Have you ever experienced a conversation when the person you spoke with talked only about his or her strengths, talents, successes, and authority? The conversation was all about them expressing his or her greatness. Their confidence and conversation exuded boastfulness (and maybe even a little eye-rolling on your part). I’m sure you, like many, were put off and not at all impressed with him or her. Sadly, they lacked humility.
Conversely, do you know someone who consistently puts others first and recognizes their contributions, talents, and successes? He or she understands there is no “I” in “team” and doesn’t need or want the sole pat-on-the-back acknowledgment. Rather he or she celebrates the team’s effort in, for instance, the success of a project, not taking full credit for a job well done. He or she exemplifies humble confidence.
“Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”
~ C. S. Lewis
Humble confidence is a leadership skill we all should strive to embody in our professional and personal lives. It’s a critical skill that speaks volumes about you as a person. It’s an internal, solid feel-good feeling of knowing your talents and successes without having to shout them to the world. When you add humility to your confidence, you stand tall and relaxed without stepping on anyone’s toes.
Humble confidence exudes poise, grace, and leadership. Develop your humble confidence with these five behaviors.
1. Practice Gratitude
Everyone has gifts and talents to share with others. When we practice gratitude, we are thankful for our business skills and other blessings we have in life. We look at how we can help improve things to make a better work life for others. We know our worth and respect that there are others who we can learn from and grow. We humbly see ourselves as a small cog in the giant wheel of life.
2. Remain Grounded
Good leaders are those who stay focused and continue to cultivate strong character traits like integrity, honesty, respect, empathy, and so on. A grounded professional knows the hard work it takes to become a leader. He or she treats everyone with respect, no matter their stature in an organization. Staying grounded also involves taking care of your physical and mental health. It takes time and practice to remain grounded. When you take time to know what’s important to you in life, you live with less stress, you’re more energized, productive, and liked. What’s more, you don’t take anything for granted, and your ego is left at the door.
3. Welcome Feedback
There will always be someone smarter than you, stronger than you, braver than you. When we learn from others and are open to a candid conversation to improve, we often find ourselves in a position to enhance our leadership skills. Having the confidence to know you can improve by receiving feedback from a trusted coworker, boss, or friend is the first step in developing your career and fine-tuning your humility.
4. Be Present
One of the best leadership skills you can develop is learning to be present, which is not easy to accomplish in this fast-paced, technology-driven world. When having a conversation, focus on the other person, remove yourself from your computer, smartphone, or any other potential distraction. Maintain eye contact and show the person you are listening to their every word by nodding and using other positive body languages. When you give someone your full attention, you’re confidently “communicating” respect, value, and humility, saying “you matter.”
5. Take Risks
Many people don’t like to step out of their comfort zone for fear of failing. But by not taking risks, you fail to grow, and when you fail to grow, you miss opportunities to learn and succeed. Failure often leads to success and fosters a healthy dose of humility. Adopt a growth mindset, eager to advance your skills and career. When you challenge yourself by taking risks, you’re exhibiting a can-do attitude and a belief in yourself.
About the Author: Nancy Schnoebelen Imbs is an empowering professional development consultant, dynamic motivational speaker, and author. Highly dedicated and results-oriented, she has the skill and passion for helping individuals become more confident and successful in business and beyond. She and her company Polished help clients focus on key adjustments that result in meaningful impact and effectiveness.