I started this post with: “Here’s the one you’ve been waiting for”, but as I started writing I realised that this is bigger than one post. So I have decided to split up how to improve in each virtue into a separate emails so that I can do each one justice.
If you’re looking to improve in Humble, “here’s the one you’ve been waiting for”. If not, I still encourage you to read on because even Ideal Team Players have room for improvement.
Now the question is: “I’m here, how can I improve?”
To quote one of my favourite movies, “I can only show you the door, you’re the one that has to walk through it”. (anyone else a Matrix fan?)
Basically, what I’m saying is, I can give you some suggested steps but you’re the one that has to make the decision to improve now that you are aware of the reality of where you sit as a team player.
Just to be clear, these suggestions for development are built from Lencioni’s framework.
“Humility is the most sensitive of the three virtues”. That’s because the source of a lack of humility is always related in some way to insecurity (which for most people is rooted in childhood and family issues that go waaaaay back).
Everyone is insecure in some way, and if you are trying to improve your capacity for humility, that is an important point to understand. (If you lead someone whose humility you are trying to improve, demonstrating it and leading by example is a good place to start as it gives permission for the team member to do so too).
Lencioni recommends 3 recommendations for improving humility:
1. Identify the Root Causes: Basically, work out what is causing your insecurities. It can be extremely helpful and a huge sense of relief to admit to yourself where your struggle with humility comes from. It could be something like a lack of support from parents or a negative experience in your career or personal life that is holding you back without you even knowing it. (if you’re finding this too confronting or feel like it is opening something deeper up for you, please reach out to me, someone you trust or a professional)
2. Exposure Beyond identifying what is causing your challenge, you need to expose yourself to humility. Lencioni says you can make progress simply by acting like you are humble. Push yourself to compliment others, to admit mistakes and to take an honest interest in your colleagues. If you are open to the lesson, you will learn that focusing on others doesn’t detract from your happiness, it adds from it (like the old adage, “a candle doesn’t lose its flame by lighting another candle”). You could also make a list of the desired behaviours related to this area and track your actions over a period of time. All that we’re talking about here is practicing a behaviour that you struggle with so that you can come to understand its benefits to yourself and others.
3. Leader Modelling: Look for others who have what you’re looking for and model it. Ask for their help. Tell them what you appreciate about their behaviour. Ask them to point out when you are are/aren’t living the behaviour (only ask this if you are ready for it, if there is a strong level of trust and if they have the emotional intelligence to do so respectfully and appropriately).
If you came here for some light work, you probably aren’t going to follow any of the above suggestions, and that’s ok! You need to be ready and you need to want it.
If this model has brought something from a blind spot to awareness and you’re thinking “geez, I need to do something about this”, I want you to comment below or email me right now and tell me what you’re going to do.
Really, do it. I want to hear and I want to support you. I’ve been loving all the responses so far so keep them coming!