When most people think about leadership skills, humility might not be the first thing that comes to mind. However, studies are showing that it is actually one of the most critical characteristics of successful leaders. Managers who practice humility empower their employees through trust and mutual respect. They look at failures as opportunities to grow and they use this as a motivational tool for employees. Furthermore, humble leaders care about their employees and take their interest to heart, which leads to a happier workforce and more profits for the company.
Oftentimes people associate humility with weakness, but in reality, humility simply means understanding one’s own strengths and weaknesses. This enables a manager to use their talents to increase profits without neglecting their need to improve on their weaknesses. A humble leader is focused on the team as a whole rather than themselves. They are willing to accept their weaknesses and focus on growing in those areas. They are also focused on helping their employees grow in order to reach their full potential. Managers who exhibit humility result in better employee engagement and job performance. Humility allows managers to be more effective in the following ways:
They are open to other’s opinions.
Humble managers seek input from others to ensure they are making decisions that are in the best interest of the team. No one person has all the answers, so it is important to consider the opinions of others. Employees want to work for a manager who values their opinions rather than dismisses them or ignores them.
They care about the needs of others.
Employee performance tends to be much higher when team members believe that their manager truly has their best interest at heart. Managers who care about their work environment do everything they can to ensure their employees have what they need to do their job well.
They can admit mistakes.
It’s tough to admit when you have done something wrong, but as human beings we all make mistakes. When you are willing to share your own missteps and discuss how you learned from them, you earn trust and respect from your team. It takes a tremendous amount of courage to own up to what you do, and that is what it takes to be a true leader. Sometimes it’s good to share with your team that you’re not infallible.
They don’t micromanage.
Nothing kills employee morale faster than micromanaging. If you are a good manager, then you will choose good people, give them good training, and then step aside and let them do their jobs. It takes humility to admit that your way isn’t the only way or even that some people are better at certain tasks than you. However, a humble manager accepts these truths and allows the strengths of others to work for the good of the team.
Even the best managers know that there is always room for improvement. One of the most powerful tools for any manager is self-reflection. By writing down what went well during an interaction and what you could have done better, you give yourself the opportunity to learn from your actions.