The Value of Humility

business introductions

Years ago at a holiday gathering, an existing client introduced me to the CEO of a fast-growing national company. The beginning of the introduction was the standard, “I’d like you to meet Mary Jane who, etc. etc.” But then he ended the introduction with a statement that surprised me and that I’ve returned to frequently. With admiration, he said: “And she’s one of the most humble individuals I’ve ever met.”

My initial reaction was, “That’s a good thing?”

It’s only now while researching and gathering together the elements of storyfinding that I’ve finally understood his meaning, and how he honored me with such a heartfelt compliment.

Why is humility a good thing? And how does it allow us to truly serve our prospects, clients and customers?

My confusion about the word “humility” is evident in the word’s evolution. Coming to us from early 14th century Old French, it meant “modesty and sweetness”. These descriptors don’t interest me. I’m even less interested in the Latin meanings of the word: “lowness, small stature; insignificance; baseness, littleness of mind”. Definitely nothing complimentary in these definitions.

As language continued to evolve though, the word humility became more closely associated with its Latin root, “humus” meaning “earth”, indicating someone who is grounded, solid. And while there are moments, days and sometimes entire weeks when I don’t feel particularly grounded, it’s what I strive to achieve.

Being grounded allows us to interact with others, and ourselves, with confidence.

The need to talk about ourselves, our achievements, our opinions … disappears. We are free to give our energy and focus to the prospect/client/customer in front of us. This is the very foundation of storyfinding.

C.S. Lewis expresses this much more succinctly:

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.

When we embrace our humility, all the skills of storyfinding easily rise to the surface. We become deeply curious, sincerely empathetic and magically intuitive. We inspire fabulous conversations that allow us to hear, feel and create what our prospects/clients/customers truly need.

This post and its accompanying video (to be published next week) is the final installment in the storyfinding series I began on September 12, 2021. It is the blueprint for my next book and I would be grateful for your feedback. What has been valuable for you? Or uninteresting? What else would you include? Or remove? Share your thoughts in the comment section below or send along an email to maryjane@thephonelady.com

#InspireConversation

Explore more articles about storyfinding here.

Are you ready to uncover your own storyfinding skills? Regardless of your business, product or service, storyfinding is the key to creating consistent revenue and exceeding your sales goals. Click here to book a call so we can discuss how I might support you.

Leave a comment

When you subscribe to my weekly blog, you'll immediately receive a chapter of The Phone Book - Essential Telephone Communication Skills.

Topics

What's The Phone Lady doing?

  • One-on-one coaching with 6 amazing entrepreneurs - info about sales coaching here
  • Designing a sales campaign - that includes phone conversations - for a waste management consulting firm
  • Creating client communication module for college students
  • Delivering remote learning on essential business communication skills for job search
  • Remote learning experience on sales and customer service skills for vet equipment company
  • Remote learning experience for financial advisors
  • In-person learning experience with new business owners on creating a sales process
  • Remote learning experience on essential skills to reach and inspire conversations with C-suite executives
  • Team coaching for a firm representing natural products for arthritis in dogs
  • Remote learning experience on sales and customer service skills for a transportation company
  • Remote learning experience on both discovery and sales calls for new startups

Do you or your team want to improve your communication skills? Do you have a communication question or challenge you'd like to discuss? This quick-to-fill-out form is easy to use and you'll hear from Mary Jane very soon.