Turns out leaders who are full of themselves might not be all they’re cracked up to be.
New research published in the July edition of the journal Personality and Individual Differences makes the case that leaders who showcase humility are more likely to be effective than their narcissistic counterparts.
Researchers studied 155 participants who completed three different tasks to determine how intellectually humble each person was, according to The Washington Post. The results found that people who were considered more intellectually humble performed better on each of the three tasks, the source noted.
Humility is the ability for one to see both his or her own strengths and weaknesses, The Washington Post reported. Other studies have shown that these leaders are always looking to improve themselves and they are consistently looking for ways to make a contribution to the team, the source explained. This trend can also be seen in college students, where humble individuals tend to achieve higher academically than those who are not humble, the source noted.
The difference in achievement between arrogant and humble leaders might be explained by the Dunning-Kruger effect, according to Quartz. This concept refers to individuals who “feel they know exactly what they’re doing”, but they are in fact blind to their weaknesses, Jessica Collet, an associate professor of sociology at Notre Dame University, explained to Quartz.
Narcissistic leaders are wary of new information while humble leaders are willing to analyze new data, according to The Washington Post. This flexibility allows them to delegate tasks more effectively, which also motivates their team to work harder and achieve more, the source noted.
With that in mind, how can managers fine-tune their leadership skills to showcase more qualities of a humble leader? Follow these tips to begin managing your staff more efficiently right away:
Lead by example
An easy way to inspire your staff to go above and beyond is to set the bar high yourself. Managers who want their employees to communicate better should set an example by going out of their way to make sure everybody understands their assignments and clarifying any company policies that employees are confused by. Doing this in a calm, friendly manner might motivate others to open nonjudgmental discussions with their co-workers, which will benefit the company as a whole. Leaders can apply this philosophy to any area of work they would like to see an improvement in, whether it’s quality of work, showing up to work on time or getting better with time management.
Think of yourself as part of the team
Managers shouldn’t put themselves on a pedestal. Leaders too often associate authority with aloofness or having to harshly punish their employees to establish their power. But leaders can work in the trenches with staff while maintaining their respect and the ability to delegate tasks and give commands. In fact, demonstrating a strong work ethic and genuine interest in your employees might make them work even harder for you. Managers who show their willingness to learn, listen and improve their own skills will set themselves up to reap the rewards of harder working and loyal employees.
Learn how to give criticism and praise
Effective leaders know how to give direction without tearing employees down. Get to know your employees and how they handle criticism so you can deliver feedback in the most constructive way possible to each of them. Being able to provide constructive criticism to employees to help them improve without hurting their confidence is a key element to being a respected leader and improving team performance. On a related note, it’s also important to recognize improvements when necessary. If an employee has taken feedback and improved significantly in a certain area, you should make sure to recognize that worker and ensure they feel appreciated for their work.