7 Ways to Teach Humility in Team Meetings
You can be right in many ways and dead wrong in others. I asked a world-renowned leadership expert what humility had to do with success. He said, “Nothing.”
Teach humility if results matter.*
Always think of humility in terms of behaviors, not theories.
Humility is a set of behaviors that express interest in the interest of others.
Humble leaders stand up for values even when it’s uncomfortable.
Model humility to teach humility:
#1. Practice vulnerability in public.
Let people see your warts. Don’t whine. Apologize when you screw up. Say, “I’m learning.” Arrogance knows. Humility learns.
#2. Never brag.
“… the more they underrated themselves, the more highly they were perceived as leaders. We assume this is caused by a combination of humility, high personal standards, and a continual striving to be better.” Zenger/Folkman
#3. Ask for help.
Mention a leadership behavior you’re working on and say, “I need your help developing this.”
#4. Include others early, often, and frequently.
“What do you think?” is a compliment when asked sincerely.
7 ways to teach humility in team meetings:
- Use stories. Ask team members to name a humble leader/person they know. “What caused you to label them humble? How could you be like that person today?” Use ‘you’, not we. Be sure to say, “Today.”
- Value service. Regularly ask, “Who are you serving today? How?”
- Discuss each other’s strengths AND weaknesses.
- Discuss what each team member has learned from mistakes. “How have mistakes changed you?”
- Ask, “What are some humble responses to disagreement, challenge, or confrontation we could practice today?”
- Ask people to explain something they’re learning.
- Give reports on the lives of employees. Tell us about the family of one of your employees. What’s important to each person who reports to you?
Tip: Say hard things with humanity.
What would you do if you planned to teach humility in team meetings?