4 Characteristics of a Humble Leader

Today, more than ever, leadership plays a more significant role in determining the success of an organization, company, or business entity. In 2020, about $357.7 billion was used worldwide to train leaders, with North America spending up to $165.3 billion. Even though this was slightly lower than the amount used in 2019, it makes sense since 2020 was a challenging year for businesses globally. 

While investing in leadership training is something that most companies do, one of the most important qualities that leaders must learn is how to be a humble leader. Here, we look at the definition of leadership humility, the qualities of a humble leader, and how coaching can help develop more humble leaders. 

What is Humility in Leadership?

In leadership, humility is defined as the ability to remain aware of yourself, appreciate other people’s strengths and contributions, and openness to new ideas and feedback regarding your performances. A humble leader can improve the rate of employee engagement, which leads to better job satisfaction rates. 

Additionally, humble leaders can use their skills, knowledge, and experience to attract and inspire their team, encourage unity, and contribute positively to their organizations. 

Here are five characteristics of a humble leader:

1. Ability to promote, include, and uplift others

A humble leader will always listen, acknowledge, and promote their talent whenever possible. Leaders with humility are a source of encouragement, support, and guidance to the employees. They also promote an inclusive culture, and understand and acknowledge the value each member of the team brings to the organization.

Humble leaders also have integrity and share the limelight when successful and also lose as a team. Individual wins are team wins, and mistakes are room for improvement.

2. Acknowledge their skills gaps

Humble leaders understand that they aren’t perfect – no one is. People that are humble can recognize their skills-gaps, or those of their teams, and develop themselves accordingly. A genuinely humble leader is always looking for ways to improve. 

Listening with intent is a key skill here. Humble leaders feel comfortable not always being the driver and can take a back seat to listen and learn from others. They understand that they can’t always be correct and respect that expertise can be found anywhere, at any level. 

3. Invites feedback

A know-it-all attitude is something that causes downfalls for most leaders around the globe. Sure, you will be a hero if it works out. However, if it doesn’t, you will be left with an egg on your face.  A humble leader seeks the opinions of others for better service delivery and planning. 

Before making a decision that will affect your employees, seek their feedback. The same is true when implementing something different or new. Inviting feedback can help you discover aspects that you had overlooked or forgotten. 

4. Thankfulness and appreciativeness

Lastly, a humble leader gives thanks. Organizations are not built in solitude. Working collaboratively and utilizing the different strengths of the people on your team is why you hired them in the first place. Give appreciation to the people that contribute to your success. 

The Key Takeaway

Being a leader doesn’t mean being the star of the show. Developing these skills takes time and effort. What’s important is to approach humility from an honest place, put aside ego and always consider ways you can improve and acknowledge others. 

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