Humility…The Key Ingredient To Learning

 A Critical Doer works as hard to develop strength of character as strength of talent 


Generally when you hear discussions about learning, the content revolves around matters of intellect.  Although learning how to think critically is an important aspect to learning, there is a character aspect as well.  The character trait that enables a person to truly learn and accomplish more than you could otherwise…drum roll please…is humility.

Ok, come down from the ceiling and let me explain.  Normally when we speak of humility, we refer to keeping our sense of self-worth from becoming overly inflated to the point it diminishes our ability to effectively engage others.

For the purpose of this discussion, let me offer a more practical working definition of humility.  My definition of humility is an earnest belief that you don’t know everything.  If you believe you don’t know everything, the need to listen to others, engage in serious self-study, and develop relationships becomes apparent.  Through humility, you are able to experience the best in others and consequently bring out the best in yourself.

The tricky part comes in dealing with someone in your organization that lacks humility.  The “easy button” is to be dismissive and let nature take its course in rendering that individual ineffective…and likely replaced.

A Critical Doer however, doesn’t give in so easily. Many great team players didn’t start that way…someone was able to break through the superficial and let the substantial shine through.  There’s a way you can help others discover a healthy sense of humility and lead them to be meaningful contributors to your team; all you have to do is be a PAL.

  1. Listen carefully…do not deceive yourself into thinking you can convince someone they’re arrogant.  A person has to come to that conclusion on their own.  It takes time to help someone discover a sense of humility but it’s worth the effort so be persistent.
  2. It can be difficult living with the behavior of an arrogant person, but a Critical Doer is naturally predisposed to find the good and draw that person closer.  It’s much easier to affect change from near than it is from far.
  3. When others stake bold claims based upon emotion and opinion, stick to your natural strength and counter with logic.  Logic is in many ways like the effect of gentle wind and water…over time, it erodes away the mightiest of mountains…and egos.

Your challenge is to find that person in your organization…and every organization has one…and make a concerted effort to mine the good and lead someone to a higher level of achievement through a healthy sense of humility.  In organizations where every effort is made to help each member be as productive as possible, they achieve a competitive edge over organizations that aren’t able to make the most of their human capital.  Put the PAL model to work and max perform your organization today.  It’s what a Critical Doer would…do!


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Updated: August 25, 2015 — 9:24 am