How Humility Can Improve Your Business

Humility is an important trait in an effective leader. Humility in the workplace encompasses respect, kindness, accountability and the ability to maintain open communication. Use the information in this guide to develop your skills as a humble leader and learn how humility can be a benefit in the workplace.


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What is humility in the workplace?

Humility in the workplace consists of being open to feedback and constructive criticism, showing respect and recognizing others’ roles and contributions. Good managers and leaders demonstrate humility in the workplace through their ability to recognize their equality with their peers and colleagues and remain open to employees’ and team members’ feedback.


Traits of humble leaders

Here are several characteristics of humble leaders and ways you can incorporate these traits into your leadership approaches:


Accept accountability

Leaders who demonstrate humility can admit when they make mistakes and hold themselves accountable. Develop this trait by learning how to accept and admit when you make mistakes, then commit to taking steps to learn from them.


Actively seek out input from others

Effective leadership can depend on applying feedback and constructive criticism from others. Demonstrate humility in the workplace by seeking out feedback from your colleagues and applying that feedback to make improvements, develop plans and implement strategies that help the business meet its objectives.


Show respect to all staff members

Humble leaders show respect to all of their team members, no matter the employee’s role in the organization. Your personal opinions about an employee are irrelevant to the need to show humility through respect. Demonstrate your respect by listening to your teams’ concerns and ideas, reaffirming their contributions to the organization and being polite and thankful.


Recognize limitations

Humble leaders recognize when they need extra assistance and should delegate tasks to their teams. You can develop your ability to recognize your limitations when you take on a large project with multiple facets. Consider which tasks you have time for, then delegate to your team, ask for support and seek out extra resources when you need to.

Read more: 7 Effective Skills to Help You Become a Better Leader


Effectiveness and benefits of humility in the workplace

Demonstrating humility in the workplace is beneficial for a variety of reasons, including:


Boosts employee morale

When you demonstrate humility as a leader, your employees are likely to follow your lead, which can help boost their morale. As you listen to your team, remain open to feedback and build trust with your employees. This process shows employees that you value and respect them, increasing their satisfaction in their jobs.


Empowers team members

The more you show humility at work, the more you can empower your team. For instance, when you hold team meetings, ask for input from all employees. This will help them recognize that you value their ideas and believe they contribute to the growth of the business. Employees who feel valued are more likely to want to help your business achieve its goals.


Positively influences office culture

When all staff members practice humility through consideration, gratefulness and kindness, this ultimately helps build and foster a positive atmosphere where employees feel safe to contribute new ideas to improve your company.

Read more: How to Motivate Your Employees


Encourages open communication

When employees have trust in you and your managers, they’re more likely to engage in open communication, offer input and ideas and raise questions and concerns when they feel they need to. This can result in new solutions or processes, which can make your business more successful.


Fosters helpful behaviors

Humility in the workplace can help influence your employees to be more helpful in the day-to-day processes of the business. For instance, encouraging humility through openness and honesty can increase employees’ desire and willingness to go out of their way to help a coworker, which can speed up production workflows.


Supports healthy work relationships

Humility can also improve the way staff members build relationships with each other. With respect, kindness and an open-minded approach to interactions in the workplace, employees can be more successful in building and maintaining healthy friendships with their colleagues. When your employees enjoy working together, they can often accomplish group tasks faster.


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