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Understanding the Strength of Humility

by | Oct 17, 2023 | Employee Engagement, Psychological safety, Strengths

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Humility is one of the four character strengths that comprise the Virtue of Temperance.

Temperance describes strengths that help you manage habits and protect against excess.

What is humility?

Humility means accurately evaluating your accomplishments. 

Truly humble people think well of themselves and have a good sense of who they are, but they also are aware of their mistakes, gaps in their knowledge, and imperfections. Most importantly, they are content without being a center of attention or getting praised for their accomplishments.

A common misconception is that humility involves having a low self-esteem, a sense of unworthiness, and/or a lack of self-focus. However, true humility involves an accurate self-assessment, recognition of limitations, keeping accomplishments in perspective, and forgetting of the self. 

Humble people do not distort information to defend or verify their own image, and they do not need to see-or present- themselves as being better than they actually are.

Why is humility of value?

  • Humility is linked with good self-esteem and a positive self-view.
  • Humble people are likely to demonstrate higher levels of gratitude, forgiveness, spirituality and general health.
  • Other people typically like humble people and feel less threatened by them.

A couple of questions to consider

  • Where does your humility come from and how do you express it?
  • How do you balance humility with a need for recognition and appreciation?

Some things that you can do to practise humility

  • Ask someone you trust to give you feedback on your struggles and areas of improvement.
  • Notice if you speak more than others in a group or team situation and focus on the other people in the group. 
  • Determine whether you are less modest around certain groups of people and, if so, try a different approach. 

For more information on the strength of humility, go to

If you are interested in exploring how the practice of Character Strengths might be of benefit to your business and culture, contact Peter Maguire on 0438 533 311 or at

Acknowledgement: the primary reference for this post is “The Power of Character Strengths: Appreciate And Ignite Your Positive Personality” by Ryan M. Niemiec & Robert E. McGrath (An Official Guide From The VIA Institute on Character)



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