As you know, this month we’ve focused on the concepts of Trust and Safety, both in our work relationships and in our personal relationships. 

Last week in Part ONE of: How we can move our relationships forward in a more active way, we learned how to accept an apology effectively and productively. 

This week, in Part TWO, we are going to explore what we must do next in order to continue to move forward.

One of my mentors and one of the greatest Executive Coaches of all time, Dr. Marshall Goldsmith, quite literally recognized as one of the Top Ten Business Thinkers in the World and has been ranked #1 Executive Coach by Thinkers50 every year since 2011, tells a phenomenal story that I’d like to share with you today. 

Two monks are walking by the stream and they see a woman in a beautiful silk dress crying. One monk asks why are you crying? The woman tells them she’s wearing a beautiful silk dress that her mother made and if she crosses the stream she’s going to ruin the dress.

The other monk says to her we can’t touch women, we can’t get involved, we can’t help you. The first monk says, forget the rules, and picks her up on his shoulders and carries her across the stream. 

She’s overjoyed and the monk splashes back across the stream. The other monk is so angry and proceeds to tell him he’s a bad monk, he’s bad, bad, bad all the way back to the monastery. The wet monk dries off and goes to sleep. 

In the middle of the night the angry monk wakes him up and continues to tell him he’s a bad monk. The monk asks why. The angry monk says because you carried that woman. The sleepy monk asks what woman? The angry monk says the woman you carried across the stream!

The sleepy monk says, oh her. I only carried her across the stream, you carried her all the way back to the monastery.

We all have issues and items that bother us – things that we need to leave at the stream. Sometimes that’s easy to do; sometimes we need to work a little harder to leave it and move forward.

A critical component to accepting someone’s apology is to make sure that once you have, you leave the original issue at the stream. You cannot accept an apology, as we learned how to do last week, and then continue to bring the issue along with you.

Leave it at the stream.