Forgiveness in the workplace is not usually practiced by both employees in the lower and higher ranks. This is because most people see forgiveness as a means of condoning a wrongdoing by not letting the wrong party experience the full brunt of consequences. At the same time, unforgiveness side-effects can seriously affect your business, and not positively. Forgiveness in business is also especially discouraged if you would ask veteran businessmen because being too forgiving could be abused.
While this may also deem true, there is also a disadvantage if one doesn’t practice compassion and forgiveness in the workplace. There are certain negative impacts if no one forgives their co-workers, bosses, or employees in the office. What’s worse is that these impacts may even affect one’s work and cause further discord among the staff. This is why we have to learn the negative effects of lack of forgiveness in order to know why we have to practice it.
The Value of Forgiveness
In order to know the negative impact of lack of forgiveness in business and in the workplace, we have to first understand the value of forgiveness and why it’s very important— especially to leaders.
Now, the first thing to know is that when we don’t forgive, we can never let go. Let’s say an employee under your team does something that loses a very important account. You have the choice to keep that grudge forever and never let that employee forget about it, or you can practice compassion and forgiveness in the workplace ensuring that he or she doesn’t repeat the same mistake.
If you decide not to forgive, you will be harboring hatred from the past, which will manifest toward the whole team. You will also unconsciously be picking on that employee the whole time you’re there and just be stressing yourself out as a whole. Of course, the wrongful employee would also be down because he or she now feels useless. This will make him or her harbor low self-system.
Unforgiveness side-effects and their impact
And take note that unforgiveness side-effects reflect on more people than just you two. Because of the bad energy, the employee won’t be able to perform well in his or her daily tasks. This will eventually throw the team off balance, creating discord between the team members.
Now, all of this could have been prevented if you practiced forgiveness in the workplace and just let the mistake go. If you just let your employee face the consequences, there wouldn’t be any mutual negative energy.
You see, forgiveness doesn’t mean you condone to what your workmate or employee did wrong. It means you’re willing to let it go so that you won’t produce anymore animosity around the two of you. That’s why forgiveness and leadership always go hand in hand.
What are the Unforgiveness Side-Effects?
The impact of a lack of compassion and forgiveness in the workplace can be seen from the single individual in the office up to the entire system. Let’s start with the individual.
According to Michael Stone, individuals unforgiving of their wrongdoings, eventually alienate themselves from others in the office. This would then lead to harboring self-doubt, resentment, and anger. In many cases, unforgiveness side-effects are related to a lack of productivity, too.
Now, this same employee gets into a fight with another employee. The reason is underperformance as a result of a low self-esteem. If both of them don’t forgive each other, then there will be an even bigger slowdown in operations. This happens because they both won’t want to work with each other. Eventually, plenty of mistrust and blame will arise, further affecting the entire team.
What happens when an entire team starts blaming each other for a project gone wrong and no one forgives anyone? There will be a lot of unhealthy internal competition, conflict, and even manipulation. In fact, it is because of this kind of thing that office politics starts. The team will split into several factions with some factions against each other and individuals trying to bring others down.
It’s much worse if the whole organization doesn’t support a culture of forgiveness. This means that even the higher-ups of the business are at odds with each other blaming one another if something goes wrong. If this ever happens, you can expect plenty of mistrust in the management. Surely, this will later result in a lot of politics and manipulation. When the whole organization doesn’t practice forgiveness in business activities, employees will leave and many potential projects will be thrown away.
Of course, the higher-ups’ culture will quickly spread over to the management level. Hereafter, the whole business develops a selfish culture that ignores teamwork.
As you can see, not cultivating an environment of forgiveness in business is actually detrimental to the business itself. Small signs of unforgiving nature between two employees may seem trivial. However, animosity may spread upward affecting even the management level if not controlled. Likewise, higher-ups who cultivate animosity will notice that their actions may reach even the lowest levels of the corporate ladder. This is why forgiveness in the workplace is very important.
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