Humility is considered by many to be a weakness, especially in powerful positions or in situations where there is competition. That is wrong. Humility is a trait that is carried in spades by many of the strong, quiet, and resilient individuals that have been successful in life. Being humble is also part of everyday life. It allows us to be better coworkers, partners, parents, and friends to those that are important to us. Humility is a trait that can be developed with work, intention, and time by building up small habits.
- Ask for Help
You may just be starting a new project or be on a whole new journey (see also our article on the journey metaphor).
Maybe you are years into something. Either way, sometimes we need
help—help to understand a problem, overcome an obstacle, or simply get
started. There is no shame in asking for help. Humble people ask for help all the time because they know that they do not have all the answers and that they can always learn something new. Asking for help also lets those in your life know that they are essential to you and that you trust and count on their advice and support.
- Listen Actively
Listening to others, not just sitting idly by while they talk, but actively
attending to what they are saying and waiting to speak is one of the
humblest acts you can offer another person. This is true for a couple of
reasons. First, it is respectful and allows the person you are dialoguing with to be heard and understood. Second, the person who is speaking will feel heard, understood, and that what they have to say is relevant and valuable to you. When speaking with someone, let them finish what they are saying and wait a moment before responding. Notice their tone and body language. That way, you’ll be able to respond from a place of knowledge and support when it’s your turn to speak.
- Are Always Curious
Being a lifelong learner is a great trait to have in general. Continuing to be curious about the world and the people in it will ensure you never stop discovering new and exciting things. Those who practice humility know that they do not know it all, nor do they have all the answers. Being curious goes hand in hand with that admission. Learning about new concepts and people will also give you a better understanding of those with whom you work and live. Permit yourself to keep learning and growing so that you can continue to develop personally and professionally.
- Please Say Thank You
Saying thank you is one of the most basic principles of humility and life
there is, yet so many don’t do it. Start saying a simple thank you to your
server at dinner, to the sales clerk that gets you another size, or a coworker who does something that helps you out even in the smallest way. Those two little words go a long way to show appreciation, respect, and acknowledgment of what that person did for you. You are never too busy or important to overlook a time to appreciate the assistance of others.
More soon on this…