We all feel resentment toward others at times, and leaders are no exception. It’s been said that holding on to it is like taking poison and hoping the OTHER person will die. Denying resentment only prolongs the stress it causes you. In fact, you won’t free yourself of its side effects until you let go of the wish / hope that the other person would be something other than who and what they are. Focus not so much on what needs to be changed in them (a non-starter) as on what you need to change about your attitude toward them. As a leader, letting go of resentment, no matter how big or small, frees up capacity to create, prosper and achieve.
- When you notice yourself holding on to a resentment toward someone, look for your wish or hope they were different than who or what they are.
- Reflect on it / write about it / or talk through the situation with someone you trust—whichever one feels safest to you.
- As you do the above, consider the question: what do you need to find acceptance of that person? (Remember, acceptance doesn’t mean approval—it means acknowledgment.)
Based on client experiences / lessons learned, our weekly LeaderTips have been offering self-coaching themes and topics of interest to leaders since 2004. They are often published in BusinessWeek Online, sent weekly to our clients, and hundreds of other corporate leaders worldwide. I invite you to forward them to others, who are also welcome to subscribe using the link below. Note that over 100 of these tips appear in my book, Beyond Effective: Practices in Self-aware Leadership. Click here to subscribe to LeaderTips via email.