Humble Leadership & Humility in the Workplace

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Most people want to be viewed as humble, rather than arrogant; but that doesn’t mean they don’t want to be confident. For some reason, humility and confidence aren’t typically presented as a package deal. This should not be the case, because you can absolutely be both humble AND confident.

Humility is somewhat of an unclear and fluffy word, but it does, in fact, have a clear and non-fluffy (don’t check this word in a dictionary) definition. Humility can be defined as “virtue of knowing one’s own limitations and weaknesses and acting in accordance with this knowledge”.


Humility in the workplace

To make the most of our skills and talents, we must act accordingly, which means we must have strong self-awareness. Humble individuals can step outside of themselves and realize the world is much bigger than themselves. You can probably name a couple narcissists in your life; now think of a few people who are the exact opposite of narcissists. They embody humility.

Humility is a natural leadership trait and competitive advantage because humble individuals fully understand one’s own strengths and limitations. A humble leader is pulled toward the greater good and a lower vision of themselves, focused on fostering the strengths and capabilities of others, leading to empowerment.

This empowerment propels employee and team motivation, improving performance. Humble leaders view team members and peers as equals, providing a space for everyone to be heard and valued. When employees are empowered and feel truly valued, you will watch them become more confident and loyal, improving productivity and performance (win-win).

How a team is led can affect many things; level of engagement, satisfaction, motivation, performance, retention, etcetera. Humble leaders have a clear vision of where and how they can grow to be their best self and how to bring those around them to become their best selves as well.


Humility and its impact on workplace productivity

  1. Humble leadership is contagious, transforming groups of individuals into humble teams. Team members will learn from a leader’s awareness of his/her strengths and limitations, discovering their own strengths and limitations. Humble leaders create humble teams, which builds humble organizations.
  2. Once entire teams embody humility, the team will be more likely to work in alignment toward collective goals. The team’s interests and goals will be placed before individual desires.
  3. Humble teams have an increased capacity for learning and growth, leading to higher individual and collective productivity.


Encouraging humility in the workplace can be a challenge, so here are a few tips:

  • Seek humble employees

Humble, yet strong employees can be hard to find because they may be too modest to be in the spotlight or put themselves out there. Take a little extra time to seek out and identify those humble individuals who might be a perfect fit for your team and organization.

  • Change your language

Some leaders tend to use I, me, my, my team. It makes sense! Try to foster a culture where it is more common to hear we, us, our team.

  • Improve awareness

When self-awareness does not come natural, it can feel impossible to grow this trait. Luckily, it’s not impossible. There are exercises that exist to build self-awareness and team awareness. Build a clear awareness of who you are as an individual and as a team, allowing you to work in alignment with one another.



Schedule a free strategy session to begin building a humble workplace full of humble teams and humble individuals. A workplace people LOVE.

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