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8 Reasons Why You Should Not Be Too Humble At Work

8 Reasons Why You Should Not Be Too Humble At Work

Everyone has always seemed to know about the power of arrogance. It wasn’t uncommon for people to brag about their accomplishments during first time introductions. However in today’s society, we have lost the power of humility. No one likes a show off, especially in the workplace. As a result, people who make the long hard journey to success are very frequently reminded to remain humble upon arrival.

Our society has come to believe that humility, confidence and hard work make a winning recipe for personal achievement. Yet, I know many confident, humble and hardworking people who are still to achieve the goals and dreams they have set out to accomplish. This is because there is a big difference between being arrogant and having a sense of arrogance about yourself. Those whose actions leave us in awe are very aware of this difference.

Culturally, we have warped the idea of having arrogance with so many negative connotations that it is often synonymous with pride, vanity or egotism.
We all have an arrogance. It is the one thing that makes you seemingly irreplaceable. It is your passion or action; the one thing you do extremely well. Your arrogance is the value you add to society. It is what makes you indispensable. While self-esteem describes a person’s overall sense of self-worth or value,
humility is truly an asset to have, but too much of it can turn in a liability.

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And for starters, there are eight reasons why you should not be too humble at work and why you need arrogance, not confidence, to boost your self-esteem.

1. Being humble has different meanings and perceptions

Different people have different meanings and opinions on humility. To be successful in the workplace, it would do you good to understand the perceptions of others on the subject. Being humble is a good trait to have; however in today’s aggressive business market; it may leave people thinking you are timid, shy or just a push over.

2. Too much humility can often down play the powerful experience of positive affirmation

Many successful managers have been found to use the power of positive affirmation to motivate their teams. When you receive a compliment for something you have done very well, you secrete several feel good hormones. These are the same hormones Kobe Bryant and LeBron James secrete every time they make amazing plays on the basketball court. If someone cautioned you to be humble right after you set a new personal record for yourself in the gym, or as a runner you run further than you ever thought you possible could, would that not leave a sour taste in your feel good moment?

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Humility is a good trait to have. But at work, too much of it can down play the experience of receiving good and positive feedback.

3. No one will know your value

Often times in our humility, we simply expect our actions to speak for us. We assume that if we just stay focused and work hard, we wouldn’t have to fuss about how good we really are. This old way of thinking simply leaves your chances of success up to luck. If you are too humble, people may not know what real value you bring to the organization. Sometimes you might have to use your words to create opportunities for your actions.

4. You may not know your value

If I asked what your arrogance is, what would you say? What is the one thing you do so well that makes you irreplaceable at your workplace? And I don’t mean your job description. Humility can sometimes leave you passing through life in contentment, never truly expressing the skills and qualities that make you unique.

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5. People love humble people sometimes for all the wrong reasons

While it is sad, it is also true. If you have too much humility in the workplace, people might be compelled to take advantage of you. Don’t be so humble that you find yourself with longer hours and soul drenching workloads. Don’t let your humility turn into resentment.

6. No one is born with humility, it is a conditioned behavior

No one is born humble. Humility is a trait we are taught. It is how you are supposed to fit in and be normal. However if you are looking to succeed in life, you can’t just be normal. In any given 24 hour day, you will probably work 10-12 hours. Developing a sense of arrogance in your work is important, because what you do will take up half your time.

7. You may end up being labeled a follower

Too much humility may have you tagged as someone not ready to lead. Effective leaders don’t just have to make tough and unpopular decisions, they also have to be willing to take full responsibility for the consequences of those decisions. If you are too humble at your job, people may simply feel you are not ready for such pressures.

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8. Humility may affect your earning power

Negotiation is a skill set that leaves no room for humility. You know what your are worth and you are not afraid to ask for it. In my career, I have seen too many people accept lower wages out of humility. They are simply too scared or just too grateful to demand appropriate compensation for their arrogance. It is highly unlikely that you will get what you deserve if you show up armed with humility and too much confidence to a job interview.

The purpose of this article is not to downplay the importance of humility. In the right context, it can be a powerful tool. Like the ancient Chinese Yin –Yang philosophy, I believe the two can actually complement each other. You need a little humility in your arrogance, just like you may also need a little arrogance in your humility.

Featured photo credit: http://www.suhaibwebb.com/islam-studies/mariam%E2%80%99s-character-a-commitment-to-modesty/ via suhaibwebb.com

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Last Updated on March 29, 2021

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

5 Types of Horrible Bosses and How to Beat Them All

When I left university I took a job immediately, I had been lucky as I had spent a year earning almost nothing as an intern so I was offered a role. On my first day I found that I had not been allocated a desk, there was no one to greet me so I was left for some hours ignored. I happened to snipe about this to another employee at the coffee machine two things happened. The first was that the person I had complained to was my new manager’s wife, and the second was, in his own words, ‘that he would come down on me like a ton of bricks if I crossed him…’

What a great start to a job! I had moved to a new city, and had been at work for less than a morning when I had my first run in with the first style of bad manager. I didn’t stay long enough to find out what Mr Agressive would do next. Bad managers are a major issue. Research from Approved Index shows that more than four in ten employees (42%) state that they have previously quit a job because of a bad manager.

The Dream Type Of Manager

My best manager was a total opposite. A man who had been the head of the UK tax system and was working his retirement running a company I was a very junior and green employee for. I made a stupid mistake, one which cost a lot of time and money and I felt I was going to be sacked without doubt.

I was nervous, beating myself up about what I had done, what would happen. At the end of the day I was called to his office, he had made me wait and I had spent that day talking to other employees, trying to understand where I had gone wrong. It had been a simple mistyped line of code which sent a massive print job out totally wrong. I learn how I should have done it and I fretted.

My boss asked me to step into his office, he asked me to sit down. “Do you know what you did?” I babbled, yes, I had been stupid, I had not double-checked or asked for advice when I was doing something I had not really understood. It was totally my fault. He paused. “Will you do that again?” Of course I told him I would not, I would always double check, ask for help and not try to be so clever when I was not!

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“Okay…”

That was it. I paused and asked, should I clear my desk. He smiled. “You have learnt a valuable lesson, I can be sure that you will never make a mistake like that again. Why would I want to get rid of an employee who knows that?”

I stayed with that company for many years, the way I was treated was a real object lesson in good management. Sadly, far too many poor managers exist out there.

The Complete Catalogue of Bad Managers

The Bully

My first boss fitted into the classic bully class. This is so often the ‘old school’ management by power style. I encountered this style again in the retail sector where one manager felt the only way to get the best from staff was to bawl and yell.

However, like so many bullies you will often find that this can be someone who either knows no better or is under stress and they are themselves running scared of the situation they have found themselves in.

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The Invisible Boss

This can either present itself as management from afar (usually the golf course or ‘important meetings) or just a boss who is too busy being important to deal with their staff.

It can feel refreshing as you will often have almost total freedom with your manager taking little or no interest in your activities, however you will soon find that you also lack the support that a good manager will provide. Without direction you may feel you are doing well just to find that you are not delivering against expectations you were not told about and suddenly it is all your fault.

The Micro Manager

The frustration of having a manager who feels the need to be involved in everything you do. The polar opposite to the Invisible Boss you will feel that there is no trust in your work as they will want to meddle in everything you do.

Dealing with the micro-manager can be difficult. Often their management style comes from their own insecurity. You can try confronting them, tell them that you can do your job however in many cases this will not succeed and can in fact make things worse.

The Over Promoted Boss

The Over promoted boss categorises someone who has no idea. They have found themselves in a management position through service, family or some corporate mystery. They are people who are not only highly unqualified to be managers they will generally be unable to do even your job.

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You can find yourself persistently frustrated by the situation you are in, however it can seem impossible to get out without handing over your resignation.

The Credit Stealer

The credit stealer is the boss who will never publically acknowledge the work you do. You will put in the extra hours working on a project and you know that, in the ‘big meeting’ it will be your credit stealing boss who will take all of the credit!

Again it is demoralising, you see all of the credit for your labour being stolen and this can often lead to good employees looking for new careers.

3 Essential Ways to Work (Cope) with Bad Managers

Whatever type of bad boss you have there are certain things that you can do to ensure that you get the recognition and protection you require to not only remain sane but to also build your career.

1. Keep evidence

Whether it is incidents with the bully or examples of projects you have completed with the credit stealer you will always be well served to keep notes and supporting evidence for projects you are working on.

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Buy your own notebook and ensure that you are always making notes, it becomes a habit and a very useful one as you have a constant reminder as well as somewhere to explore ideas.

Importantly, if you do have to go to HR or stand-up for yourself you will have clear records! Also, don’t always trust that corporate servers or emails will always be available or not tampered with. Keep your own content.

2. Hold regular meetings

Ensure that you make time for regular meetings with your boss. This is especially useful for the over-promoted or the invisible boss to allow you to ‘manage upwards’. Take charge where you can to set your objectives and use these meetings to set clear objectives and document the status of your work.

3. Stand your ground, but be ready to jump…

Remember that you don’t have to put up with poor management. If you have issues you should face them with your boss, maybe they do not know that they are coming across in a bad way.

However, be ready to recognise if the situation is not going to change. If that is the case, keep your head down and get working on polishing your CV! If it isn’t working, there will be something better out there for you!

Good luck!

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