgiving is hard if we let our emotions and irrational pain in the @$$ thoughts take control.
One elected official for whom I worked for nineteen years used to celebrate winning a hard-fought election with his supporters on election night, and then start the day after mending fences with those who had opposed him. He used to say,” I don’t need to forgive and win over my supporters.” He was much more interested in moving forward than in looking backward.
The faith in which I was raised (and still practice) requires us to forgive, even as we are forgiven. Certainly this is not always easy to do. During in all my years in public safety administration, dealing with office politics as well as partisan electoral politics, I found forgiveness to also be a key to career survival and being at peace with myself at the end of the day. Chaining oneself to the past is seldom helpful.
Forgiveness is the main thing that has gotten me through the pandemic thus far. When Covid hit, one of my first thoughts was that we needed to be forgiving of others. Uncharted waters, no instruction book, FEAR, mixed messages – powerful motivators and none of us had a clue as to how to stay afloat. Forgiveness has kept me from judging harshly, including myself.
On a professional level, if you have a supervisor who is forgiving, their other quirks are minimized and more easily accepted. And it allows staff to proceed with confidence. I love the lines “Forgiveness is a repetitive process” and “Forgiveness is letting go of the desire to punish.” Both are extremely significant. Thanks for the tips!
This is such a good reminder. Sometimes I walk through this well and I at other times I can hold onto petty grievances (both real and imagined). I know this is truth – thank you for sharing. See quote below…
“He who cannot forgive breaks the bridge over which he himself must pass.” ~~~ George Herbert
“Assuming positive intent” helps me move toward forgiveness and away from anger and resentment.
Forgiveness is costly. I pay the cost. I no longer hold that debt against the offender. Thus Jesus taught his disciples to pray, “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors….” Then he added that if we don’t forgive neither will the Father in heaven forgive us. That’s motive enough right there. But Jesus went further, forgiveness cost him his life. Are we ready to die? Resentment and unforgiveness must die. Thanks, Dan.
This is a timely reminder. Thank you! I’m at a crossroads where I’m at in my career and this perspective helps to let go of the baggage.
Forgiveness is the underutilized superpower of Christ-followers
This article was extremely thought provoking. It can certainly be related to the work environment but then also transcends into your personal life. Regardless the scenario, the results build character which is with you regardless of the environment. Thank you for your helpful writings.
Learning foregivenss is tough, yet we are thaught to “turn the other cheek’. Life istough, Leadership is tough and often unforegiving. Learning to pratice foregivness is learning from lifes beginning till the end. “Don’t bury your head in the sand”, as when you come up they are still there. Face your obstacles boldly and learn to forgive those as you would want them to forgive you! We are not created to perfection, but we can learn to love and be kind, forgiveness is a part of life! We need to understand how and why?
*Unresolved disappointment leads to negative ruminating.
*Negative ruminating leads to anxiety and frustration.
*Unresolved frustrations lead to resentment.
I love this logical explanation of the build-up to resentment. If I am in a resentful place my heart isn’t open and there is no openness for forgiveness. To me, forgiveness is the mindset to move on, learn from mistakes, and acknowledge growth. I love how you clarify forgiveness which is internal and reconciliation which is communal. Such a great distinction!
“What aspects of forgiveness seem most difficult?”
Finding yourself being asked to forgive for the same offense repeatedly, particularly when the person shows little or no remorse at causing the offense.
This was very timely for me; I especially appreciated the focus on forgiveness, even if reconciliation is not an option. Thanks for popping into my life at just the right time!
“What aspects of forgiveness seem most difficult?” – Forgiving myself.
The most difficult thing about dealing with forgiveness is often having to swallow our pride. We may have the right to be hurt, offended, but we have to choose to let our right to those things go and forgive. Often we say” forgive and forget”. This is ridiculous. Absolutely forgive, but don’t give that person access to, or put them in a place for that behavior to continue. That is toxic. I agree that you cannot reconcile with everyone but you can forgive everyone. Pastor Greg Mohr, put it this way, “I will forgive you and extend mercy to you, but I won’t trust your flesh any farther than I can throw it.”
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