From a very young age, I have been involved in helping people learn. My earliest experience was when I was twenty and worked with farmers and their summer students, to provide them with a farm-safety orientation on behalf of the Alberta provincial government. I was both energized and terrified by this experience. Back then, I had no formal training or education and simply followed my intuition. I knew I needed to gain the trust of these farmers by tapping into their vast expertise, instead of telling them what to do. I also realized that most of what they needed to do to keep safe they already knew; the challenge was in following safety procedures when time, resources, and a fearless spirit encouraged short cuts.
I now hold a Ph.D. in adult learning and a professional coaching designation. I have spent countless hours developing my facilitation and coaching skills … and I am still energized by the complexities, challenges, and rewards of helping people learn and transform their lives. Thirty-some years ago, those farmers and I were grappling with the fundamental human paradox of embracing ideas and behaviours that are dangerous to us and ignoring those that might help us. Even now, I continue to be fascinated by this creative tension in each of us.
Today, my husband and I run Calliope Learning, a consulting company in Victoria, Canada, which specializes in leadership development and executive coaching. Corporations in both the public and private sectors hire us to help them create positive work cultures, and develop their leaders and teams. Sometimes organizations hire us because they are in some trouble and they need help; other times they hire us because they are doing well, but want to do something more or different. Whatever the initial reason, helping people to unearth and transform how they think and act in regards to their challenges is a fundamental part of what we do.
How to Forgive your Boss was born out of my own experiences with forgiveness and helping dozens of leaders deal with pain in the workplace. I wanted to develop practical strategies that addressed the advice to “just get over it.” As a recovering festerer myself, that advice only ever served to keep me stuck. My hope is that you find some insight, inspiration and peace in this book, as I have found on my own journey with forgiveness.