Tammy Dewar has had her fair share of horrible bosses.
In her 20s and early 30s, the Victoria resident bounced around from job to job, working as a bartender, high school teacher, in community education and training and development, among other things.
However, she kept leaving those jobs after bad experiences with bosses. Whenever she quit, she would feel battered, bruised and let down.
“Finally, I realized the only constant in this is me. So maybe the bosses aren’t bad and that I play a role in this,” laughed Dewar, adding there were roughly four to five jobs where she struggled with her boss. “We project a lot of ideals onto our bosses and when they don’t live up to that ideal, we feel disappointed and start to hold them accountable to how we feel.”
Dewar has since taught herself the skill of forgiveness in the workplace, which is the topic of her first book, How To Forgive Your Boss.
It’s a roughly 90-paged how-to manual including stories and activities on forgiveness in the workplace. It focuses on forgiveness as a daily choice that people can make so they don’t carry around negative emotions, many of which can cause people to be sick, lose their sense of identity and creativity, she added.
The book has been years in the making for Dewar, who has a PhD in adult learning from the University of Calgary, and currently works as a professionally certified executive and team coach.
She said the most common problem she hears is individuals and teams having a difficult time working with a boss.
“We can make choices to make our work life better and that forgiveness is a skill that allows you to do that. It’s a daily choice we make about whether we choose to suffer or not,” she said, adding many skills learned in the book can also be applied to personal relationships as well.
“What our bosses do is not in our control. But how we react to it, the stories we tell about it, the reactions we choose, all of those things are in our control. You can transform relationships.”
Dewar launches How To Forgive Your Boss on Tuesday, Dec. 1. It is available to order from most major online book retailers and as an eBook. For more information visit forgiveyourboss.com.