Always forgive your enemies — nothing annoys them so much. — Oscar Wilde
In a change initiative we can easily think of individuals as enemies if they don’t agree with or support the change we are advocating. Although it’s always wise to take the high road, we are human and annoying our foes in a positive way is sometimes energizing. We can match wits with our “enemies,” we can outfox them, and we can even crush them. The real question is, what are the spoils of this war?
There is a problem with this language that so many of us use in business today. Are we really fighting a battle against enemies? What happens after we win or lose? Even if we take a more cooperative approach, nothing guarantees reciprocal treatment. Forgiveness is important. Even better than forgiveness, which implies a wrong, understand where the other person is coming from so you can accept their actions and move forward. As a change leader there is a higher purpose than winning the battle.