Safety to Fail (again)

To err is human; to forgive, divine. – Alexander Pope

Forgiveness is a gift that costs nothing.

There is tremendous power in forgiveness. We pardon mistakes or wrong choices of others as a means of growing, healing, learning and moving on. The power of forgiveness has long been documented. Think of the role it plays in self-esteem, interpersonal relations, philosophy, sports, child-rearing, education, and law.  Forgiveness brings closure and resolution. Forgiveness frees us to make better choices next time.

So, where does forgiveness fit into training and leadership?

There is no greater learning opportunity than the chance to make a decision that carries the risk of failing. When we provide a safe environment in which learners can try, fail, and try again, we open up a world of learning opportunities. 

How have you incorporated forgiveness into your training and leadership?

Susan Hendrich

2 thoughts on “Safety to Fail (again)

  1. While I agree that strong leadership requires forgiveness, I don’t think out culture has caught up with this notion just yet. We seem far more willing to forgive a pop star for her latest exploits than we are our own neighbor for his mistakes.

    I’m curious to know how people operationalize forgiveness. In other words, how do you “do” it?

    Jim Conley


  2. Good point about forgiveness and leadership. My best bosses/teachers/leaders have always pushed me to try harder than I thought I could/should, and have forgiven me when I have made mistakes. I need to remember to do this with my team as well.




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