If your team spends more time arguing than problem solving, you have a big problem. Fighting pumps the brakes on momentum, which in turn kills innovation. Fortunately, by embracing forgiveness, your team can let go of old conflicts and move forward.
Forgiveness is a relatively simple process: You recognize bad behavior, apologize for it, and change your behavior. Simple enough, but it can be difficult for many people to admit that they’ve made a mistake. Ego and fear of judgment get in the way of healing, but it’s necessary to put those aside.
You must identify and address the elephant in the room. Find the root of the conflict, and whoever is responsible should ask for forgiveness. In turn, the rest of the team must learn to forgive others without any expectation of reciprocity. Until that happens, unforgiveness will still be simmering underneath everything that happens. And it will eat away at your productivity, trust, and relationships.
As a leader, you can support the process by encouraging a culture of forgiveness. Lead by example: apologize when necessary, don’t judge others, and empower your people. When your team loses fear, they’ll gain enthusiasm and resilience. This in turn leads to a more agile and innovative organization.