March 14th 2008
If you missed them, the previous 2 articles in this short series are
This article is going to look at why someone would bother to learn to be humble. What are the advantages and reasons to being humble in your career and life.
First of all, the traits of a humble person are highly valued and seen positively. This is for various reasons and I’ve separated those into three main categories here.
I started out planning this article by looking specifically at humble leadership and as I thought more about being humble, I realized, it is so much bigger than that, which is is why it grew into a short series and why there are several categories now in this article. As for the leadership angle however, being humble is a very attractive trait of many leaders and is often named as one of the most important leadership qualities. Leaders need the ability to recognize others, show appreciation to others, never take credit and to always take the blame for the benefit of a team. These go hand in hand with being humble so its easy to understand why humble leaders are easily respected.
If you look through the list of action steps from part 2 , you can see that by listening, not judging, showing appreciation, giving credit and thanking others are things to be more humble, these are also all important leadership traits. Leadership is not power and so it doesn’t need showmanship, authority or dominance to lead others. What it takes, is influence , and influence is achieved by having the ability and motivation to make an impact at a personal, social and structural level.
So, if you are looking to be a better leader, learning to be a humble one can make a significant different in how others see you, follow you and with the influence you have.
A Humble Character
Being humble is not only effective to be a leader, but it is also useful for developing your overall character. Being humble will help you to focus on others instead of yourself which is a very noble character trait and will be liked by all who experience or see it. When people see how you respond to others and don’t attempt to overshadow them or dominate them in any way, you will make yourself far more approachable. This can lead to many great things but will likely have the biggest positive impact on how easily or quickly you build relationships. People generally don’t develop bad first impressions of someone who is humble and its generally easier for a humble person to earn the respect of others.
Think about your first impressions of someone who is showy, pompous, or arrogant when you meet them. Is it easier of harder for that person to earn your respect than a humble person? What do you think of someone when they take credit or make themselves look good at the expense of others? Its not really a valuable character trait to have.
I find that being humble is so much easier in the presence of God. I find that I’m just naturally more humble when talking with people about spiritual topics. I’m not sure exactly why this is, maybe its because I really know nothing, am more careful to not judge others or ideas, or simply find God to be rather overwhelming. In any case, I know that Jesus lived a very humble life and there are many things to be learned from Him in how to be more humble. These spiritual thoughts provide a great sense of inner peace to me and is a strong reason why I want to learn to be more humble.