It’s often said that, in business, confidence is king. In fact, it is good to project confidence at work – or rather, timidity and lack of confidence can really hold you back. But, ego and hubris can do damage, too. Perhaps it’s time to take a good hard look at the value of humility and try to understand how cultivating and expressing it could help you professionally. Here are a few reasons humility is a virtue worth embracing.
(Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
1. It’s grounding, and it keeps you focused on others rather than on yourself.
It’s easier to solve problems when you understand them accurately. Pride and ego can really get in the way of seeing things for what they really are. If you back up, and internally de-emphasize the accolades and admonishments you could receive as a result of your actions, you’ll be able to better see past your own role in the problem and get at the heart of what’s really going on a lot faster. Ego clouds judgment. On the other hand, humility allows you to compassionately approach challenges in a way that makes it easier to productively root them out.
2. Others will trust you, like you, and probably open up to you.
Hubris (false confidence) is super unappealing. But humility works like a magnet, attracting people to you as it helps them feel comfortable and cared for when they’re with you.
There’s a reason that hubris, in literature, often leads to the downfall of a character. False pride can lead to poor judgment and bad decision-making, and people don’t like to be around loose cannons. Plus, if you’re always busy building yourself up, aren’t you also kind of also putting others down all the time? People are drawn to those who make them feel good about themselves – and bringing a dose of humility to your interactions with others helps get there. Think about how well humility works for Pope Francis.
When someone really feels good about themselves, they don’t need to go around shouting it from the rooftops. They allow their actions to speak for themselves and know that their capabilities are evident, without having to draw attention to them. When the qualities of maturity, strength, and authentic confidence combine, they scream leadership, but not in an obnoxious way. Instead, they make people sincerely want to listen to you and even follow your guidance and direction. False confidence is more transparent that it seems sometimes, but the genuine variety is an entirely different game. It helps others trust you and even look up to you. It’s the stuff great leaders are made of.
Humility helps leaders listen more, and it also helps them show others that they appreciate and value them. A humble approach allows us to take a step back and see ourselves accurately, and that leads, ultimately, to growth and learning.
Humility takes you out of your own head and allows you to see others accurately and help them feel valued. It also makes it easier for you to see yourself clearly and work toward improvement.
Humble people know they make mistakes and they learn from them. Over-confident or falsely confident folks are so busy defending themselves and trying to be seen as greater than they are that they miss this step all together. Humility isn’t just beneficial for the here and now – it will make you better at your job as you go forward because you’ll be able to learn and self-correct with ease and grace. And, that could be really good for your career.
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