How is humility expressed in the context of modern communication methods?
Certainly the new media for communication including social networking venues removes some of the nuances that used to be critical for communicating effectively. If the statistics are correct a large majority of communication is non-verbal communication and that means for many of use communicating via electronic pathways limits the most significant element of communication.
Humility though is more than just body language. Humility is a way of being that can be expressed in written language and more so as the result of actions that are generated when interacting with others. It could be the words that are used and those could be words that are an expression of love, compassion, other-centeredness, caring and empathy. Humility can be sensed in the way a sentence is written and how the words are chosen.
Humility ultimately is an expression of love.
“Doing nothing for others is the undoing of one’s self. We must be purposely kind and generous, or we miss the best part of existence. The heart that goes out of itself gets large and full of joy. This is the great secret of the inner life. We do ourselves the most good doing something for others.” Horace Mann
Peter Vaill describes learning as “changes a person makes in himself or herself that increase the know-why and/or the know-what and/or the know-how the person possesses with respect to a given subject.”
Changes that a person makes, that is the key, changes that are made to increase know-how or even know-why. In today’s world the world of permanent whitewater we have no choice to be continually learning and increasing our know-how.
Are you learning? Are you stretching yourself somewhere? Is there something new you are seeking to increase your potential? If not, start today.
I think humility is an essential ingredient for both coaching and leadership. Humility might be described as thinking of yourself less not thinking less of yourself. Who do we usually put in front of others if not oneself?
What does the practice of humility look like?
Authenticity, transparency and genuineness are ingredients of humility.
Of course pride is the opposite of humility. Pride creeps into our everyday existence.
Arthur Ashe the former tennis great said, “True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever the cost.”
William James wrote, ‘The greatest discovery of my generation is that
human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes
What does that mean to you? How do you alter your attitudes? What does it take to change an attitude?
It takes conscious effort to change an attitude. It takes a heaping spoonful of humility to change a bad attitude into a good attitude.
What is your attitude like today? What can you do to change it?
What about trust? Trust is something we all need to have but how do we earn it, display it and keep it? It seems as if trust is very fragile on one side and very difficult to construct on the other. We give everyone some basic amount of trust and if we desire more than we have to earn that trust. To earn more trust we have to be engaged in doing something, perhaps it is honoring a commitment, delivering on a promise or being reliable. Each time we do those things it is like earning interest on a bank account. We only earn a little and it takes a long time to accumulate a high level of trust.
It also seems that in one instant that trust can be wiped away. What we save can be lost or we can lose far more quickly than we can save trust up.
It is almost like saving up money to put a down payment on a house. We can save and save and save and when we get enough we can make that big down payment to purchase the house. Then in an instant we can lose that house. We save and save and pay and pay and it can be gone in instant. If that happens how do we feel? Doesn’t it take a long time to really time to go out and purchase a new home? Isn’t there a lingering fear that something else will happen and so we don’t fully trust the purchase or the home?
These same things happen in personal relationships as well and we have to work very hard at building and maintaining trust amongst our friends and family.
Sometimes that is where a coach can come in and help. A coach can help you design some solutions to rebuild trust. If you want a coach you also want one you could trust as well.
What would you be looking for in a coach?
66. Lead by Following
The river carves out the valley by flowing beneath it.
Thereby the river is the master of the valley.
In order to master people
One must speak as their servant;
In order to lead people
One must follow them.
So when the sage rises above the people,
They do not feel oppressed;
And when the sage stands before the people,
They do not feel hindered.
So the popularity of the sage does not fail,
He does not contend, and no one contends against him.
You cannot hope to build a better world without improving the individuals. To that end, each of us must work for his own improvement and at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful. Madame Marie Curie
Each of these quotes help us realize the value of coaching, relationships and leadership. The great leader acts as a coach helping people realize their full potential.
Galieo said, “You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him discover within himself.”
Before someone can be coached there must be some form of a relationship and a desire to discover himself/herself. What do you think?
“The biggest thing that makes my staff work hard for me – and that is the God’s honest truth – is that I care about these people. Even the ones who tick me off. I still care about them. I still want them to be OK and to do well. They know that, and they’ll always work hard for me. And they know that I’ll work hard for them.” – Nick Mendez, fitness manager, 24 Hour Fitness
Caring about people is also about acknowledging them as people. How often have you thought that the place I work doesn’t care about me as a person? Are you acknowledged during the day or do you seem to be invisible? Do you acknowledge others? Do you greet them in the morning?
Have you acknowledged someone today? Have you asked someone what they would like acknowledgement for? Try it! It’s not easy however it is a powerful, powerful way to let someone know they are important and matter.
Just say in an authentic manner and a genuine manner as well, “I want to thank you for __________”.
Try it and see if it works. This is also an exercise in humility as well.
“The finest gift you can give anyone is encouragement. Yet, almost no one gets the encouragement they need to grow to their full potential. If everyone received the encouragement they need to grow, the genius in most everyone would blossom and the world would produce abundance beyond the wildest dreams. We would have more than one Einstein, Edison, Schweitzer, Mother Theresa, Dr. Salk and other great minds in a century.” – Sidney Madwed
Have you encouraged anyone today? Have you been encouraged today? Both are important, both are gifts. A word of encouragement is free, it costs you nothing and yet you can gain so much with a few kind words.
Give the gift of encouragement today.
Humility is the willingness to ask.
Viktor Frankl wrote, “Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life. Everyone must carry out a concrete assignment that demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced nor can his life be repeated. Thus everyone’s task is as unique as his specific opportunity to implement it.”
What is your mission in life?
Reaching new personal heights in life starts with the engaged heart.
Building these traits is the starting place in a journey that can be life transforming.