Posted by: healingtheworkplace | March 26, 2009

Forgiveness Is Key to Rebuilding Trust in the Workplace

This week I came across an article about The Forgiveness Project at Stanford University.

The head of this project is  Dr. Frederic Luskin. In the article he spoke about the importance of forgiveness.

What he has to teach us is key to rebuilding trust in the workplace and helping individuals to retain their power, decrease stress and move forward.

According to Dr. Luskin few of us choose to forgive when people hurt us. Part of the problem seems to be that most of us don’t know how to forgive. This is not something we learn in school.

Dr. Luskin’s research also shows that,

“as people learn to forgive, they become more hopeful, optimistic and compassionate. As people learn to forgive, they become more forgiving in general.”

In addition people who learn to forgive report significantly fewer symptoms of stress!

Forgiving people we work with is also key to rebuilding trust in the workplace.

Don’t confuse forgiveness with condoning bad behavior though.It is important to know the difference.

If you have been treated badly at work by the organization (e g breach of ethical standards, violation of rights, being fired without cause) or by an individual (bullying, harassment) you might want to review Dr. Luskin’s 9 steps to forgiveness:

Step 1: Know exactly how you feel about what happened and be able to articulate what about the situation is not OK. Then tell a couple of trusted friends about your experience.

Step 2: Make a commitment to yourself to do what you have to do to feel better. Forgiveness is for you and not for anyone else.

Step 3: Understand your goal. What you are after is to find peace.

Step 4: Get the right perspective on what is happening. Recognize that your primary distress is coming from the hurt feelings,thoughts and physical upset you are suffering now, not what offended you or hurt you in the past.

Step 5: At the moment you feel upset, practice the use of Positive Emotional Refocusing Technique (check out the learning to forgive website for info about this technique). This is a simple stress management technique.

Step 6: Give up expecting things from other people.

Step 7: Put your energy into looking for another way to get your positive goals met. Instead of mentally replaying your hurt, seek out new ways to get what you want.

Step 8: Remember that a life well lived is your best revenge.

Step 9: Amend your grievance story to remind you of the power you have to create a better story.



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