I think the biggest thing I have learned, not just in my career but in my life, is how important humility can be. Be humble and be genuine. Your work ethic, and the quality of your output will speak for themselves! You don’t need to make a big show about how much you are doing, or how great your results are. Just keep doing your work, and doing it well.
It’s true … Actions Speak Louder Than Words. Don’t talk about what you’re going to do and how you’re going to do it. Just do it. And when it’s done, don’t assume it’s perfect (even if you know you rocked it). Always ask for feedback from your leaders. One of three things will happen. You’ll either get no feedback, positive feedback or suggestions for improvement.
If you get no feedback, your job is done and you can move on.
If you get positive feedback, that’s a feather in your cap! Feels great doesn’t it?
If you get suggestions for improvement, embrace it! Remember, your leaders have a perspective based on years of experience. Know your place. You might be a prodigy, you might have graduated Magna Cum Laude from Harvard, and truth be told you might think your boss is a bumbling idiot … but you would be wise to respect their position and experience. Don’t ever pass up an opportunity to learn.
There is always something more to learn. Regardless of whether you have performed this function a dozen times, or once … the process of asking for feedback benefits you on multiple levels. For one, you get to hear a different perspective and expand your knowledge. Also, you get to show your leaders that you are open and eager to collaborate. And if nothing else, you get to respectfully explain your approach and find out why you were asked to change it.
Another way to show humility is to be willing to help your organization however necessary. You are not above doing anything! If you’ve got a chip on your shoulder, lose it! No matter what the task, if you’re asked to do it (or even if you’re not but you notice it needs to be done) – just do it! And do it pleasantly!
Businesses are operating on leaner crews these days. Pitch in, or better yet take the initiative to do the less than desirable “chores” around the office. I promise you it will be noticed and appreciated tremendously. That kind of thing falls under the “Going the Extra Mile” category and it makes you an asset! Keep your eyes open for opportunities.
Conversely, if you resist doing the tedious chores because you think they’re beneath you (or maybe you just don’t feel like it) your leaders will notice that just as much. And rather than being viewed as an asset, you’ll be viewed as someone who is not invested in the organization.
I’ve never had a job where arrogant and cocky got you farther than humility, and it’s not something you can fake. If you aren’t naturally humble, practice!