Humility As a Lubricant for Knowledge Sharing

Taylor Hicks was named the American Idol yesterday (time in Singapore). Packed with an amazing amount of talent, a brilliant voice and great showmanship, he would have received a resounding “YES” to the last line of his victory song – “Do I make you proud?”. What I admire most about Taylor though was no so much his talent but the humility the guy possessed and that emanated throughout the competition. And then yesterday, despite the applause, almost turning into adulation from the audience, he did not get carried away. He was appreciative no doubt. With the standing ovation he got, he remembered to acknowledge his rival, Katherine McPhee when he raised her hand and signaled to the audience that the applause was for her too. Even his spontaneous gesture of “sending” his heart out to the audience was to me a gesture of humility. He was certainly a winner beyond the AI title.

Pondering on this last night, it seems like when you have it, when you are blessed with talent, it becomes harder to be humble and yet it is all the more important. And then I began to think about people in organizations and why is it so difficult for them to be humble. Is it because it doesn’t pay to be humble? It pays to broadcast your talents so as to be invited into key projects. I have seen occasions when people are rewarded for the promises they make about what they can do and not so much what they actually do.

Humility does help though in a slightly different context. I think accepting and more so, admitting that we do not know something, even appallingly simple things, requires humility. That kind of humility invites knowledge, a humility in attitude and spirit and so important for knowledge sharing – even for teachers. Teachers or experts who are open to accepting alternate viewpoints from their beliefs and convictions are displaying humility as well. Also, the way they express their knowledge, if conveyed with humility rather than in an authoritative tone, facilitates further knowledge exchange as well. So, humility does really act as a lubricant for knowledge mobilization.

Odd as it sounds, I think humility comes with self confidence but that’s a different offshoot of the issue altogether!

0 Comment so far

Commenting is not available in this weblog entry.

Comment Guidelines: Basic XHTML is allowed (<strong>, <em>, <a>) Line breaks and paragraphs are automatically generated. URLs are automatically converted into links.