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Move On

Move On

Oct 2014

What a week! Started with a great new project - I had two weeks to do a pilot feasibility project including projections, developing policies, procedures and job descriptions, whilst hiring staff and setting up the facility! I ended this great week with a personal life crisis - just to cause some grief.

Your week may have ended better, however, I have no doubt that you would have, at some stage, suffered the grief of dealing with difficult clients, employees who refuse to engage, obstructive and/or uncooperative work colleagues. Regardless of the source, any distraction that may impact you or your team’s performance causes potential grief.

Grief can create an emotional roadblock as you struggle with the failure to meet the targets, timelines or expectations of self and others. If unresolved, these emotional roadblocks may lead to increased conflicts and lower performance, thus creating a downward spiral of conflict and decreased performance. This is the grief roadblock spiral: all stemming from failed expectations which may lead to more grief!

As an empowering leader it is helpful for you to understand grief triggers, grief processes and motivators, not only in others but also in oneself. The key for you as a leader at work, and at home, is the ability to “get over” something quickly, guide others to do likewise, and thus retain or rebuild a cohesive and common goal bond.

Most leaders do not pay enough attention to grief in individuals, to the potential detriment of our organisations strengths, strategic plans, and market strategies. We tend to either deny or deliberately ignore the massive amount of disappointment, frustrations and jealousies within the work place or home breaking relationships, common bonds and goals. However, it is critical, for you to being an empowering leader, to understand grief.

Grief generally follows a series of stages. If you find someone who is angry, upset, depressed or filled with fear, they are potentially in some form of grief. Grief can be initiated by a disappointment or something blown out of proportion to something very serious like the death of a loved one or harassment. The final, and most important stage of grief is gratitude and forgiveness.

Forgiveness and it’s close friend love, is something we don't talk about very often as part of good leadership. Tamara Woodbury notes that, “Love is more than an emotion. It is also a state of conscious awareness and intention that shapes many behaviours critically important to any organisation, including compassion, commitment, reflection, intuition, inclusiveness, [and] forgiveness, ...”

Here is a scenario. A leader, colleague or follower may genuinely ask for help, or your thoughts on a matter. However, the help requested is not rendered, or the feedback given regarding the matter may not be so agreeable. He/She takes exception, never forgives you and holds it in perpetuity against you. Maybe they can't seem to get over something (usually small) said or done to them, and simply do not have the tools to rebuild the relationship. Then, forgiveness becomes essential.

What does forgiveness look like?

An organisation may “forgive” in the sense of not firing someone for making a mistake, or screwing up when taking risks [not hanging these errors over their heads by withholding a bonus or advancement]. Real forgiveness includes you, as an empowering leader in the work place and home, instigating “reconciliation”. Take the first step to mend the relationship that may have been hurt by a mistake or thing said, regardless of who is right.

By demonstrating forgiveness, and giving room for mistakes, we can easily “get over it”, move on, and move up.

At Joseph Consulting we are passionate about empowering leaders so they can make the most of their situations. Please call Joseph Consulting if you would like to discuss how we can provide you specific leadership coaching.

Rob Boynton
Leadership & Business Consultant
Joseph Consulting


(Leadership: What’s love got to do with it? Tamara Woodbury., Oxford Leadership Journal., Volume 1, Issue 3 • June 2010 • Pg 3-4.)

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