In an age where authoritarian power is being questioned from the classroom to the boardroom, the emerging research is conclusive — humility is a dramatically more powerful and effective way of leading.
Scientific inquiry into the power and effectiveness of humility in the workplace has shown that it offers a significant “competitive advantage” to leaders.
According to a study from the University of Washington Foster School of Business, humble people tend to make the most effective leaders (that’s right, the most) and are more likely to be high performers in both individual and team settings, according to associate professor Michael Johnson.
Related: Humility: An Undervalued But Crucial Business Asset
Unsurprisingly, researchers found that employees who rated their managers as humble reported feeling more engaged and less likely to quit. They also reported being more committed to a leader’s vision, and more trusting and receptive to their ideas.
“Our study suggests that a ‘quieter’ leadership approach — listening, being transparent, aware of your limitations and appreciating co-workers strengths and contributions, is an effective way to engage employees,” Johnson and fellow researchers Bradley Owens and Terence Mitchell write in the study.