A Little Humility Goes a Long Way
/ Author: John-David Alkema
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A Little Humility Goes a Long Way

Our society celebrates confidence and competitiveness. But humility may be an even more important personality trait to achieve success at work and life

By J. D. Alkema

These are certainly unsettling days as COVID lingers while inflation and other global concerns continue to affect us. I find they make me a bit reflective about how we interact with one another.
We are all leaders in some way or another, whether formally in a leadership position or informally in the course of our work or in other areas of our lives. One of the things that makes us effective leaders is humility.

I googled humility, and a couple of things jumped out at me. As a character strength, humility can be viewed as the opposite of pride, arrogance, and an inflated sense of our importance and talents. It is based on a fundamentally caring and compassionate attitude toward others. 

Of course, sometimes people can be difficult to care for or be compassionate to. But I’ve learned that staying humble, even though it can be hard work, is the good and right approach to take. It helps us build bridges between each other. With the polarization in our society, we could certainly benefit from more bridges and fewer chasms. 

There are other benefits to adopting a humble posture. Studies have shown that humble people handle stress more effectively and report higher levels of physical and mental well-being. They show greater generosity, helpfulness, and gratitude—all things that can only serve to draw us closer to others.

The English poet Alfred Tennyson once said that humility is “the highest virtue, the mother of them all.” Applying humility not only helps the other person, it benefits us as well. Having humility lets others know that we are dependent on them, which strengthens our relationship with them. 

In these challenging days, I hope you find that you are cared for and offered compassion from others in a way that builds you up and that you can return. The world around us will start to feel a little better if that happens.

10 Benefits of Humility in the Workplace

Workers who are humble . . .
1.    Are better able to learn from their mistakes.
2.    Are better liked by their coworkers.
3.    Have higher self-control.
4.    Perform better at their job.
5.    Have a less prejudiced view of the world.
6.    Are more helpful to others.
7.    Have better relationships.
8.    Empower others to lead.
9.    Are curious and more likely to ask questions.
10.  Handle change and uncertainty better.

10 Ways to Practice Humility at Work

1.    Demonstrate genuine empathy.
2.    Accept feedback.
3.    Check your ego.
4.    Listen more.
5.    Talk less.
6.    Show appreciation and thanks for help.
7.    Acknowledge others’ achievements.
8.    Own up to your mistakes.
9.    Trust others to do their jobs.
10.  Be open to criticism.

Sources: forbes.com, gettingpeopleright.com, roberthalf.com, spring.org.uk, weforum.org

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