Building Higher Trust 127 Actions to Build Humility

One thing any leader can do to foster more trust is to practice humility. You have likely experienced ego-centered leaders who don’t develop trust with their people.

They have all the answers and bully people into doing their bidding. The things a leader can do to become a more humble person are not always obvious.

Several months ago, I wrote another article on humility that addressed why humility is so important. In this article, I will share ten specific actions a leader can practice to develop more humility.

How can leaders improve their level of humility?

Humility is a valuable trait that fosters collaboration, empathy, and a willingness to learn. Here are ten things a leader can do to develop more humility

Practice self-reflection

Take time for introspection and evaluate your own strengths and weaknesses honestly. Acknowledge that you don’t have all the answers and that you can learn from others.

Seek feedback

Actively encourage and welcome feedback from your team, peers, and mentors. Listen openly to different perspectives, even if they challenge your own ideas. Consider constructive criticism as an opportunity for growth. When people bring up a contrary opinion, make them glad they brought it up. 

Practice active listening

When engaging in conversations, genuinely listen to others without interrupting or dominating the conversation. Show interest and respect for their viewpoints and experiences. Keep a mental score sheet and make sure you are listening more than talking. This practice is especially important after heavy conversations. Make sure the air time is evenly distributed or weighted more toward the other person.

Share credit and recognize contributions

Give credit where it is due and acknowledge the efforts and achievements of other people. Avoid taking credit solely for yourself and emphasize collective success.

Admit mistakes and take responsibility

Acknowledge and own up to your mistakes. Apologize when necessary and focus on finding solutions rather than assigning blame. This action demonstrates humility and a commitment to personal and professional growth.

Learn from others

Recognize that you can learn from people at all levels of the organization. Encourage sharing and create opportunities for mentorship or reverse mentoring. Thank people who share their knowledge with you.

Practice empathy and compassion

Cultivate empathy by putting yourself in others’ shoes and considering their feelings, needs, and perspectives. Treat everyone with kindness, respect, and fairness. Keep your tone of voice low and calm. Don’t shout!

Be open to continuous learning

Foster a growth mindset and embrace a mindset of lifelong learning. Stay curious and seek new knowledge and experiences. Encourage a culture of learning within your team or organization.

Lead by example

Model the behaviors and values you expect from others. Show humility in your actions, decisions, and interactions. Demonstrate that humility is a strength and not a weakness.

Cultivate gratitude

Recognize and appreciate the contributions and support of others. Express gratitude regularly, both publicly and privately. Show that you value and acknowledge the efforts of those around you.

Remember that becoming more humble is an ongoing journey. It requires self-awareness, a commitment to personal growth, and consistent practice of these actions.



Bob Whipple, MBA, CPTD, is a consultant, trainer, speaker, and author in the areas of leadership and trust.  He is the author of: The Trust Factor: Advanced Leadership for Professionals, Understanding E-Body Language: Building Trust Online, and Leading with Trust is Like Sailing Downwind.  Bob has many years as a senior executive with a Fortune 500 Company and with non-profit organizations.  For more information, or to bring Bob in to speak at your next event, contact him at, or 585.392.7763.




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