I believe this topic is very critical to all of us! Mistakes, wrong things or even blunders do happen by everybody (Let us keep criminal acts out of purview of our discussion here). Whatever you may do, you cannot eliminate; at the most you can minimize these. On the other hand, these are part and parcel of our life and form important sources of learning new lessons!
It routinely happens that you are adversely impacted by someone else’s mistakes or wrong doings. You have 3 options – (a) overlook, (b) hold grouch, react or retaliate back and build your biases against that person and (c) forgive and move forward. Overlooking is not a bad idea; but challenge is that you would not help in improving the situation and person may commit mistakes again. Option b is most common with people. It aggravates the relationship and dissuades other person to realize his/her mistakes; instead he/she may tend to feel justified in having done it. On your part being affected party, you are bound to build biases against other person. But, reality of life is that your biases would bite you only, no one else!
It is option c, which is most appropriate, you show your grace, convey your feelings on his/her mistakes or wrong doings, advise/request not to do these again and move forward. These actions amount to “forgiving”. You may or may not actually express that you have forgiven or excused the defaulting person depending upon a situation, but you have mentally reset yourself after the incidence. What is very interesting to know is that most people don’t forget such incidences; memories for same remain alive in mind, which eventually turn into biases. You may try to hide your displeasure from appearing in your behavior or body language against defaulting person; but it seethes beneath your heart! So, mere forgiving is not good enough!
Often, employees in most organizations commit mistakes because of lack of proper guidance and direction; but managers hold them fully responsible, which can be only partly justified. Many times, this does lead to standoff between them. Employees defend and managers feel increasingly offended. It has been seen even when situation changes later and employees improve, adverse opinion of managers remain rooted in their minds because of biases having built in the meantime. But, if managers exhibit the spirit of forgiveness, situation turns 180 degree opposite and makes it very congenial to work together with employees. However, what would make a hail of difference is “forgive as well as forget”.
Forgiveness is golden!
Forgiveness is one of the golden qualities; you must cherish to have in your professional as well as personal life. Here below it shows why it is golden:
- It makes you broad minded and flexible.
- It ebbs your ego and eliminates biases from building up.
- Your line of communication with defaulting person remains on, through which you can help bring improvement.
- It enhances your confidence and credibility.
- Your emotions give way to consciousness.
- You develop natural acceptance for pluses and minuses, good and bad.
But, Forgiving+Forgetting is grandiose with golden glitter
If you forgive, but not forget the incidences, minor or major mistakes or any doing in bad taste by whomsoever, you run the risk of losing on above mentioned 6 point advantages. Your emotions would only encourage your prejudices going forward.
But, if you forgive and forget, you would multiply the following:
- Your decency and dignity
- Your courage and charisma
- Your vision and wisdom
- Your focus and faith on your goals
- Your grace and grit
- Your emotional intelligence (EQ) and intellect
Remember, forgetting is not ignoring or overlooking mistakes or wrong doings! It is your conscious decision to move forward leaving no friction or conflict in your mind; but after making defaulting person aware of what it is and encouraging “learning lessons”.
If forgiving is forward looking; then with forgetting, it is moving fast forward!
So, your leadership qualities cannot be complete without your ability to forgive and forget consciously!!