So what makes a manager a great manager? For the longest time companies have believed that personality characteristics such as charm and charisma are the manager skills that made a manager successful. Guess what – it turns out that they may have been wrong. New studies are showing that the thing that can make a manager great is something that everyone has been overlooking – humility. This new insight is starting to change how people look at managers and understand what it takes to be a great manager.
What Is Humility?
So just exactly what is this thing that we call humility? It turns out that humility is one of those most important characteristics of successful managers who are able to inspire members of their team to work closely together, learn new things quickly, and achieve high productivity. The good news about managers who are humble is that they are very aware of their own weaknesses. These managers are eager to improve themselves. They understand that other people are better at certain things than they are and they appreciate that. These types of humble managers are able to focus on goals that are beyond their own self-interest.
Managers who are humble have a tendency to fly “under the radar” at most companies. Others will believe that they just got lucky and are managing a naturally high performing team. What can be missed is that humble managers generally don’t leave the companies that they are working for and they are rarely absent. As firms seek to hire new managers, they are becoming aware of the importance of humility and are starting to take it into account. Likewise, firms are starting to use humility when they are making promotion decisions. Everyone is now starting to try to come up with new ways that they can track this low-key trait in their managers.
The problem with managers who are not humble is that they can take on more work than they can perform. They are often overconfident and they lack the ability to listen to feedback from others. Humility is not something that we can learn in manager training. The good news about humble managers is that they can be very inventive. These managers are ambitious; however, they tend to give credit for their accomplishments to their team. Humble managers are also good at being willing to ask for help and taking the time to listen to feedback that is given by others. This kind of behavior sets an example for others on their team and can cause them to do the same.
How Can You Tell If A Manager Is Humble?
Firms are starting to attempt to work a measure of humility into their hiring process. One way that they are going about doing this is to ask job candidates about a time during their career where they experienced a major failure. If the candidate says that there have been a number of them and has to think about which one to discuss, then that says a great deal about that candidate’s humility.
Firms now see humility as a skill that managers have to have. They view humility as providing managers with the ability to listen to someone deeply while having respect for someone’s views that may diverge from the managers. At the same time humble managers are willing to hear both suggestions and feedback from others. Companies need to understand that they may not know which of their managers are humble. Humble managers do not flaunt it. At the same time, other workers including the arrogant ones will try to be seen as being humble in order to try to make a good impression on others.
When we are trying to evaluate managers to determine if they are humble, there are a number of factors that we should be looking for. Among these factors are sincerity, modesty, fairness, truthfulness, and unpretentiousness. Humble managers are the ones who attempt to avoid manipulating others. They try to not bend company rules or want to be seen as behaving in hypocritical or greedy ways. This is important because studies have shown that teams that are being lead by a humble manager tend to perform better and produce higher quality work.
What All Of This Means For You
As managers we are often looking for ways to become more successful in our jobs. If we look around ourselves, we often see the outgoing, loud, and showy managers are the ones who get the most recognition. However, studies have shown that managers who are humble are the ones who are able to use team building to get the most out of their teams.
Managers who are humble are aware of the fact that they are humble. Humble managers often go unnoticed because they are “flying under the radar” and they attribute their success to their teams. Managers who are overconfident often end up taking on too much work and end up not being able to deliver on what they promised. Firms are starting to understand how important it is to hire humble managers and so they are making it part of their interview process. Humble managers are able to listen to other people. Humble managers don’t flaunt their humility. There are a number of different characteristics that define a humble manager. Teams that are managed by a humble manager tend to perform better.
As managers there are a number of different characteristics that we can work on. One of the most difficult is for us to become humble. If we can master this trait then we will be able to show our teams what humility looks like and with a little luck they will start to emulate us. If we can accomplish this then we can become managers who’s teams are able to accomplish more.
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™
Question For You: How can a manager become more humble?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
So how good are you as a manager at showing your emotional intelligence to your team? A lot of us would say that we’re not very good at doing this, but then we’d follow this up by saying something like “I’m not that type of person.” It turns out that you’d be wrong. We can all show emotional intelligence to our team and all we have to do is learn how to go about doing it.