Susan Scott said, “While no single conversation is guaranteed to change the trajectory of a business, a career, a marriage, or a life, any single conversation CAN.” Her message is that words and the attitude behind them are powerful things. They can build or destroy by causing us to close ourselves off to others or welcome them in. Words elicit different effects depending on our attitude, self confidence and state of mind. The word humility is one that can conjure up a vision or meekness or one of strength.
Jim Collins in his book ‘Good to Great’ investigated the most successful companies in terms of profit over a 15 year basis and once identified began to investigate what characteristics were evident in their top level leadership. As stated in his book, “these Level 5 leaders direct their ego away from themselves and to the larger goal of leading their company to greatness…they are a complex, paradoxical mix of intense professional will and personal humility.”
People who practice humility realize it improves both personal and work relationships. It can reduce anxiety by allowing ourselves to be more open to possibilities – to the ideas and suggestions of others. When we are in this type of mindset, paradoxically, it enhances our own self confidence.
Taking the time to care enough to truly listen to others and to step aside and allow the limelight and attention to shine on them, even temporarily, is a valuable and liberating act. We are demonstrating a strength and belief – a confidence – in ourselves that becomes quietly evident to others. There is always enough light to go around- the Universe is a never ending source. When we affirm people’s beliefs and assumptions we are not giving in but are recognizing that ….in their particular situation and view…they are right.
The most valuable way to demonstrate humility is to ask for input from others. The simply question, ‘How am I doing?’ not only speaks but shouts volumes about your own level of self confidence. It lets others know that you are open, interested in learning more, being more valuable to the organization. That one simple question opens doors and hearts. People feel more valued and respected when asked for their opinion and input.
Whether we are thinking of humility in our homes or workplaces the lessons are the same. Humility is strength in operation. It is a lack of arrogance which pushes others away and it allows for forward thinking accomplishments which causes others to want to be a part of our team or at least in our environment. When we become really good at this thing called humility we move from constantly seeking approval and recognition to seeking a better way … a more enlighten, confident view of life and our unique place in this journey. Life itself becomes more of a positive adventure and less of a stressful, harried experience.
It boils down to what characteristics you choose to practice in life. Humility allows us to take pride in ourselves and our accomplishments without that major turn off for others called arrogance. Sort of makes humility really important in the bigger scheme in life doesn’t it?
Have a great few days!