5 Practices of Humility when Your Wife is Driving the Car
Riding in the car when my wife is driving is an exercise in humility. My wife slows down when I would speed up.
She’s a defensive driver and I’m an offensive driver. Never mind that I’ve wrecked all the vehicles I’ve owned and she hasn’t wrecked any of hers. Actually, I crashed into her vehicle while it was parked in our driveway.
We just came back from the hardware store and I’ve been practicing humility.
We were in the left lane and a street sweeper was in the right. The light ahead was still green but the the car in front of us was turning left. It was obvious if we sped up we could zip in front of the street sweeper and make it through the light.
Did she speed up? No! She slowed down. Thankfully, the street sweeper was going so slow that she managed to change lanes and we made it through the light. What was I doing while this transpired?
I was driving from the passenger seat. Thankfully, because I’m so humble, I sat in respectful silence. But my heart wasn’t in it.
5 practices of humility when your wife is driving the car:
- When someone else is driving/leading, keep your mouth shut unless you open it to express gratitude or encouragement.
- Let competent others do things their way. Here’s a thought. Honor their way.
- Reflect on your track-record before offering advice. Are you really that much better? Or are you still learning? (If you aren’t still learning, you may be the problem.)
- It’s not a sacrifice to make room for others to lead.
- Instead of offering suggestions, seek advice.
Arrogant leaders struggle to maximize diversity because difference irritates arrogance.
Celebrating difference is easier when we’re alike.
What practice of humility seems most relevant when dealing with competent others?
What humility practice might you add to the above list?
The Paradoxical Power of Humility (PT)
The Hidden Power of Humility (Becoming Minimalist)
Great tips for any leader…thank you!
Yes … easily identifying with your brand of humility. I love ‘Instead of offering suggestions, seek advice’
A great practice for leaders is to periodically place themselves as passengers where others are at the helm … and to reflect (with gratitude) on the affirmation we received during our baby-steps and mid-steps!!
Thanks tooarbie. Letting others drive is a learned taste. Something all leaders need to learn to savour.
I’m finding that acting otherwise is a good thing. Instead of telling, ask. Instead of advising, seek advice.
Love this one. Another important leadership trait is to be willing to poke fun at yourself. Humor at the expense of others isn’t OK – but humor at your own expense (I’ve crashed cars, my wife hasn’t) is a great leadership trait. Wonderful post!
Thanks Jay. I learned the value of poking fun at yourself when I started speaking on the West Coast. Sarcasm on the East Coast is received better than on the West. I started being sarcastic with myself. At least I wasn’t as offensive.
Driving reveals the inner emotional life. If I’m stressed, it will come out in my driving. Likewise, my internal stresses are seen in the way I lead and respond to others.
Thanks Steve…love this. Driving as an act of self-reflection… I might see myself better if I notice how I’m driving. Or, if I notice my response to someone else’s driving.
I like the advice – but could we make the general advice a little more applicable to everyone. “5 practices of humility when your partner is driving the car:”
Thanks Sarah. What happens when you remove the word “wife?” The post is really about how we respond when someone else is in control.
As a passenger–rather than thinking like a driver–why not take a completely different focus. Concentrate on all the other things you see looking out the side window. What new things do you see? It’s a whole new framework.
When we delegate it frees us to focus on other things that need our attention or that help us grow.
When we empower someone, we need to let go.
Thanks Paul. “When we empower someone, we need to let go.” … Pow!
Great advice! Love “Honor their way”. Everyone doesn’t have to accomplish things my way. We’re leading people to think for themselves, so let’s stay out of their way and let them shine.
Thanks Carrie. Don’t you hate it when people start thinking for themselves!! 😉
Great post, Dan. I’m almost always the one driving, so my wife gets to practice humility in that area more than I do. But in other applications, I’ve been surprised sometimes when I see one solution (like speeding up to make the turn ahead of the street sweeper), and ask someone why they took a different action. I usually learn something; they saw something I didn’t see, or made a different choice because of different (but of equal, or sometimes greater importance) values.
Excellent write up.
The best one is” It’s not a sacrifice to make room for others to lead.”
I noticed you didn’t mention the motorcycle… Just saying
I can relate to this, Dan. For me, it is riding while my 20 year old son is driving. I have to consciously refrain from commenting on (more accurately, criticizing) his driving. If I fail to follow this, I instantly turn into my father and make my son as nervous as I was driving with him in the passenger seat. It’s an exercise in compassion and understanding.
“Instead of telling, ask. Instead of advising, seek …”
Another form of “Trust, but Verify.”
Dialogue seems an imperative.
“I trust (you), yet I’m curious (how you think).
You’re driving … That’s cool.
What do you see and how do you decide?”
Kids will say amazing things; students can be teachers, if we are open to it. So much to learn (well), so little time (and space). Sometimes you gotta take the opportunity, whatever else is going on, no matter what we may think (our Selves).
It’s remembering that our perception of the world isn’t the only one! If we’ve forgotten that we’ve left learning behind and are starting down the road of “my way or else”. That narrows our world and also narrows the road to success for everyone else.
Great analogy BTW!