8/1/12 | 1598 views
Humility in the Workplace
To boast or not to boast? This is just the first of three questions to ask when we examine humility in the workplace. The second is: When speaking with the boss, is it better to boast about our own accomplishments or the accomplishments of our co-workers? The third question is: Should Catholics be boasting differently than other people do? Let's take a closer look at each of these queries so that we can gain a clearer concept of the difference between pride and humility on the job.
1] Should we boast at all?
Some people believe we should brag about our work and others believe we should remain humble about it. Whether we realize it or not, we are bragging whenever we complete a project for the boss on time because this is a sign that we are competent employees who are earning a paycheck. And we are certainly tooting our own horn when we bring a project in ahead of schedule and under budget because this is a sign that we are great employees who are due for a bonus. And any manager who doesn't realize this probably won't be managing very long.
2] Should we brag about what co-workers have done and remain humble about our own talents or is it better to tout our own contributions and say nothing about those around us?
The research in this area calls for a further distinction. New hires who are not well known to co-workers should probably underscore their own accomplishments rather than the activities of others. Much like a job interview stance, we can put our best foot forward as long as our abilities are marching the business in a profitable direction. However, veteran employees are better advised to boast about others' contributions since self-praise is more likely to be interpreted as being big-headed to those who already know us.
3] Should Catholic employees always choose humility over pride?
The correct answer is, yes. Of course Catholic employees can boast, but they should boast for a different reason than most others do. The virtue of humility implies that we are aware that all of our talents are of God's making, not our own. Happiness is a goal accomplished, so it's only natural that we feel happy when we complete a task at work. But the difference between Catholics and other employees is the supernatural grace which emerges when we practice the virtue of humility; when we remind ourselves that our intellect, imagination, and even physical accomplishments are the fruits of God's handiwork, not ours. The Catholic virtue of humility is acknowledging and thanking God for the talents he has given us.
For Holy Homework: Sometime during this month, brag about the contribution of a co-worker and at the same time offer a silent prayer of thanksgiving for a special creativity that we have received from the Creator.
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