Category Archives: Humility

The humblest hour

“the life of every man

Is a diary in which

He means to

Write one story

And writes another;

And his humblest hour

Is when he compares

The volume as it is

With what he hoped

To make it.”

J.M. Barrie

Humility in context

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

What is humility?

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.”

Elements of Humility

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?