Exercises In Humility For Great Leaders
If your employees feel like their leaders have lost sight of what they contribute to the company, it’s a given that disengagement rates will rise. To combat this phenomenon, upper management needs to partake in exercising humility daily to lead by example. Company cultures that celebrate humility have a competitive advantage by being socially conscious, better at attracting and retaining talent, and more productive overall. Of course, exercising humility should also be implemented on a company-wide scale when it comes to owning up to mistakes or recalibrating a company mission. However, this article will focus on practicing it at the individual rather than the corporate level. Listed below are 3 exercises in humility that every manager should consider implementing in their yearly checklist.
3 Practical Ways To Exercise Humility For Good Leadership
1. Co-Contribute In Projects
Attaining company objectives involves a significant concentration of effort from both upper management and employees. To ensure organizational success, one must cultivate a workplace environment of collaboration and coordination. If a company’s staff feels like their leaders are distant or disinterested in all the ways they contribute to their organization’s success, employee engagement will likely suffer. Employees that feel like their supervisors don’t know what they really do or what their workload looks like will be more prone to quiet quitting.
To avoid this, leaders should actively contribute to different projects and try to collaborate regularly with their team members. Instead of simply walking by your employees’ desks to check that everything is going well, become active in bringing in ideas and recommendations to get their project off the ground. However, don’t use this as an opportunity to micromanage. This is an opportunity to see your people in action and get familiar with everything they do for your company. It’s also a great way to engage them and establish deeper connections, even on a social level. Lastly, this is an excellent opportunity to chip in and offer aid; if someone’s workload has piled up, you can take things off their plate to help them boost their performance in their other tasks. Alternatively, you can begin working on projects together from start to finish to get better acquainted with the duties of each employee and make a positive contribution.
2. Show Accountability
Incorporating accountability into the core values of your company’s culture is an essential exercise in humility for all leaders. Other than being a vital aspect of high-performing teams, accountability can foster an environment of collaboration. Not to mention, practicing accountability makes detecting and correcting issues at an earlier stage much more feasible. Furthermore, leaders should take direct responsibility for their actions and management style. You can’t lead a team of high performers if you aren’t one yourself, and the cumulative effect of inefficient or mediocre leadership practices can have repercussions on your employees’ productivity and performance.
By taking responsibility and practicing accountability, leaders can effectively exercise humility. To take responsibility and become accountable, the key is effective communication. It’s important to encourage open, constructive dialogue among every member of the company—employees and leaders alike. By communicating effectively, you promote proactive thinking on a team level. When someone communicates an issue and takes responsibility for their actions within an environment where collaboration thrives, everyone will pitch in to look for viable solutions. And that is why leaders should lead by example and take the first step.
3. Review Your Management Style
Taking on managerial roles requires constant reflection on one’s own leadership style. Through regular reflection on your managerial practices, you can concentrate on the improvement of your professional integrity and your company’s processes while nurturing healthy working relationships between your team members. In addition, reviewing your management style allows room for humility, even if it’s not always an easy process. Beginning this journey of self-reflection requires viewing oneself and one’s leadership practices through a critical prism, and that, if done right and with positive intentions, inevitably leads to a sense of humbleness. Self-recognition of your areas of improvement is the first step toward nurturing the qualities that make a humble leader. Lastly, by frequently practicing self-reflection, you can quickly master regularly exercising humility in a way that inspires your employees to follow your example.
To evaluate your management style, start with a retrospective of the best and most challenging moments you have faced as a leader. Begin by imagining what your role models would do in your real-life scenarios. If your imaginary approach differs drastically from your actual strategy, start considering ways to emulate the traits you admire in others. However, remember that you already possess many strengths that make you a good leader. Try to detect them and nurture them as much as possible. Finally, don’t be afraid to ask for feedback from your people—this is an exercise in humility in and of itself. While some may dread putting themselves in this vulnerable position, it can provide opportunities to target the areas that need improvement in a way that will benefit your team as a whole.
We’ve talked about how cultivating a company culture where collaboration, accountability, and self-reflection thrive provides great opportunities to exercise humility. Humbleness should be a key component of contemporary leadership practices, especially in an age where making mistakes often requires more than an apology. Good leaders should always practice humility; it’s not a mere character trait but an attribute that requires constant exercise. If you wish to show your people that their leaders recognize what they bring to the table and how they play a vital role in making your company successful, these exercises in humility are a great starting point.