Many leaders still believe workplace humility is a detriment, not an advantage. Authority, power and even intimidation are best to run organizations and achieve results. Perhaps this is based on a misunderstanding of true humility: a desire to serve and dedication to bettering others. If you wonder about your own leadership, start by assessing your behavior and responses to the following questions. You can work with a trusted colleague or coach to ensure you see yourself clearly.
Disclaimer: these questions might make you cringe a bit…but so does walking around with toilet paper stuck to the bottom of your shoe. The sooner you take care of it, the better.
On a scale of 1 – 5 with 1 being “Never” and 5 being “A great deal of the time”…
- How often do I lose my temper? Perhaps you’re short with people or pressing your points without regarding theirs. Take stock of how people respond to you. Is there an issue with your approach? If your employees try to avoid you or resist bringing up difficult topics, you may be overbearing. Focus on being calm and collected, and recognize the harm caused by a lack of kindness or empathy. TIP: Put yourself in the shoes of a person confronted with your gruff approach.
- How often to I fully listen to what others say? Are people frustrated because they can’t complete their sentences with you? Do you make sense of their points, or have you missed part of the conversation? Do people’s comments indicate that you don’t understand their perspective? Practice better listening skills by eliminating distractions and making a deliberate effort to grasp everything someone is saying. Imagine being quizzed on the conversation to see if you’ve caught every point. TIP: Ask questions to verify what you were told. (If this embarrasses you, use it as an incentive to listen better.)
- How often am I preoccupied with my own image? Do you build yourself up at others’ expense? Do their victories end up on your bragging list to impress your boss? Do you give your people a chance to present how they accomplished their tasks? Any attention your people draw from success reflects directly on you. Great leaders don’t need to grab credit. They earn much more respect when their people get the credit. TIP: Advance your reputation through your team’s exemplary track record.
If you’re ready to build your humility capacity, let’s talk!