One Change With the Biggest Result

Progress is impossible without change; and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.


Words like vulnerability and humility have been used around leadership a great deal, but old habits and stereotypes prevail.  In fact, the more that old rhetoric is repeated although it is untrue, it is believed through the act of repetition. 

There is a name for this – the illusory truth effect.

Essentially, through repetition, it is easier for the human mind to process a statement that is no longer new or unrelated to experience. Relative to other competing ideas that have not been repeated over-and-over again, the wrong methods or longstanding ideas seem familiar even when not beneficial.

Leaders, managers, and some team members intellectually understand that more empathy is needed at work, yet are afraid that if they show it, they will be considered weak. As highly curious and intelligent people, we imagine we can think ourselves through or around a situation alone.

An empathetic coach helps you gain perspective and process on a deeper level.  You cannot analyze and look for nuance at the same time. Our brains’ hardwiring cannot multitask in that way.

One aspect worth consideration for new thinking is intellectual humility.

It involves accepting that one’s knowledge and cognitive faculties are limited and imperfect.

Intellectual humility holds unique potential to promote human thriving through openness and tolerance of others’ ideas, dialogue, and collaboration.

You can be confident in your knowledge and still be humble enough to be open-minded to new information, different beliefs, and willing to revise or extend your knowledge and awareness.

This not only benefits your own thinking, but your interpersonal skills.  Research has shown that it helps to create a social bond, trusting communication, and respectful engagement.

These open opportunities for flourishing and psychological safety at work.

In a coaching arrangement, powerful questions expressed empathetically can facilitate opening your mind and intellectual humility without judgment and the utmost confidentiality.

At work, you don’t need to have all the answers and a willingness to learn is more psychologically positive, innovative, and creative.

Consider how you can enact your own intellectual humility for the benefit of team members and especially yourself.