Being Humble Is A Strength
June 29, 2020
One of my readers reacting to my blog The Triad, wanted me to expand a little more on balancing between being humble and also projecting oneself. His concern is that in a corporate setting, there is a perception that humility is a weakness. In some ways, without saying it, my young friend asks me how one can be humble and confident at the same time.
There’s a thin line between confidence and arrogance… and that is humility.
In some circles, there is this misimpression about what confidence is. Thanks to some wrong role models( Donald Trump is a great example), traits like aggressive, opinionated, loud, arrogant have been misconstrued as confidence. There can’t be anything farther from the truth.
Confidence is about trusting yourself, knowing that you are unique, worthy, valuable, and powerful. “Confidence” is quiet, serene, self-assured, and does not have to prove itself. Only Confident people are naturally humble.
Think of some real-life examples- Roger Federer, Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella, Tim Cook. These are all leaders who project strength and power while being humble.
It is essential to remember one important principle when dealing with relationships of any sort-work colleagues, friends, or family.
People treat you the way you allow them to treat you.
Whenever you interact with someone, what you should convey is strength and confidence- in your abilities, in your communication, in your messaging, in your body language. You should be firm and assertive. Just be careful to not be boastful.
No one likes to engage and interact with arrogant people. Everyone loves someone balanced and humble. However, there is a fine line between being modest and too modest. You come out looking weak and subservient if you are too humble.
Here are a few tips to convey strength and confidence while being humble.
- Don’t be afraid of taking credit: If you are in a team, there is this tendency to be self-effacing where you are shy of taking credit. Avoid that. Don’t be afraid of taking credit when you do a good job. You can be gracious in sharing the credit with others, if required.
- Don’t be afraid of asking questions: There is this fear that asking questions indicates ignorance. This fear is misplaced. Humble people seek to learn and are not scared of asking questions to clarify their understanding.
- Give and share your knowledge generously: This is a superpower of humble people. Anyone self-assured and confident is very comfortable sharing their knowledge. Doing this is a great way to create visibility for yourself in a corporate setting.
- Be open to taking feedback: When you are humble, you will never be defensive if someone points out something wrong you have done or something you can do to improve. You are willing to subdue your ego to improve.
- Don’t Brag: It is natural to crave appreciation and recognition. So, sometimes the competitive instinct takes over. There is this tendency to prove yourself. You worry that if you don’t do this, someone else will get ahead of you. Again, this is a myth. Self-assured people let their work do the talking.
There is this awesome Quote that reads- Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less. Let your strength shine through your humility.