Article by Edit Value

“If leadership has a secret sauce, it may well be humility.”
The Economist (2013)

It is predictable of human nature to encounter fault when mistakes occur. However, criticizing in a non-constructive way can lead to discouragement and defensive behaviors. Employees will not feel safe to take chances if they are afraid of the consequences they might face (e.g., being punished by their leader or being humiliated by their colleagues). By eliminating the fear of blame, managers can create a culture of safety. Psychological safety is vital to voice, teamwork, team learning, and organizational learning to occur.

Good leader relations increases psychological safety and can be fostered through humble leadership behaviors. On this wise, leaders must show humility to their subordinates, so that they can build an environment of psychological safety to mitigate relational risks and make teamwork more effective and desirable. Managers must encourage good communication and provide effective and constructive feedback.

Leaders have a crucial role in organizations in managing and setting an example for their employees. Leader arrogance and narcissism are not well taken in organizations. That’s why, normally, an effective leader should be humble.

This article, therefore, gives some suggestions on how you can have a humble leadership behavior so that you can foster a good learning environment in your organization.

Being a humble leader is not easy. It includes acknowledging our limits and recognizing our mistakes to our followers. It even includes being able to ask them for help when needed. It’s being able to take accountability for the team’s mistakes and not being afraid of highlighting our followers’ strengths.

Being a humble leader is as simple as using “we” rather than “I” when talking about your accomplishments. It’s not being afraid or threatened by talented employees, but instead feeling proud and bringing attention to them. It’s listening and showing openness to new ideas and being receptive to feedback.

With this approach, you can foster positive behaviors such as great job performance and selfless attitudes. Humble leadership can lead to improved interpersonal satisfaction, reliability, confidence and improved job motivation. In this way, you can lead by example, but make sure your followers know that you may make mistakes and that’s ok, as long as you’re open to learn from them.

At last, we should not forget that small acts can have big returns. Our humble leadership behavior can cascade throughout our organization, leading to the learning of the whole group.