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Is real change possible if we can’t forgive?

Is real change possible if we can’t forgive?

by Moyra Mackie on January 18, 2017

Recently a coaching client told me:

“I’m really trying to be more collaborative but I can see it in their eyes; they don’t trust me.  They remember the old me – how can things get better if we can’t get beyond this?”

This is not the first client who has found it hard to change because others still remember the past

Which brings to mind my favourite Tony Robbins quote:

“Everybody’s got a past.  The past does not equal the future unless you live there.”

It strikes me that any kind of change – whether inside you, within teams or even between whole nations – involves the ability to let go of the past.  I think change requires forgiveness.

What I learnt about forgiveness by going home

It was April 1989 and I had been looking out of the airplane window, ever since we crossed the Zambezi River from Zambia into Zimbabwe.  It was autumn and the bush below was losing its summer green, revealing small settlements, the occasional herd of elephant and long, straight gunmetal grey roads breaking up the red earth stretching all the way to the horizon.

As the plane bounced down onto the runway, I realised that I had been away for half my life.

But I felt that I was coming home 

Walking across the tarmac I wondered what lay ahead. I was a white woman with a British passport – I potentially represented colonial white privilege.

Was the past another country?

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Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

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Turning two, something new

Turning two, something new

by Moyra Mackie on February 21, 2015

Two years ago I published my first post as the Coach with the Green Hat.

Well, being an anxious over-achiever I launched with two posts, one about the beginning of my studies at Ashridge and the other about the (non-existent) differences between Leadership and Management. That latter article is still one of the most read posts on this site.

Since then, I have been grateful for the support of three other great writers and friends, Paul Jenkins, Abigail Hunt and John Stepper, who have encouraged me to “keep shipping” and keep putting myself into my writing.

It is always fascinating to see which posts garner the most support and where they get shared.  I’m also humbled that three of the other top five most read posts – on feedback,  listening and presenting  – have found an enthusiastic audience, despite the presence of millions of other articles on the topic floating around the web.

The other post in the top five, is the one I feel the most connected to and that is one I wrote  in September, following a trip back to Zimbabwe, the place my soul still calls home.

This post was inspired by a real-life story of courage, leadership and emotional intelligence when a Zimbabwe guide called Nic Polenakis stood his ground in front of a very agitated elephant.
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Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie

Moyra Mackie helps leaders and teams to work with courage, compassion and creativity. She is an executive coach and consultant and the founder of Mackie Consulting.

More Posts - Website

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