Still on the misunderstood word a brief recap on what we did last week I defined what humility is,according to the British writer C.S. Lewis — humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less. We also elaborated on some of the characteristics of humility which in a nutshell is not self-deprecation, being a doormat. Its about being open minded, having genuine concern for others just to name a few … if you missed out on last week post you can click on the link humility-the-misunderstood-word-part 1
What are the practical benefits of humility ?
(1)They form genuine relationships
In today’s society, most people will only come to you when they need something. It’s almost as if people won’t feel the urge to foster a relationship without some end goal for self-improvement. Humble people do not think this way…
If you are humble you have better relationships because you accept other people for who they are. Your relationships are genuine and healthier because you don’t expect anything from others. You are normally yourself and only expect the same from those around you.
Humility allows no room for ulterior motives. Instead, the emphasis is placed on the greater good of the relationship.
(2)You become a better leader
If you are in any leadership position be it manager, pastor, CEO, chairman ,MD and you have the humble leadership skills that is not feeling superior to everyone, you look to approach others on the same plane even though you hold a position of authority….
You’re also more likely to listen to other people’s suggestions, and be more open to criticism and feedback. This means that you’ll make better decisions, because you’ll gather more information, and you’ll be able to see things from other people’s perspectives. Because of this, team members will feel that they can approach you with their concerns.
Through admission of your mistakes, acknowledgement of the strengths of others and improvement of those around you, as a humble leader you are better suited to model your followers to generate successful results.
If your subordinates or followers see you as narcissistic, that is one with self –centred motives they will work far less hard towards achieving those goals, because they will not see it as something for the greater good of the establishment.
(3) You are your authentic self
Representing one’s self in a manner than is accurate; being aware of one’s strengths as well as one’s weaknesses.
When we have humility we are able to see ourselves for who and what we really are. And this allows us to have both the confidence to make the most of our strengths as well as the prudence to accept our weaknesses and also learn to manage them the best way we can. Humility affords us the capacity to go beyond the passions of our ego and create a self that is authentic. When one has humility, there is NO need to put on airs or to be in need of validation from others.
People lacking humility will often appear as if they are obsessed with themselves especially when the Ego is strained, examples: challenged in a conflict, insecurity, recognition in an achievement. When one becomes so fixated on his or her own benefit, the consequences of certain behaviours are outweighed by their short-term effect. Often, distorted impressions of one’s self, or one’s goals, will lead to immoral behaviours. Like bribery, corruption, manipulation and so on…
Humble people will be better-suited to understand limits — whether it be to their own or a specific situation’s benefit. With more focus on the context of a situation than their personal pleasure, humble people will understand that everything has its own time and place, in moderation.
(5) Opportunity to learn and grow
When you are humble you are aware of your weaknesses and are willing to learn and improve on yourself, you are ready to listen to feedback and open to modify ideas if there is contrary evidence and debate that are persuasive enough, in other words you are open minded… Also as a leader you might be willing to allow anyone to have any say that goes against your will for the direction of the organization—new hires, crafting a mission-vision-values statement, or work priorities, or daily activities. In religious humility you might actually believe that others might indeed be wrong theologically. However, you still treat the other as a respected equal with important opinions and beliefs, and you are willing to consider the possibility of error, and thus might learn from or be corrected by the religiously different person.
(6) Give people a chance to know the real you:
One example of being humble is not to tell your positions or achievements boastfully in public, it is not about hiding your identity but give them a chance to know you, from others or from their observations.
Why? If you tell who you are in the first place, they would treat you nicely and special, but if you let them know you as a simple person, they would treat you naturally and equally. You will have chance to know them. Treating naturally is the best way for you to know who the people you should deal with or not, and it is the best way who is telling the truth and who is lying. In this way you will know who should give your trust for those who treated you nicely without knowing your positions, rather than those who provide “dog-smiles”. In the end, they will be shy for their wrongdoings (depends on the personality of an individual) or they would be grateful about their great personality.
(7)Earn People’s Respect
Living a simple life and being down-to-earth not only gives you a good social life. It also helps you earn the respect of other people. When you are humble you avoid giving praise to yourself as much as you can. Appreciation and recognition of your abilities normally comes from other people. As the saying goes, respect is earned and not demanded. When people start taking notice of your good qualities without you asking them for it, humility has done its job.
(8)Peace of Mind
Living a humble existence keeps you away from the stress and pressure of trying to prove yourself by always attempting to outperform others simply to gain a certain amount of popularity, power and respect. It relieves you from the notion of being a lot more significant than what one has to be. Humility keeps you grounded and makes you feel comfortable of who you are without lacking self-confidence.
(9) A Good Social Life
Let’s admit it. Would you rather be talking to arrogant pricks that do nothing but talk about themselves and their never-ending list of achievements or talk to people who actually listens to your ideas and uplifts your spirit?
Humble people are good listeners because they are more concerned with how they can help the other person than keep singing praises towards themselves instead of waiting for others to do it.
Food for thought
Humility is greatness because it is rare. It is rare to really see ourselves as we are, while keeping perspective of what we are not; what we have worked for, and what we have been given. Humility is a great virtue but like any virtue it doesn’t come easily.
Next week I will discuss practical ways to demonstrate humility… till next time