5 Essential Workplace Forgiveness Stages for a Better Performance

Workplace Forgiveness Stages

Just like in any other setting, it is normal to get frustrated and disappointed by your job or colleagues at the workplace. When this happens, you are likely to feel angry and have feelings of resentment against the person who has wronged you. This then leads to ineffective communication and collaboration in the workplace, resulting in decreased productivity. However, what you might not know is that there are a few workplace forgiveness stages, which make the process successful. 

The Importance of Forgiveness in the Workplace

Many times, forgiveness in business is not easy even for those with strong spiritual sentiments. According to Michael Stone, author of “Forgiveness in the workplace,” it is hard to achieve workplace forgiveness since most workplaces do not hearten letting people off the hook.

The lack of forgiveness will not only affect you as an individual but also the organization as a whole. Employees are likely to disengage at work, fear to speak up, or have aggressive behavior.

Meanwhile, encouraging compassion and forgiveness in the workplace is likely to create a more cooperative environment and can lead to increased productivity and team building. Additionally, the positive emotions of forgiveness can improve cognitive functioning, decision, and quality of relationships.

The 5 Workplace Forgiveness Stages

What are the key workplace forgiveness stages?” you may be asking. Below are the 5 stages that you should know of:

Stage 1: Acknowledge the pain and anger

The first step is to recognize the situation that made you upset and how it has hurt you. This way, rather than avoiding the situation, you will be confronting it. Besides, it’s impossible to work through the pain unless you admit that you are hurting. In this stage, you will begin to understand what triggered the hurt or pain so that you can be able to forgive your coworker.

Also, uncovering the anger will enable you to avoid procrastinating on the fact that you need to forgive the trespasser. A good way is to write down why you are angry, with whom you are angry, and how the situation has impacted you. This is recommendable since it will prevent you from repeating the painful experience again.

Stage 2: Decision

Once you know what triggered the hurt, you will be in a better position to decide to forgive the person. It is human nature to hold on to the anger and not want to forgive, especially if the anger is deep inside you. Forgiveness is a choice. You may decide to forgive your coworker because you do not want to suffer both physically and emotionally.

When you open the door of forgiveness, you will have a positive outcome at work and within yourself. This may also trigger the trespasser to take responsibility for their actions. Consequently, trust grows again, and this allows for creativity and innovation which is good for business.

In his book ‘Forgiveness in the Workplace,’ Michael Stone stated, “…it makes good business sense to practice the art of forgiveness. True forgiveness supports the retention of valued employees, allows for greater creativity and innovation, leads to increased profitability and generates greater flexibility in adapting to changing market conditions.

Stage 3: Working on the Forgiveness

This stage involves the work of forgiveness where you get to understand the offender and their motivations for hurting you. In this stage, you will gradually change the way you look at your leaders and coworkers. Instead of focusing on the negative feelings and experiences, you will focus on the good aspects and understand that they are also human. However, it is important to note that this does not necessarily mean that you approve of their behavior.

Eventually, you can have direct conversations with the offender to try and work out things with them. At this point, you and the offender can decide to work on a common task in order to rebuild trust and cooperation. This is vital as it will help you let go of the feelings of resentment and lead to some healing.

Stage 4: Let go the Pain

Once you have gone through all workplace forgiveness stages, allow yourself to get over all troubles.  You can choose to enroll in support groups or programs that teach compassion and forgiveness in the workplace. Letting go will give you personal freedom and make it easier to negotiate with other individuals in the workplace.

Stage 5: Surrender

If you find it impossible to restore a relationship with the offender, leave it to the Higher Being. Praying and meditating is an example of forgiveness in the workplace. It will help you release any resentment so that you can foster positive emotions and impact other employees.


Forgiveness is a process, and it takes time. Workplace forgiveness stages will allow you to be happier and well-able to reach career goals. You will also be more flexible, courageous, and in a sober mind to make crucial decisions. Most importantly, it is a key to healthy ongoing work relationships.