Blog - Barbara Teicher - It's HOW You Say It

Is Forgiveness Effective Communication?

Forgive and forget?  Not as easy as it sounds.

Most people have a relationship in their lives, business or personal, that has suffered because of something another person has said or done, or we think they have.  Why don’t we talk about it?  Some people have already decided that nothing would change, so why bother.  They decide to take the easy road … do nothing.  The challenge is that while they are doing nothing, the situation really is doing something.  It is hurting you emotionally and, what may surprise you, it’s hurting you physically, too.

In January of 2014 the Mayo clinic did a study on the benefits of forgiveness.  I think you’d be surprised at what they found.

According to the Mayo study these benefits included:

  1. Healthier relationships
  2. Greater spiritual and psychological well-being
  3. Less anxiety, stress and hostility
  4. Lower blood pressure
  5. Fewer symptoms of depression
  6. Lower risk of alcohol and substance abuse

So forgiveness can actually be more for you than for them!  It releases you from the emotional chains you keep carrying around.  I’m not a psychologist or counselor, but I do know the benefits described above can make you feel better, and clear the way for better communication and healthier relationships in the future.

What I have found more often than not is there are pieces of information that may have been misunderstood. Oftentimes. they have been hurting or angry just like you have.  In some cases, they may have no idea you have been affected or are feeling this way.

Effective communication comes in many forms.  In business, being a leader also means being an example.  Are you being the example of open, positive and effective communication?

Keep in mind the Five Steps to sharing Feedback for Forgiveness

  1. Share what the situation was, or the specific behavior that caused you hurt or anger – They may be well-aware of what it was. Even so, this sets the stage to focus.
  2. Keep the conversation about the issue or behavior, NOT the person themselves.
  3. Share the effect it has had on you. How did it make you feel?
  4. Ask if they can see the impact the situation/behavior could have had and let them share their thoughts.
  5. Ask what could be done in the future if something like this should happen again and support the idea, if you agree and feel it is appropriate.

Avoid phrases like “you have to.”  If you are in business, avoid phrases like “it’s mandatory,” or “policy states.”

Know that effective communication needs to be practiced and supported. Especially if you are in leadership, people are looking to you to set the example and demonstrate the expectation for the culture of open, positive communication in your company.

Remember, it’s not just what you say, “It’s HOW You Say It”®


For more information on effective business communication call 913-707-5826 or send an email to


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