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How Humility Helps You Build Relationships With Employees

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  • 0:03 R-E-S-P-E-C-T
  • 0:38 What Does it Mean to…
  • 2:05 Example of Humility in…
  • 3:33 Three Ways to Humility…
  • 4:28 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Rachel Shipley

Rachel has worked with several businesses developing policies on customer experience and administration.

This lesson will teach the importance about being candid about your strengths and weaknesses and how to build relationships with your employees by being a humble leader.

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Respect from your employees is the foundation of a great working relationship. Like Aretha Franklin sings, 'R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Find out what it means to me.' It tends to be a universal truth: Employees respect a leader that is candid. Candid about strengths. Candid about weaknesses.

Being candid does not always mean that you are bold and direct. Candid people are teachable and admit their mistakes. Candid people are humble people. They recognize their weaknesses, and they are secure enough to let a colleague or employee have the spotlight when they are doing a great job.

What Does it Mean to be Humble?

By definition, humility is the opposite of arrogance. It is a modest opinion of yourself and your contributions, but humility is also a virtue that can be developed. Leaders that can work on this and implement it into their leadership styles are some of the best. Their employees respect their ability to be behind the scenes and take on a supporting role while showcasing their employees' talent.

Employees work well with someone they can identify with. They appreciate knowing that you may have been through the same struggles they are going through and that rather than watching them struggle, you're right there to roll up your sleeves and jump in the trenches with them.

A common misconception about humility is that it is the character trait of an insecure person, as though being humble means you must not have the skills to be a superstar. This couldn't be further from the truth. Humble people are curious by nature. They want to learn more; they want to hear someone's ideas and opinions. They are confident and usually superstars in their own right, but they know that the world has more to offer than just what they have, and they see the opportunity to learn and grow.

Humble leaders see the potential in the people around them and can nurture people and help them realize that potential to become more proficient and reach their goals. This, in turn, will help the employee feel good about themselves and also sets them up to advance in their career. It also helps the company. Happy employees create a happier work environment, and employees that are striving to do better increases the businesses success in the long run.

Example of Humility in the Workplace

Let's look at an example. A local insurance agency has two supervisors that each have a team of 10 service agents. Each supervisor couldn't be more different. Their numbers are about the same, but there is one big difference between their teams that is quite obvious.

Jacqueline believes in an open door policy, wants agents from her team and others to feel comfortable coming to her with questions and concerns and uses these as 'teaching moments' for agents. She coaches with care using examples from her time as a service agent as a way to connect with her agents.

On the other hand, Cedric doesn't believe in any personal conversations or in connecting with employees. He is there to get results, and employees should be ready to work when they arrive, regardless of any outside things that could be affecting their performance. He often uses his accomplishments as examples of what the agents should try to attain. Mediocrity is met with sneer and an air that it is an easy job, he did it and didn't need all the help these agents require.

Does it surprise you that the agents of Cedric have either quit, been fired, or are desperately trying to get transferred to another team? Does it surprise you that they are sick of hearing about Cedric's glory days? Does it surprise you that they hate their jobs? It shouldn't. This guy is not a humble leader.

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