We’re here to network. Because we’re here to create business. And both business and networking are all about relationship.
So today let’s take a look at something in the bedrock of relationship building. An elusive trait, because once you realize you have it, it’s hard to hold onto…
But we better define this first. My sense is that humility can sometimes get confused with other sentiments. And if misinterpreted, it could be off-putting.
The dictionary definition of humility is as follows: Freedom from pride or arrogance. The quality or state of being humble.
Simply put, humility is not thinking less of myself. It’s thinking of myself less. In other words, it’s the ability to get my stuff out of the way in order to be fully present with you. So that I can listen to you, hear you, see you, and maximize the chance that I understand you. It supports empathy and connection, and allows me to bring an openness and willingness to be with whatever you bring to me.
I may not agree with everything you offer, but what’s important is, am I allowing space for whatever that is?
To be clear, humility is not guilt or shame or embarrassment. And this is not to be confused with being humiliated — which is when a state of humility is forced upon someone. What I’m talking about is being humble as a choice, an orientation in a relationship.
In a sense, humility is simply focusing on others rather than ourselves.
Now perhaps your wheels are already turning, and you’re seeing something for yourself. If so, great. But let me connect the dots just to make sure.
Consider what becomes possible when we focus on others. When we really hear what prospects are looking for, what anybody is looking for.
Humility is a quality that exists in all of the greatest leaders. Because they know that no real growth or positive change will occur without the help of others.
And it’s certainly true in our businesses. No deals get closed without the involvement of others. Humility is something that supports the relationship with our prospects, our clients and our other professional structures — partners, employees, our team, the organization.
So it’s good to keep an eye on what people are looking for. But it’s really about being present, in the moment, with whomever is in front of you — allowing space for what they need, their point of view, and the experience they’re having.
Where you find humility you will likely also discover courage, trust, and confidence. Because we can only get our stuff out of the way if we know that our own needs will ultimately get met.
Again, humility supports empathy, connection and partnership. Foundational aspects of any relationship.
So by all means, when you take the mic for your 30 sec, fill the space and bring what you have. But then practice getting out of the way, in service of learning how you might show up for others.
Powerful relationships lead to increased impact and more business.
So keep an eye on how humility is going for you, and if any questions arise or you’d like to unpack this further, reach out any time.