Category: Leadership
This is what I have learned and try to practise: Being visible

I have never met Malcolm Turnbull. I have met Mr Howard, Mr Abbott, and Kevin Rudd’s wife Theresa, but I haven’t met the current Prime Minister. Do I trust him? All I have to go by is the Party he is affiliated with, and the snippets I hear in the media.

Personally, I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt. I trust them blindly you could say. My starting position is to trust a person until they prove to be untrustworthy. But this doesn’t mean that I’m not cautious in what I share.

What I have learned as a leader is that trust is enhanced the more visible you are. It makes sense. Trust is relational. It is a socially constructed phenomenon. It is cemented and grown if you interact with others; if people see you ‘walking the talk.’

My office as principal at Burgmann Anglican School was on the ground floor looking over the Junior School playground. Each break time there would be children playing outside, waving through the window. I had a direct connection to the life-blood of the organisation.

The office I have at St Paul’s School is on the second floor. It has a beautiful view over the surrounding hills but you cannot see the school. It is so far removed from the organisation that it can be tempting to lock yourself away and bury yourself in all the administration that has to occur.

My research into practices that engender trust taught me that there is incredible value in getting out of my office several times a day to see what is happening around the place: to listen to the ‘pulse’ of the organisation, listen to people’s stories; to celebrate and praise the great things that are happening; and, to model the expectations that the organisation espouses. I hope that I do this well.

Being visible gives the people who follow you the opportunity to prod and poke to see if you are genuine, that you are the ‘real deal’. It gives those people who don’t naturally offer trust blindly, like me, the opportunity to see who their leader is. Are they someone they want to follow, or is their trust going to be misplaced?

Mr Turnbull can’t be visible to me personally, unless I have the opportunity to meet him sometime in the future, but as a leader, I can be visible to everyone in the organisation I serve. I have learned that walking up to eight kilometres a day to be visible is not a waste of my time, but incredibly important to my ability to lead and create a culture that enables people to flourish.


This is what I have learned and try to practise: Offering trust

PhD research identified 10 practices that build trust and unlock the path to compelling leadership. Offering trust is perhaps one of the most powerful and yet, one of the hardest. It is a practice that causes us to question the essence of our own identities.

“I will be away from next Wednesday until the following Monday but will be on email and can be contacted by phone. In my absence Steven will be Acting Head.”

I sent the above email out the day before I left. After I did I began to ponder on the message it gave. Does it say, “I am here to serve, even when I am away”, or does it say, “I’m indispensable and you will need me, even if I’m not there”?

I find it fascinating watching the inevitable at conferences, particularly conferences for leaders. At each break the mobile phones come out. Everyone checking in. “Everything ok back at work? How are you going on that project?” I know this as I too was a culprit. Perhaps it was a strategy to avoid talking with someone new, or a technique to convince myself I was important, that I was indispensable.

What happened in the days before mobile technology when the leader went away to a conference or on holidays? They couldn’t be contacted. They had to trust the troops to keep things running. Now, it would seem, we have become enslaved. Our identity intrinsically connected to the amount of time we are on our devices.

Perhaps you have given similar messages to those you lead: “When you have written your reports send them to me for checking”; or, “let me know how you get on with that client”.

Our ability to offer trust is caught up in our own perception of who we are. If we lack a certain self-confidence we need to constantly demonstrate that we are important, that people need us, that we are the one in charge, that no one can do it as well as me.

My (our) ability to be in touch at all times says that I’m in control. If I’m not in charge then my lack of self-confidence tells me that I’m not needed, I’m dispensable. So to continue to be needed, to have an identity of importance, I need to seek to remain in control.

The email message I sent out should have read, “I will be away from next Wednesday until the following Monday. Steven is in charge.”

If we are truly confident in ourselves and comfortable in who we are then we would offer trust to others, allowing them to blossom in the opportunities our willingness to be humble provides. You don’t have to lead all the time.

This is what I have learned and try to practise: Keeping confidences

The role of any leader is just two-fold: to provide a compelling vision of the future that people aspire to attain and, to build trust so those people will be willing to take the journey with you.

Research has identified 10 key practices that build trust in a leader. The most obvious of these is keeping confidences.

Did you hear about John’s wife and what happened in parliament the other day…

Why is it that people love to gossip? Because knowledge is power and gives us identity, but it is only power if others know you have special information that no one else does.

When you are in a position of leadership you are privy to very sensitive information. If you are genuinely trusted, people will share their inner most fears and concerns with you. I have learned that it is a privilege to be invited into people’s lives to hear their greatest joy, and their depths of despair.

It is a self-fulfilling cycle. The more you keep a person’s confidence, the more you are trusted, and in turn, the more people share will with you. The relationship grows. This brings the opportunity to walk with others and mentor or coach them. The reward is seeing a fellow human move out of despondency and into a place where they can flourish.

No experience of this cycle has been more powerful and compelling than the experience I had before, during and following the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. There is a fine line between keeping a confidence and passing on information that you are legally bound to do, but the lessons reinforced through those experiences are a reminder of how to keep confidences.

I have learned that many people who come to speak with me just want someone to listen. They want to be heard, to be valued as a person of worth. They want empathy. More often than not they don’t wish you to act, they just want to share the burden. To genuinely want to grow trust you have to be prepared to carry that burden with them. I learned that in listening the journey of healing begins.

But in this privilege comes huge responsibility. Truly keeping confidences means that you forgo the power that knowledge can bring. To truly keep confidences you have to be totally comfortable in your own skin so your identity isn’t caught up in what you know, rather, it is caught up in how much you are trusted.

In offering this humility before the other person you must always ask them permission if you feel that the information they have entrusted you with needs to go further. A good question to ask is: “Do you want me to do something about this or are you just wanting me to know?”

Keeping confidences is the most fundamental and obvious practice in building trust, but it is the practice that can most easily be a leader’s undoing. If you breach a person’s confidence without their permission, even out of good intent, it is incredibly hard to re-establish your credibility as a trusted leader.

This is what I have learned and try to practise – Acknowledging others

PhD research identified 10 practices that build trust and unlock the path to compelling leadership: acknowledging others is one of them.

I have learnt that leadership is often a thankless task. Very rarely will anyone think to thank the leader. In making this statement I’m not looking for pity, or even a ‘thank you’, but simply point out a reality so other leaders can take encouragement.

People don’t think to thank the leader: I don’t believe this is ever intentional, but symptomatic of the people’s view of people in leadership roles. By nature, we are quick to criticise and blame if something goes wrong but don’t stop to think of the blessings we all receive each and every day.

If you are a leader, don’t get hung up on the fact that you may never be the recipient of gratitude. Your sense of value will be found in the lives you have the privilege of interacting with every day. True motivation to do good wells up in our internal altruistic intent. “No thanks” can be thanks itself if we remember that what we are doing as leaders is to God’s glory. Instead, use this thankless task of leadership as a motivator or a reminder to thank those you seek to lead or come into contact with.

I met an amazing educator last week. Helen is working hard to make a difference in her school. She is a deeply reflective person, desperate to grow her leadership capacity. It was inspiring to hear her share her story. It is rare to find someone so honest and so passionate.

Helen had recently been given feedback about her leadership practice. As a result of that feedback she had adjusted her behaviour. She taught me something valuable about the practice of appreciation.

As a leader Helen had always practised the art of appreciation. She constantly looked for opportunities to thank people. She sent emails, left cards, or visited people to thank them for the work they had been doing: “Thank you Sam for organising the performance last night, it was just brilliant.”

However, Helen taught me that while a nice thing to do, thanks expressed in this way isn’t effective enough. People want to know that their efforts aren’t in vain but that they make a difference. Rather than just saying thank you, it is far more meaningful to thank the person for the difference their efforts are making.

“Thank you Sam for organising the performance last night, I have never seen young Ben express such courage. You have made a significant impact on his life.”

We all want to know that the efforts we go to actually are making a difference. Tell someone this. Instead of waiting to be thanked, ask yourself each afternoon before you go home from work: have I done my best to thank someone for the difference they are making? In doing so, not only will you be building that person, but you will be growing a compelling leadership built on trust.

This is what I have learned and try to practise – Leaders who care

PhD research identified 10 key leadership practices that engender trust, paving the way to compelling leadership. Caring for others is one of them.

I was in Sydney earlier in the week. I was surprised to see so many homeless. Still sleeping on the concrete in the tunnels leading out of the Underground you had to take care not to step on them, or trip on their meagre possessions. No one stopped. Neither did I.

Later that morning I listened to Tim Costello speak, CEO of World Vision. He urged educators to never lose sight of instilling a heart of compassion in the students we teach. His words caused me to stop and question my actions earlier that morning.

It stands to reason that you would trust someone more if you knew that they genuinely cared for you, trust is relational. However, I was surprised, when doing my research, that staff in large schools described their trust in the Head as a genuine care for the people he/she served. How can a leader care for so many people effectively, and how do they balance that with the requirement to make significant decisions that impact people’s lives?

To genuinely care means to have ‘compassion for’. The word compassion comes from the Latin word compati, which means ‘to suffer with’.

As a leader do I care enough to suffer with? What would ‘to suffer with’ mean to the staff member who has cancer, or whose wife has just left him?

To genuinely care is a significant challenge for leaders. It would seem to be a paradox: How can you be compassionate to the staff member you have to let go because they aren’t performing to expectations? To care shouldn’t paralyse a leader’s ability to make a decision, but it should impact the way they meet that person and suffer with them.

The key to real care is relationships. Unless you can look into someone’s face, to enter their world, it is very hard to have compassion.

As a leader to care is hard, particularly when so many things make demands on your time. But as a leader it is one of your most important roles to build genuine relationships with the people you are entrusted to serve. In suffering with others, trust will grow, paving the way to compelling leadership.

This is what I have learned and try to practise – Admitting my mistakes

PhD research identified 10 key leadership practices that engender trust, paving the way to compelling leadership. Admitting mistakes is one of them.

If you are my age you might remember the TV sitcom “Happy Days”. The Fonz, played by Henry Winkler, was the guy everyone wanted to be. People idolised him. But his flaw was his inability to utter the word, “sorry”. He could never get the word out. Why is admitting a mistake so difficult? What actually is at risk?

I have seen the darkest side of life. For the past three years I have been involved in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse. Each week I sit with at least one victim of abuse as they share their story. Every story is the same in what the victim seeks: answers and an apology. They will accept nothing but a full and frank admission of guilt.

So why is it so difficult for a leader to admit their mistakes? Why is it that people in power can never confess? Because it takes incredible courage. No one in position of power and responsibility wants to be wrong. An admission of fault could be viewed as incompetence or guilt. In their mind, at risk is a loss of face, a loss of pride, humiliation.

But the reality is that we are all human. We are fallible. Even the very best leader makes mistakes. However, contrary to our rational thought, people won’t think less of us if we acknowledge our errors. They will actually think more of us because humility and honesty are qualities admired far more highly than arrogance.

People see through a facade of pride or political spin. Remember Bill Clinton, “I have never had sexual relations with that woman”. We all knew he did. People don’t care as much for the mistake you make as they do for your honesty. Honesty makes us real.

The very best leaders are never focused on his or her own ego. They are solely focused on the needs of the people they serve, no matter the cost or sacrifice. If the other person truly matters more than you, if you truly are a servant leader, you will put aside your pride, apologise and seek to repair what is damaged.

The act of admitting mistakes requires incredible humility. Humility and honesty, the act of being vulnerable, unlocks deeper levels of trust, paving the way to more authentic relationships and more powerful leadership. Arrogance and denial close the door on those opportunities .

What’s really at risk when we fail to admit our mistakes: real leadership and the loss of deeper relationships.

This is what I have learned and try to practise about: Coaching

PhD research identified 10 key leadership practices that engender trust. Coaching is one.

While many people would describe me as a confident leader, underneath the facade I am constantly second guessing myself. It took me years to understand what it is to coach someone else. I never felt that I had anything of value to give, and I certainly never saw, or see myself as the expert.

It has taken a long time, but I have learnt that to coach someone else does not mean that I have to be the expert. I don’t have to have all the answers. Coaching is not about giving advice or providing a person with a solution.

Coaching is about empowering the other person to find their inner confidence. Coaching is about helping the other person grow. Coaching is about unlocking his or her potential and finding their own solutions.

Everyone is different. We each have a unique personality. Who we are is shaped by the experiences we have in life, and we all live different lives. The same applies to leadership. There are basic principles and practices, but we will all bring our own style to the role. If I was ever tempted to give advice it is possible that that advice wouldn’t be as effective for the person if they took my approach for themselves. Good coaches don’t try and create a ‘mini me’.

Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximise their growth (Whitemore)

A coach asks great questions, firstly to help the person reflect deeply. Questions help the person cut to the heart of the problem they are dealing with. Great questioning helps identify what is a risk.

A coach then provokes the person to brainstorm solutions, identifying the strengths and weaknesses of each. A coach then helps the person pick their preferred solution and encourages them to set it in motion.

A good coach rarely, if ever, suggests solutions. They listen carefully. They help the person articulate how they are feeling. They help the person understand themselves better, to see themselves from a different position. They encourage the person to find their own inner strength, courage and confidence, and to believe in themselves.

A good coach doesn’t have to be an expert at a job, but does have to be an expert listener and questioner. This is what I have learnt and try to practice about coaching.

This is what I have learned and try to practise about: Listening

The role of any leader is just two-fold: to provide a compelling vision of the future that people aspire to attain and, to build trust so those people will be willing to take the journey with you.

Research has identified 10 key practices that build trust in a leader. One of those is listening.

I have learnt much about the skill of listening over the years. Had I been born later than I was I might have been diagnosed with ADHD. My mind is going at a million miles an hour, processing the next task, generating new ideas, thinking about the next thing.

I used to be easily distracted when someone was speaking to me. I’d discretely try and look at the time. I’d get an idea and have to repeat it over and over in my mind so as not to forget it while I waited for the conversation to be over. I didn’t hear what the person sharing their life with me was trying to say. I was ignoring them.

Many of us, including me, listen in order to prepare our response. While the other person is speaking we are ‘patiently’ waiting for our turn to impart our opinion, our argument, our justification, or our ‘wisdom’. After all, leaders are meant to have the answers, aren’t they?

If you were to reflect on the last conversation you had with a person, what percentage of the time were you listening compared to speaking?

Over the years of being a leader I have learnt to minimise what I say. As the leader I don’t have to have all the answers. I have had to work hard at it but great listeners rarely speak. When they do they are primarily asking clarifying questions to gain a better understanding of what the person has said, or, they summarise what they have heard and identified the emotions the person has tried to express. Good listeners speak for less than 20% of the conversation.

Seek first to understand… then to be understood (Covey)

For me this has been really hard, but I have come to realise that more often than not, the other person simply wants to be valued and respected for who they are, for what their reality is and how they feel. They want to be heard. They don’t necessarily want answers or advice, they want to be acknowledged. No one can change how they feel. For them their ‘truth’ is their reality, even if it isn’t my ‘truth’ or reality.

Perhaps my most profound learning has been to realise the healing power of listening. It is an enormous privilege when people share with you their suffering, pain and isolation, their story. To truly listen to another person is to put your existing beliefs at risk. What if the other person is right? What if I have to change my mind? What if I have no answer to this, or I have to apologise?

In Becoming a Person, psychologist Carl Rogers wrote:

If you really understand another person, if you are willing to enter his private world and see the way life appears to him, without any attempt to make evaluative judgements, you run the risk of being changed yourself. This risk of being changed is one of the most frightening prospects most of us face.

The experience of really listening, truly listening has changed me. This is what I have learnt. I try and practise this in every conversation I have.

Rogers C (1961) Becoming a person: A therapist’s view of psychotherapy; 1995 edition. Boston, USA: Houghton Mifflin; page 333.

Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing: Lessons learned from a Royal Commission

This piece was also published in the Independence Journal

HOW does one recognise a pedophile?

It can be tempting today – in our neat world of exhaustive policies and water tight (or so we think) procedures and police checks – to believe we have ticked the boxes when it comes to protecting our students/children against sexual predators. After living through what is known as Case Study 34 of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, I have learned how monsters can masquerade behind an apparently benign façade. Would I recognise a pedophile? It is just one of the many questions that now haunts me.

Case Study 34 investigated historical cases (1980s and early 1990s) at St Paul’s, when two monsters were allowed unfettered access to innocence. The horrendous crimes of the fathers were laid bare. Boys were sent to the counsellor – the man meant to be the most trusted person at the School – for solace, care and support, only to find themselves embraced by the devil himself.

Face to face with suffering

I cannot express what I have been told, what I have seen, what I have felt as countless victims exposed their lives before me. Abuse beyond imagination. Suffering endless. Men telling me of their drug addictions, how their family had tossed them onto the streets. Relationships broken. Lives ruined. Lives taken.

I have heard things I wasn’t prepared to hear. I have seen anger beyond what you can imagine. Decades of pent up pain exploding before my eyes. Drug-fueled emotion seeking revenge and justice.

For the first few days after the public hearings of the Royal Commission, the pain of the survivors affected me physically. Cramps in my stomach were so bad I had difficulty walking. My teeth felt as if they were filled with holes. I lost my appetite. My dreams were filled with the stories I had heard. I’d wake in the early hours of the morning and relive the Royal Commission drama all over again.

Man after man took the stand, tears streaming down their faces as they recounted their boyhood experience of having been drugged and raped. Testimonies so vile that you felt your stomach churning and cramping. So many lives that could have been so different if only the voices of the boys had been heard, if the signs were noticed and the students believed.

One survivor could barely get the words out. Each time he tried to speak the words didn’t come. Everyone sat silently, giving him the respect he had waited so long for. His testimony, only 14 pages long, took nearly two hours to read. His abuser had become like a father to him. The bullying had become so bad at the School that he preferred the arms of a monster.

A mother rang. She called to tell me that she was praying for me because it wasn’t my fault. But she went on to tell me that she had only just met her eight-year-old grandchild. She had been estranged from her son for years. He was drug dependent, an alcoholic. He, too, had closed the door on the relationships that mattered.

Years of abuse have spawned aeons of suffering. It is impossible, as a fellow human, not to respond with outrage, compassion and pity. As a school leader, it is impossible not to feel regret, shame and a burning determination that this should never, ever happen again.

Lessons learned

The experience of the Royal Commission has changed me. It has left deep wounds that will eventually heal. But my wounds are only flesh deep; I will be become a better man, a better leader, for the experience. The wounds of those who survived the horrors of abuse are taking decades to heal; lives irrevocably changed. The experiences of the boy may forever cripple the man.

Pedophiles prey on the most vulnerable. I know now to be vigilant at all times, and to watch most carefully over those young people who come from broken homes, who have an absent father, or whose parents are not able to provide the love and tenderness that they rightly deserve.

Pedophiles are opportunistic. I know now not to underestimate the importance of good policies, procedures and staff training. I know to train staff members to identify grooming behaviours or risk situations and create a safe way for them to report it. Is a student seeing a counsellor too many times or for long periods of time? Are there staff members, under the guise of charity and compassion, accessing a student in one-on-one situations?

If you think it would never happen in your school, think again. Complacency is not an option. Statistically, between five and 10 per cent of girls and up to five per cent of boys are exposed to penetrative sexual abuse. Up to three times this number are exposed to any type of sexual abuse.1 Pedophilia exists in every socio-economic group, and 94 per cent of all abuse occurs in the home. This means, statistically, that several staff at your school might be pedophiles and that many of the children in your school are being abused in their homes.

Pedophiles are those people you might least suspect. We think we are good judges of character, but research has shown we can often get it wrong. We want to believe a colleague. We naturally trust someone we have developed a relationship with.

This particular lesson has been a hard one for me to bear as I am a great believer in the power and importance of trust. Now, I feel that I am fast being drawn into a world of mistrust and suspicion. I have to fight this. I have to get the balance right, but in doing so, I have to constantly remind myself that my first priority is the young people entrusted to my care.

As soon as a human feels threatened, or that they may be trouble, they go into a defensive mode. People rarely, if ever, truly apologise and take responsibility for their actions. Our legal system is designed to discourage repentance, reconciliation and healing. A traumatic event, however, is burned into the memory of the victim, who plays it in their mind over and over again. Victims of sexual abuse will therefore never be fully satisfied with a formal institutional apology that offers anything less than a full and frank admission of guilt, and convincing expressions of shame and remorse.2

The power of listening

Perhaps my most profound learning from the Royal Commission investigation has been to realise the healing power of listening. Our School, and others, found itself in this mess because the prevailing belief at the time the abuse occurred was that the testimony of a troubled boy was not reliable, not to be trusted. Worse still, he was chastised and punished for making up such terrible allegations against a respected adult. No consideration was given as to why the boy was troubled, why his behaviour was poor, what was happening to him to create such unhappiness and defiance. His voice should have been taken seriously. Poor behaviour is almost always a warning sign of something deep beneath the surface.

It is an enormous privilege, and truly humbling experience when people share with you their suffering, pain and isolation. But to truly listen to another person is to put your existing beliefs at risk. What if the other person is right? What if I have to change my mind? What if I have no answer to this, or I have to apologise? For leaders, in particular, it may represent the challenge to fight for what is right, do what is right, no matter the stakes. This course may demand enormous humility and courage.

In Becoming a Person, psychologist Carl Rogers3 wrote:

If you really understand another person, if you are willing to enter his private world and see the way life appears to him, without any attempt to make evaluative judgements, you run the risk of being changed yourself. This risk of being changed is one of the most frightening prospects most of us face.

We can learn to recognise the anger, the scars and signs that go with the pain of abuse or bullying, of trust broken and relationships destroyed. We can learn to listen to what isn’t said, and seek to understand the person who desperately wants to be understood.

The experience of the Royal Commission has changed me. No longer am I seeking to be right, but seeking to understand, to see the world through other people’s lives. No longer am I blinded, ignorant to the truth, ignorant to the suffering of others. My role as an educator has changed, too. I seek now not just to teach and protect, but to heal.


1 Ronken C & Johnston H (2014) Child sexual assault: Facts and statistics. Brave Hearts; accessed at

2 Mackay H (2013) The Good Life; Pan Macmillan, Australia

3 Rogers C (1961) Becoming a person: A therapist’s view of psychotherapy; 1995 edition. Boston, USA: Houghton Mifflin; page 333.

Broken Trust

The relationship between two colleagues is on the brink of all-out war. It once was a productive and mutually respectful relationship. Both worked collaboratively on projects. The conversations extended to each other’s personal lives. It isn’t like that now.

Trust can be broken in an instant, fracturing what was a healthy relationship. Tensions emerge. These tensions may be subtle, but they can spiral rapidly into toxicity.

We often only notice trust when it is missing. What is certain is that once trust is damaged it has a negative impact on work ethic, output and people’s wellbeing.

Trust can be broken in many ways. I have experienced broken trust. I am struggling to trust someone because I know that they really don’t care for me. I am a means to an end for them. For others trust is broken when confidences are breached, if they aren’t consulted on matters that impact their work, or they know their views are really listened to.

Having experienced broken trust from both sides of the fence I have been reflecting on how it can be restored. In his book, “The Speed of Trust”, Covey argues that you can regain trust once it is lost. I agree with him but it is exceedingly hard.

Once trust is lost our natural instinct is to sever all ties, if that is possible. We vow never to trust that person again. Sometimes our instinct is more spiteful, we want revenge. We seek ways to get back at the person, to make them to feel the same humiliation we have. Sadly, this path, while seemingly the easiest, leads to bitterness, pain and destruction.

Unfortunately we believe that the path back to trust is the one where the culprit apologises. In the case of broken trust in a leadership relationship this entails the leader genuinely owning their actions, taking responsibility for them, apologising and seeking to make right what they did wrong.

It takes enormous humility for a leader to admit their mistakes. It requires the leader to forgo some of their power, their status and acknowledge that they were wrong. This rarely happens in leadership but Collins (Good to Great, 2001) asserts that it is possible to be humble, iron-willed and successful.

“without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness” Hebrews 9:22

But, to restore trust this action, as noble as it is, isn’t enough. Trust is a socially constructed phenomenon. It only occurs when a relationship exists between people.

Both parties bring something to a trusting relationship. The leader has to act in a trustworthy manner, and the follower has to accept their actions and give them their trust. It is a mutual agreement.

The same reciprocal agreement has to occur for trust to be restored. There has to be repentance on the part of the leader, but if there isn’t forgiveness the desire to see a person apologise is just another form of vengeance, one that seeks to make the culprit feel the same level of humiliation as you did. For trust to be restored there has to be repentance and forgiveness.

Forgiveness is equally difficult to do, particularly when there has been deep pain caused. It also takes great humility. But trust will never be restored unless the other party is willing to accept the apology and let go of their pain. While a much harder road than retribution, this path does lead to healing and peace.

Only with effort on the part of both parties can trust be restored.