The art of forgiveness?? What has that got to do with business??
In fact it has a lot and well lets be honest practising the art of forgiveness should be a key element of life in general but for the sake if the context I am going to focus on business.
Before I do that as we all have a different view on the world and with that a different understanding of what forgiveness means to them.
With that in mind, here is my view:
“Forgiveness is the self-awareness to know when you have either directly or indirectly taken an action or inaction that has created a disconnect between yourself and/or another person. Then once having the awareness, having the ability to acknowledge this impact and repair the connection with that other person or yourself. “
Wow! What did I just say? Well if you need to go back and read that again, but don’t worry as we’re going to explore and expand on it together as we continue.
Lets tacking one challenging mindset straight out of the gate!
Brett are you telling me I have to suck up and say that ‘s’ word?
One thing I find interesting about in this world is the way at times we thing that people are mind readers. Have you ever had that moment that thought or event said the words “why should I be the one to say some thing, they should be the one.”
Start with looking where this thought path is coming from, it is being driven by ego.
Did you just say EGO? I did indeed, but this isn’t the place for that discussion so for the purpose of this blog I’ll define ego as:
Acting in a way that your physiology implies you are more superior than another persons.
When broken down focus on the part that has they should do it not me.
Disclaimer – I’m not implying that I’ve not acted in this way, I just make sure to check in with myself often enough to notice it and act on it.
Ok where was I?
That’s right, ego. Let me add more salt to the wounds there and talk about how this also stems from victim mentality.
Have I lost you? Hmm hopefully not, because it’s just getting good. Promise…
In this thought process I say that it stems from the victim mentality also as it implies that you are more impacted and that is the justification for the other person to be the one to make the approach.
Right! Now that I have that outlined, let’s get to the point!
With all of this in place it then implies saying the work ‘sorry’ is a weakness and for that reason it triggers the two cousins ‘ego’ and ‘victim’ to step up to the plate.
What if I told you saying the word sorry is a strength? Would you believe me?
Ok ok, I can hear it now… Brett you’re only saying it’s a strength because you say it all the time and you’re just trying to justify it!
Haha well yes I do say it often and that is because I have the self-awareness to know when I have impacted others as per my definition above.
Look, if you’re still not believing me that the ability to say sorry is a strength is the case then let’s look at how you approach the ‘s’ word.
In this there are only 2 things to remember:
- Acknowledge what happened / where the break down was and
- Take responsibility for the break down.
At the end of the day no one can ‘make’ you feel anyway other than yourself. Heck it’s not even what that person said, didn’t say or possibly thinks that makes you feel that way. It is YOUR interpretation and the meaning YOU give to what happened that has you feeling this way.
So why am I going on about this?
Let’s get back to business.
In business reputation is extremely important, especially in this day where it only takes seconds for a message to spread across the globe. That said, if you said to a customer or client that you are going to do something and you don’t. Then own up to it!
Sure there is that awkward period where you think ‘ahh they have forgotten about it by now’, this time can generally be a few days after.
Hoping to sweep something under the carpet is THE worst thing you can do in business, because if you will do it once, chances you will do it again. In the end you’ll find your business will show the impact of these ‘one offs’.
BUT if you contact that customer or client and acknowledge what happened or didn’t happen then you have the opportunity to re deliver on your promise. If you’re lucky they will then become a fan of your business, even if they don’t become a customer.
This means your word of mouth growth will grow as a result of you practicing the art of forgiveness… and in this example it is yourself that you’re forgiving.
So just think next time when something didn’t quite go to plan and there is that awkward timeframe. Make sure YOU take action, reach out and acknowledge what happened (don’t rattle off countless excuses), take responsibility and proceed forward with the conversation as it presents itself.
Because in the end you are your business, treat it with the respect that you would want to be treated with. If you’re struggling with this then I suggest you check out the following blogs ‘Why is Gratitude Important?‘ and ‘How badly do you REALLY want that life?‘