Keeping it Real – The Importance of Humility

In my clinical practice I encounter many different personalities, motives and issues. Likewise, in my management role, I have had many occasion to encounter an equal diversity of personalities and styles. These are givens, and this is simply the way humans are organized. There are some patterns however that I have identified that suggest that certain styles (whether in management, leadership, or personality relationships) appear to work better than other.

What appears to be most effective in most human transactions is the ability to do two things: Keep yourself real; and, self monitor your interactions so that they show a level of humility and awareness of other’s feelings and needs. Let me explain.

For many people, keeping themselves real or transparent is enormously difficult. If there isn’t enough self-confidence, they will present as anxious or insecure. For others the opposite is apparent, being real means being “full of yourself”. This generally is not very effective.

The second part is humility. This is where the person has the ability to be real, but not offensive. They appear authentic, genuine, and willing to express their views, without imposing them on others. It also allow the person to express empathy, and a decency not to disrespect others in order to feel better about themselves, or project power over others.

When we put authentic realness with the ability to self-monitor and understand others our ability to influence change, or relationships with others amplifies over time. Being a “deep waters” person is actually an admirable trait. Being humble doesn’t imply that you’re shy, or even closed to others. It just means that you can allow yourself to be authentic, and influential, rather than defensive, and unrealistic.


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