Tag: forgiveness

3D Juggling 526: Forgive and Forget

Claire writes: “The TV commentators at the British Royal Wedding last week drew similarities with Prince William’s last big outing at Westminster Abbey at the funeral of his mother, Princess Diana.  Some of the press made an issue of prickly relationships between Prince Charles’ new wife Camilla and some of Diana’s friends. Whether or not that is true, it is a reminder that sometimes it can be hard to move on.

The news channels were then immediately swamped with the death of Osama Bin Laden.  There did not seem to be much forgiveness there, and there was much discussion in the media.  One 9/11 survivor was reported as saying: “I can’t find it in me to be glad one more person is dead, even if it’s Bin Laden.”

We notice that a lack of forgiveness can cripple organisations and prevent teams from moving forward.  Some people are waiting for the perpetrator to apologise when the perpetrator themselves may be completely unaware of having done anything or of its impact.

Forgetting does not require memories to be obliterated – but something needs to happen to allow people to move on.  In South Africa, that process has worked well in places.  I was at a conference recently where there was a discussion on corporate repentance.  One delegate commented that England cannot say sorry for the impact of the crusades because other nations were there as well – and it’s all or nothing.

The reality is that even when the intent of an action is well meant, the impact may have repercussions which require both an apology and forgiveness.

When is an apology on behalf of others enough?  When will it only be effective when the person is there? And how do organisations manage that when the pain is historical – or external?

Something to mull over if you’re encountering unforgiveness at work.  Think about it…”

© 2011 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com
Organisational Forgiveness
Kim Cameron has done a research project sponsored by the John Templeton Foundation on forgiveness and organizational virtuousness after organizational downsizing and crisis.

The continuum of forgiveness includes:
•    “We will forgive if we can punish the offender.”
•    “We will forgive if justice is done.”
•    “We will forgive if society expects it.”
•    “We will forgive if an authority or prevailing code demands it.”
•    “We will forgive if it re-establishes order.”
•    “We will forgive because we love the offender.”
Most people connect most with the first few which, Cameron suggests, indicates that organisations must often provide justice and restitution for forgiveness to occur.

Cameron goes on to make recommendations as to how leaders can work through issues that require organisational forgiveness.

3D Juggling 497: Orange Juice

We had a great day on Saturday with year 13s writing UCAS statements:  “An excellent short course on the basics to understanding what needs to be in your personal statement, excellent for a starting point and for working out what unique things you offer.” There’ll be another one on 27th November.

Jane writes: “Are you sometimes surprised by what comes out of people? Maybe its anger that you didn’t expect in response to something you did or said. Maybe it’s what feels like inappropriate tears or laughter.

We are all unique individuals and it is sometimes worth reminding ourselves that those people who know us well are willing to forgive us things that others might not. This is because they know some of our story; they understand why certain things might trigger extreme responses. When we are working with people whose stories we don’t know, and this will often be at ‘work’, it can be easy to be confused or irritated by responses that we didn’t anticipate. Especially when these get in the way of us getting the job done.

I was reminded recently of a quote from Wayne Dyer.  “When you squeeze an orange, orange juice comes out – because that’s what’s inside. When you are squeezed, what comes out is what is inside.”

What comes out of you when you’re squeezed, maybe as a result of somebody else’s behaviour or an unexpected piece of news? Has it ever surprised you? Remember that others may also be surprised by what comes out of them when they’re under pressure. You won’t help them by judging them, or by focusing on how their response is making you feel. You might help them by acknowledging their response and allowing it. Their response is likely to be the only one that is possible at that moment. You don’t need to know why, but you do need to let them know that it’s okay to be feeling that way.

How confident you do you feel about helping them to be okay with how they’re feeling and how that is being expressed?  How do you help them to focus on where they need to be next?

Talk to us about working with difference. We can support this through the development of coaching skills and action learning sets in your organisation, or maybe just through helping you learn how to have different types of conversations when faced with unexpected responses to what’s going on around you.”

© 2010 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

3D Juggling 490: Litigation – or conversation?

Jane writes: “Are you having to find savings that mean other’s jobs might disappear?  Check out these statistics.  Last year the number of unfair dismissal claims accepted by employment tribunals increased by 9% to 57,400.  Claims associated with redundancy pay rose by 76% to 19,000.  Age discrimination claims rose by 37% to 5,200.

So how can you and your organisation minimise the risk of litigation when people have to leave even though they don’t want to?  When they’re not interested in the reasons why their job has gone, just the impact this has?  When they’re scared about the future and want someone to blame?  Obviously you need to follow any procedures that your organisation has put in place to comply with legislation, but how can you help people to leave with a good story to tell about their experience of leaving, even if they didn’t want to go?

People are likely to be prepared to ‘have a go’ at making a claim because they don’t have much to lose and could benefit to the tune of a few thousand pounds – even where you have followed all the correct procedures. They may be more likely to ‘have a go’ if they feel that their concerns and fears haven’t been considered, or if they feel that all the goodwill and expertise they have invested in your organisation is being treated as worthless.  So make time to talk, and to listen.  These are urgent and important tasks – make them a priority.

Invite conversations about reality – theirs, not yours. Hear their concerns and fears without judgement.  You don’t need to take responsibility for what happens after they leave, but you should take responsibility for helping them to understand why they are leaving and what they are taking with them.  Help them to recognise and accept their responses to unwelcome change, and to recognise and articulate their skills and achievements so that they can explain these to others.  Thank them for whatever you can be honestly grateful for.

The number of claims accepted by employment tribunals in 2009-10 was 236,100, an increase of 56% on the previous year. This is the highest figure on record.

What do you need to do to avoid being associated with this increase?”

© 2010 3D Coaching Ltd
May be distributed freely.  Please retain contact details: www.3dcoaching.com and send a copy/ link to info@3dcoaching.com

Fact: Employment Tribunals are independent judicial bodies who determine disputes between employers and employees over employment rights.  Fighting a claim may cost £5k a day (and that doesn’t include figures in respect of compensation).

Juggling in 3D 364: Life has no undo button

Diane writes:”There is an American television programme called, “My name is Earl” which is about a man who in middle age decides to right all the wrongs he has done in his life. He writes a list of all the people he has harmed in some way and then sets out to meet them and put things right. Each week the programme tells another story about Earl making amends. It is always difficult for him to act in the way he wants to and often people are unwilling to accept what he is trying to do. Occasionally people are grateful or pleased with what he is trying to do.

Stuff happens in life which we don’t always handle well. How many times do you come in after work churning inside about something you have said or done which you now wish you could go back and do differently? Life really should have an undo button which enables us to recapture those difficult or embarassing moments and have another go at them. Sadly, there is no undo button, we cannot go back, but we can use that embarassing or difficult experience in order to move forward. We can pause and reflect on the following questions:

  • What could I have done differently?
  • What do I need to do now to ensure I do not make the same mistake again?
  • What am I learning about myself from that experience?
  • What needs to be fed back to my manager / the wider organisation?
  • What can I do to move forward in the relationship / relationships my actions have damaged?

More questions might occur to you as you reflect on the experience you have had.

The next step is very important. Once we have suffered the pain of messing up, reflected on what happened and used that reflection to change the way we behave,we must let go of the embarrassing or painful experience. We have to get over it! Life has no undo button. We can never go back, but we can move forward a wiser person.”

(c) 2008 3D Coaching Ltd