One time, I saw two of my staff in the middle of the hallway kicking a box towards each other while talking loudly in their native language. I took few more steps to confirm that they were indeed fighting over something. And because the box is getting dilapidated I decided to intervene.
I ask them, “Hey, are you guys alright? What are you fighting about?”
They stopped and one replied in English, “Sir, I told him to bring this box of parts to the storage room.”
The other guy interrupted, “No! I’m not the one who’s supposed to bring that there! That’s not my job! Besides I’m busy doing something. He should bring that!” He even push the box again away from him. And he was murmuring something I can no longer comprehend.
In my disgust, I told them, “Is that a problem? You both look like you want to kill each other just because neither of you wants to bring this box to the storage room! You are both unbelievable!”
I then took the box and shouted at them, “You two, stay away from each other. Try to steam off somewhere! I will do this myself! Both of you, see me at my office after an hour.”
They were dumbfounded as I walk away from them.
The storage room is actually just three more rooms away! That is why I was upset with their behavior and the situation they created. But I really did not mind bringing the box to the storage room.
After an hour, the three of us met and discussed what just happened. They both admitted that they do not like taking orders from each other. They consider themselves colleagues, so no one is above or below them. Only the boss can make orders for them to follow.
It was a difficult discussion, but it all ended well when I talked about followship before leadership. They both admitted that it all started with pride and rubbed in by their egos. They lightened up however, when I empathized with each one of them. I just noticed that they started to do the same for each other that apology came out naturally after.
Now, I often see them in the hallway and I am just thankful they no longer have a box in the middle.
Pride is a universal human problem. Everyone suffers from it to some degree. For John R.W. Scott, pride is our greatest enemy and humility is our greatest friend.
And John Chrysostom once remarked, if PRIDE is the root of all SINS; HUMILITY, therefore is the root, mother, nurse, foundation, and bond of all VIRTUES.
And let me share with you some of the ways I learned through the years in OVERCOMING MY PRIDE:
ACCEPT YOUR PRIDEFULNESS.
There is a right kind of pride that can build people, boost morale, and level up confidence. A pride deserving of praises and recognition. And the wrong kind of pride that breaks people. It can result to conceitedness and arrogance. Looks easy to understand, but there are some people who really cannot tell the difference.
Thus, it is very important to know when you are being prideful, so you can start slowing things down. Be mindful of your reactions toward people getting ahead in life or sharing their achievements. Assess your feelings if you feel HAPPY for them or you feel ENVIOUS. Identifying your feelings can be a good way to lessen envy or defensiveness and eventually manage pride.
THINK LESS OF YOURSELF.
Pride stems from our feelings and perception that we are always better and greater than others. Try your best to keep an open mind. Remind yourself often that while you can be better, there will always be someone in your life who is way greater. Only people with narcissistic tendencies can have a hard time thinking less of themselves. They cannot totally eliminate the tendency but with proper guidance it can managed.
Thinking less of yourself can also happen when you open yourself to CRITICISMS or CONSTRUCTIVE FEEDBACK. Allow people to talk about you and try your best to understand where they are coming from. You need not please them, you just have to LISTEN and UNDERSTAND.
You can also think less of yourself if you can accept your mistakes and laugh about it. By not taking yourself too seriously, it helps manage your pride. No one can please everyone and that is a fact. People will always talk behind your back, so give them good things and interesting topics to talk about.
Humility is learning how to sincerely say, Thank You and I am Sorry.
Giving others the chance to help you is an act of humility. It means you are aware of your incompleteness and imperfections that you appreciate the greatness of others. Never ever be afraid to ask for help! And if you are doing better, it would be humble to initiate help!
Another way of enhancing humility would be to sincerely say I Am Sorry. Global leaders are facing a lot of scrutiny nowadays for their decisions and actions to survive this world crisis. However, we rarely see leaders who can admit to their mistakes and choose the higher ground after.
Obviously, two of my staff has yet to master THESE THREE WAYS OF OVERCOMING PRIDE. As their leaders I know I have the responsibility to develop their character. I am actually grateful for the uncanny situation, for it gave us an opportunity to understand how to appreciate others, think less of ourselves, and work as a team with more HUMILITY than PRIDE.
“If you can't swallow your pride, you can't lead. Even the highest mountain had animals that step on it.”
– Jack Weatherford
Fernando R. Pacia
Mechanical Engineer. MBA. Servant Leader.
Son. Brother. Husband. Father.
For him, the world needs servant leaders in the government and private sectors. Genuine and responsible leaders who can inspire younger generation to spread the right kind of pride and keep humility alive.