How Showing Humility Can Strengthen Your Team

“Eating humble pie” is generally understood as a pejorative phrase, but research continues to show the benefits of humility in the workplace.

A study from the University of South Australia Centre for Workplace Excellence found that team leaders who demonstrate humility can both drive better outcomes and curb negative influences, as reported by the Society for Human Resource Management.

The study highlighted three primary attributes of the humble leader:

  • Maintaining self-awareness
  • Praising the strengths and contributions of others
  • Being open to feedback

SHRM recommends other steps, including keeping your ego in balance (don’t think too much or too little of yourself), admitting your mistakes, and making it a priority to get the perspectives of people new to your organization.

Another study, published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior, linked humility with another trait: gratitude. In short, the researchers say, “Managers who experience more gratitude are more likely to act with humility.”

In particular, they are more likely to seek and listen to input from others. This creates an environment in which employees will make more recommendations and be more vocal about their opinions. The result? A stronger “team voice,” which leads to better morale and more innovation.

Here’s another good article, from Forbes: “Why Humble Leaders Make The Best Leaders.”

If you’re looking for more resources to help you take the next step in your career, be sure to check out the NextGen Government Virtual Training Summit. We’ll host two, free virtual summits this year and both will focus on providing public servants with everything you need to advance your career.

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