Have you ever been hurt by the actions or words of someone in the workplace, maybe your callous boss or a controlling colleague walking on you? I mean, who hasn’t?
Anger, bitterness, utter disappointment, or even revenge can be expected after being thrown under the bus. But here’s the problem: Allowing these feelings to linger can have devastating consequences for the person holding the grudge.
Resolving a conflict that disrupts the workplace and turns things around can sometimes require something super rare and counterintuitive in a cold and difficult business environment. Ready to be shocked?
If you’re always with me, forgiveness is rarely seen as a cultural trait at work. But it should be. Let me expand on the science of forgiveness.
In Research study with over 200 employees, forgiveness was “linked to increased productivity, decreased absenteeism (fewer days off work), and fewer mental and physical health issues, such as sadness and headache “. People were just happier!
Yet, for most of us, the default reaction to being hurt, feeling crushed, or being wronged by someone with less integrity than you is to get revenge, obstruct, or stand in the way. withdraw into passive-aggressive anger. But these acts will consume your other emotions, creating endless cycles of resentment and retaliation that lead to a toxic lifestyle.
What if we choose forgiveness instead?
According to the research of Manfred FR Kets de Vries in his article, The Art of Forgiveness: Differentiating Transformational Leaders, hooked on bitterness and hatred “create stress disorders, negatively affect the immune system and are positively correlated with depression, anxiety, neurosis and premature death”.
Kets de Vries writes that choosing forgiveness to manage your conflict reduces your anxiety levels and your blood pressure. “People who forgive more easily also tend to have fewer coronary health problems,” writes Kets de Vries.
Forgiveness as a business value
With different personalities, opposing agendas, political maneuvering and power struggles at play in the workplace, forgiveness could become that untapped organizational value – that powerful secret weapon – to effectively disseminate conflict, restore trust, and arrange. things with colleagues and bosses.
Forgiveness also extends outward to impact others not involved in the conflict. When coworkers observe that others practice forgiveness, research indicates that it often promotes positive emotions that can improve decision-making and the quality of relationships.
A good starting point? Kets de Vries writes that it is practicing empathy – putting ourselves in other people’s shoes and tapping into our own self-awareness to ask questions such as: why do certain things happen? Why did this person do this? Can I see another way out of this situation? How can I answer differently?
To clear up any confusion, I will end with this: To forgive is not to forget. Kets de Vries writes that “realistic forgiveness is about healing the memory of evil, not erasing it. It is very different from tolerating transgression or condoning any unacceptable behavior that has occurred.” He notes: “To forgive means not to be a prisoner of the past. When we forgive, we are not changing the past, but we can change the future.