Speak your peace: Repair damaged relationships
By Amber Kiggens-Leifheit
MACF Executive Director
The Marshfield Area Community Foundation sponsors the Speak Your Peace Civility Project. The basic principles are simple and straightforward and involve the idea that it is often not what is said but how it is said that initiates conflict. The more we all learn about polite, civil discussion is a good thing. It is worth a try, and it may help bring our community together. This week we will examine: Repair Damaged Relationships.
Mistakes happen. It is understandable that mistakes or errors occur within your organization and between you and others. When mistakes happen, it is how you handle the situation as an individual that can determine the future relationship with a customer, co-worker, or friend.
People want an apology when they have been hurt or when someone does something wrong. A thoughtful and authentic apology can mend a relationship. A thoughtless one may cause further conflict or end a longstanding relationship.
I can think of many times where I have dealt with community members or co-workers or family and it did not go well. Sometimes I felt I did nothing wrong, but after thinking about it more, I realized I was not 100 percent in the right. Imagine that. I did seek the individual out and apologize.
I think we have all been there, yet we all know when the apology is not meant. How many times have you heard, “I’m sorry, but …” Experts tell us that apologies should be thoughtfully conceived, clearly stated, and heartfelt.
It is not always the easiest thing to do. P.M. Forni shares, “To articulate an earnest apology, we have to win a struggle with our own pride. Thinking that apologies put us in a position of weakness, we often wait for others to apologize first.” He cautions us not to assume an apology will be immediately well received. We will know we have done the right thing.
If you are interested to learn more, visit marshfieldareacommunityfoundation.org/index.php?page=speak-your-peace, or give us a call at 715-384-9029.