10 Key Principles for Greater Forgiveness at Work

corporate forgiveness principles

Traditionally, workplaces were venues where things got accomplished. To be “professional” meant showing up no matter how you felt. But in recent years, there has been a lot of interest in the “softer” side of the business. Everyone spent decades, focusing on profits. However, there is now talk about such things as compassion and forgiveness in the workplace. With that, the question of corporate forgiveness principles opens as well.

Given that companies are made up of people who are often stressed out, negative emotions are often part of working life, whether they are officially acknowledged or not. In fact, researchers have studied the role of compassion and forgiveness in business and found them as among the traits that set great leaders and companies apart from the rest.  

10 Corporate Forgiveness Principles

Personally, you may be wondering why is compassion important in the workplace. Or you may already know that it is important, but you are thinking about how to show compassion at work when everyone is supposed to be professional and businesslike. Or perhaps you are thinking about corporate forgiveness principles  and looking for examples of forgiveness in the workplace.

Here are ten ways on how to begin practicing these corporate forgiveness principles:

1. “Discover” your colleagues.

Many office workers, being so used to traditional “professionalism,” only ever get to know their colleagues in a working capacity. To begin being more compassionate, it is important to get to know your colleagues as the unique individuals that they are, not just as the people who do the things you need them to do. The more you know about them and their lives, the more you are able to be compassionate with them.

2. Help someone.

Basically, compassion is the desire to do something to ease somebody else’s suffering. One great way to show compassion is to help out a colleague, especially when he or she is faced with a tight deadline and needs all the help he/she can get. Helping out in this way makes people feel cared for, and they will be happier working with (or for) you.

3. Foster collaboration.

Creating an office environment and culture that emphasizes collaboration will help colleagues become more compassionate. You can do this by encouraging people to share their ideas and scheduling brainstorming sessions. In addition, you can get everyone to actively share in the company’s vision and contribute toward achieving its goals.

4. Set an example.

Leaders are in a special position to spark more compassion in the workplace by personifying it. If you are in a leadership role, you have a very good opportunity to show compassion to your staff. This, in turn, will help them be more compassionate toward each other.

5. Build teams.

Regular team-building activities can go a long way in fostering workplace compassion. If you have the time and inclination, you can organize these yourself. Otherwise, you can ask who among your colleagues or staff would want to take charge of these activities.

6. Think positive.

When an incident arises, it helps to remember to think about your colleague’s actions or words in a positive way. This way, you keep your mind open instead of closing off and thinking the worst of the other person. When you do this, you naturally become more compassionate.

7. Learn to forgive.

Under stress, emotions become volatile and minor discontentment can erupt into a conflict between colleagues or outright defiance to superiors. This can cause resentment and anger to build and fester in the office. This is where forgiveness in business is especially important. After such confrontations, those involved must be able to let go of all these negative feelings and animosity. They must be able to forgive each other. That way, they can continue to work together and achieve the company goals.

8. Create a forgiveness culture.

Forgiving when conflicts arise is easier when a company has a culture of forgiveness. Such a workplace inspires people to put in an extra effort and dream of a brighter future. While conflicts happen, they can become lessons and stepping stones toward better office relations.

9. Let go of grudges.

In addition to any recent altercations, the office can nurture lasting grudges, too. In fact, you may have one of these, too. This usually happens when someone oversteps the boundaries of propriety. It can be difficult to let go of the anger that comes with such grudges.

However, studies have confirmed that hatred and bitterness have a high toll on your health. On the other hand, however, forgiveness is associated with positive effects on health. So, if you hold any grudges, begin taking steps of letting them go.    

10. Practice forgiveness meditation.

Forgiveness is actually an act of compassion— both for yourself and for the person who did you wrong. It is compassion for yourself because it means you liberate yourself from feeling bitterness. It is also a compassion for the other person because you also set them free. If you are finding it a challenge to forgive, you may want to try practicing forgiveness meditation, which will help you through the process of letting go.


Corporate forgiveness principles have positive benefits for everyone. It helps to lessen stress and anxiety in the workplace and creates an overall more positive environment to work in. Ultimately, companies that actively foster compassion and forgiveness in business benefit from their efforts because it raises their bottom line. Instilling compassion and forgiveness may be challenging. This is especially so for companies which stick to the old ways of expressing emotions. But, ultimately, the effort is more than worth it. 

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