Page 88 | Volume 1 | The Leadership Journal of Dallas Baptist University

88 Ducere Est Servire: THE LEADERSHIP JOURNAL OF DALLAS BAPTIST UNIVERSITY Basford studied the role of an apology in forgiveness. Her research showed that the follower’s trust in a leader significantly influenced the follower’s evaluation of the leader’s sincerity in seeking forgiveness. When the apology was perceived as sincere, followers expressed greater satisfaction with the leader, better leader-member exchange relationship, and increased organizational commitment. Further, when a leader acknowledged his responsibility, explained his error, and proposed a future intent, followers perceived the apology to be sincere.9 Forgiveness at work is neither easy nor utopian. In 2012, Manby, CEO of Herschend Family Entertainment (HFE), shared his agonizing experience of forgiveness. One of his senior executives, who was going through a divorce, became addicted to alcohol. HFE leaders forgave her plunging productivity, and the company covered her rehab costs. But soon, a trend of going in and out of rehab was seen along with decreased productivity. After six chances, the executive was fired—and the executive, still dependent on alcohol, died at 58.10 Leaders continue to struggle with exercising forgiveness in the workplace. This current study looks at the shared experience of forgiveness in leaders and the leader’s perceived benefits of forgiveness in an organizational setting. Two research questions were identified: “What is the leader’s experience of forgiveness in the workplace?” and “What is the perceived benefit of forgiveness in the organization by the leader?” For the study, forgiveness is defined as setting an offender free from the debt of the offense by dismissing the charges against the person.11 In forgiving, the leader also gave up feelings of resentment and anger towards the offender. METHODOLOGY To better understand the experience and effects of forgiveness by leaders in organizational settings, qualitative research was conducted in the Fall of 2015 using a phenomenological research methodology, which is the study of a phenomenon the way it is experienced and its interpreted meaning.12 The mind and the event each form a part of the whole experience. Phenomenology as a research method is used to understand hidden meanings as well as the essences, or essential meanings, of a shared experience.13 This methodology examines