IT Best Practices

Three Ways Humility Improves Your Effectiveness at Work

Nobody is going to deny the importance of attitude in everyday work efforts. Yet positive attitude is not something we’re born with, and (especially for some) might take a lot amount of effort to cultivate. Bruce Harpham says one crucial way to improve attitude is to adopt a humble stance in our workplace interactions.

Humility, Humbly Defined

Humility is a multifaceted trait that involves the opposite of arrogance, or the insistence that one has all the answers. Inversely, a humble person is open to new ideas. The world is complex and a single individual has only so much he or she can contribute in isolation. Those with open minds are constantly looking for new approaches and new answers in the outside world, making them better adapters and innovators.

#1 – In Company Meetings

The first place to which you may want to consider applying your humility to is the company meeting:

Some commentators have estimated that a professional is likely to attend thousands of meetings with thousands of people over the course of their career. Given how many important decisions are made in meetings, it makes sense to improve our meeting habits. The humble attitude helps us have better meeting experiences whether we are running the meeting or not.

Being humble in a meeting means recognizing when you’re using too much jargon or when you need to help new people.

#2 – While Planning

A second way to apply humility is in planning efforts. A great project is always the result of great design, and great design often equates to respecting the knowledge gained from past attempts. Learn from others’ mistakes and recognize the speculative nature of long-term planning. Focus humbly on the short term. Win the day-to-day battles first.

#3 – Toward Learning

Finally, being humble is a requisite of continuing education. Continuing education equates to having the ability to know what we don’t know (yet), and the willingness to take the next step. There are so many ways to begin this journey. Are you lacking technical skills, business skills, industry knowledge? Or perhaps you’re ready to dig deep and admit a need for interpersonal and emotional growth.

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