Humility is Like Integrity; You Can’t Tell People You Have it…
You have to example it. And you will want to example it…IF you get the importance of it, both from a perception standpoint and from a personal checks and balances standpoint.
The immediate challenge with the concept of “confident humility” is how the perception of your confidence by others can sometimes get in the way. (btw, I have used this term in leadership discussions many times over the years, not knowing there was an actual book on it…and for full disclosure, I have not read the book. This content is based on my experience and reflection)
So, before we talk about the way to foster it in yourself (i.e., example it) and look for it in others, let’s touch on the confidence part.
Confidence is important. We should all be constantly working on improving it (Here is an article on how to build it I wrote 3 years ago for home-based entrepreneurs). The more confident we are, the more opportunities we see and the less things we shy away from without a valid reason. It’s also an extremely important leadership characteristic. Who wants to follow a leader who isn’t confident in where they are going?
The challenge is that without the “humility” part, confidence can be seen as arrogance. And arrogance is abhorrent to most people. At least that’s how I see it…and I am certainly open to being wrong about that (see what I did there? :-).
For Clarity, Confidence is Belief in Your Ability, Whereas Arrogance is Self-importance.
This is the separator perspective wise for you and the mirror.
Arrogance is essentially the opposite of humility. An easy way to think about this, is that when a humble person falls, people rush to help them up, but when an arrogant person falls, they will spend a long time on the floor all alone.
Some people mistake humility for weakness or lack of confidence. Nothing could be further from the truth. It takes courage to be humble, and you’ll see why in a moment.
Here are Ways that You Can Maintain Humility and Demonstrate the Proper Example…
*You have many great traits. These are the things you strengthen and hone to make your way in life. As the proverb says: Your gifts will make room for you.” At the same time, you are a flawed and imperfect human being, and are aware that you have many weaknesses. Be open about the flaws and weaknesses, and don’t try to be seen as perfect. This makes you real and humbles your confidence in the eyes of others.
*Regardless of your position, title, and accomplishments, spend as little time as possible talking about yourself and as much time as possible showing interest in others. Allow your current station to speak for itself. The exception in general is when you are in a position to inspire/encourage others, then you share your struggles, mistakes, and doubts on the road to getting where you are, and how fortunate you have been.
*As much as is possible, do not talk at all about what you are doing/going to do. Do your thing and share with others when they ask, doing so from a confident yet humble perspective. Be sure to give credit to others for the impact they are having in what you are doing, such that most of what you are sharing is about others even though someone has asked you to talk about what you are doing. If you are a sole operator, talk about who inspired you, and look for any way possible to take the spotlight off of yourself.
*Ask questions constantly. This demonstrates that you recognize you don’t know everything, regardless of how good you may be at what you do, or how big of a leader you are. This, and asking for other’s input, ideas, opinions, perspectives, etc. are big humility demonstrators.
*And this is the simplest one…admit mistakes when you make them and apologize quickly when your actions/behavior has hurt someone.
Every one of the above suggestions takes courage. And courage is another trait that is admired in those who are in leadership.
This is a topic worth spending some time on with yourself. Especially if you are in a position of leadership and/or are endeavoring to accomplish something that will require the help of others.
Consider the things that help you demonstrate it. How are you doing in those areas? Find the nuggets that you can work on and begin in earnest, and before long you will begin to see this show up in those you are influencing/leading.
I hope you found this helpful and of value.
If you need some Coaching, or Training for your organization, reach out to me.
Many Blessings, Todd
P.S. If you would like a roadmap for living your best life, or what I refer to as your “richest life possible” check out 3 Circles Living.