We were watching the Big Bang Theory reruns while preparing dinner last night, and one of the last comments from The Emotion Detection Automation episode caught our attention. The friends asked pregnant Bernadette to determine what a self-centered Sheldon was feeling considering research shows that pregnant women are more astute to other’s emotions. She concluded, “You feel you’re better than us, a little bit sorry for us, but mostly glad you don’t have to be us.”
It reminded me of a recent interaction I had with one of the most arrogant people I’ve ever encountered. I reached out to reconnect after many years. He had given me a signed copy of his book with which he included his cell phone number. The book content has been relevant recently, and I wanted to catch up. Our phone conversation lasted no more than 15 minutes with him speaking 14 minutes, maybe 14 minutes and 30 seconds only about himself. I left the conversation with huge distaste for what just occurred, and a promise to myself to never engage with him again. In addition, I remembered the forgotten memory of this same feeling during our last interaction, and understood why it had been years since we last spoke.
Concurrently, I’ve been working on the 10 disciplines for managing and maximizing my energy. One of the 10 disciplines is to be humble. While I believe in celebrating wins and disclosing how well things are going, being humble is a huge component of the success of many of my relationships. I’m fascinated when I’m listening and learning from others. I’m calm when I know what I’ve been doing is making a difference in this world, but I do not need to broadcast it to everyone who will listen. And most importantly, I absolutely love being around humble, successful people.
Per Gino Wickman of EOS Worldwide and author of the book Traction, “more people will fight for you and follow you if you’re humble”. And I believe this is true for any organization you lead regardless if it is big or small. It’s a simple, yet powerful characteristic to embrace.