What does a story about one man’s short stint working on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana have to do with your life?
What instructions does it contain for how you interact with others?
Quite a few, actually.
Humility is the great equalizer in relationships.
It’s telling the other person not only that you don’t know everything–but that you’re fully interested in taking in new information.
Humility is oxygen in a conversation. It injects a light breeze into a relationship. When you admit that you don’t everything, you invite another person to teach you what they know. It’s as much about the words you say as the body posture that you adopt. You can say that you’re humble but not mean it. Actions, like they usually do, matter much, much more when it comes to interacting with others.
Just consider who you would rather talk to if stuck in an elevator for 30 minutes - Mr. Arrogant or Ms. Humble?
Someone bragging about everything they know, or someone asking you to share your wisdom so they can learn as much as they can to better their life?
As far as soft skills go, humility seems like one of the softest.
At least in the United States, society celebrates the strong leader who takes decisive action, not the mild-mannered spectator trying to soak up as much wisdom as he can.
But that’s what I was on the Blackfeet reservation: a spectator.
I knew that the community had the knowledge to solve their own issues. I just had to show up with the right questions and an open heart.
And you know how to solve your own problems, too.
It’s the approach I take when writing The Mental Health Update.
All I can do is offer up ideas, injecting a light breeze into the giant wind tunnel that life can so often feel like.
Rather than aim gale force winds onto another person, I’ve found that it’s better to introduce an almost imperceptible force, an influence that may seem like nothing at first, but that, one day, shifts something inside of one person at a time, allowing the tectonic plates of life’s difficulties to one day snap into place.