3 Things Humility is Not

Charismatic. Confident. Respected. Honorable. These are traits that we regularly assign to what is idealized as a great leader. While these traits are great to have in a leader, any person who has ever been “managed” can tell you that there is a lot more that goes into it. Humility might just be one of the best traits to learn and practice as a leader due to the multitude of practices that come with it.

  1. Listening

With modesty comes the realization that there are opinions and ideas outside of your own. Leaders who are willing to listen to and explore the ideas of others will build a relationship of trust with those they work with. People want to be valued. This means listening even when you are hesitant and also taking the time to pull ideas from those individuals. Help show them that they and their ideas are important.

 2.  Needs

Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs is an essential part of life and human instinct. If you want those you lead to feel confidant and comfortable with your decisions, you must attend to their needs as humans and team members. If they feel that they can rely on you, they will be more willing to give of themselves.

 3.  Mistakes

Everyone makes mistakes. Don’t be so over confidant in yourself to think that one, you won’t or can’t make an error, and two, that you shouldn’t own up to yours. Owning up, apologizing, and making it right will go along with those that you are asking to do so much for you and with you.

 4.  Acceptance

Acceptance is an ambiguous term. What does acceptance mean, and what do you do with it? Well, learn to accept those questions and that lack of knowledge. You will never have all the answers. Do the best you can with what you have and admit this to yourself and others.

 5.  Self-Reflection

Taking stock of yourself, your ideas, feelings, and actions can come in many forms. Be willing to engage in self-reflection of what you have done, what you would like to do differently, and how you plan to move forward. This practice will help you to find your own shortcomings and strengths over time.

 6.  Micromanaging

No one likes a micromanager. Part of being humble is trusting in the ability of others. Sometimes this means just taking a step back. Sometimes this means letting people do things their own way.

Humility is a word we do not regularly use to describe a good leader or manager. However, imagine a world in which the first word used to describe great leaders was “humility,” and all the things we could learn from a change like that.