Humility Is the New Smart - Deepstash
Humility Is the New Smart

Humility Is the New Smart

Edward D. Hess, Katherine Ludwig

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Smart Machine Age

Smart Machine Age

Society is on the leading edge of a technology tsunami. Advances in artificial intelligence, the internet of Things, virtual reality, robotics, nanotechnology, deep learning, mapping the human brain, and biomedical, genetic, and cyborg engineering will revolutionize how most of us live and work. Technology will be able to learn, as well as teach and program itself. We call this next big step the Smart Machine Age, or SMA. The SMA has the potential to be as disruptive and transformative for us as the Agricultural Age and Industrial Revolution were for our ancestors.

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Get Ready For The Next Ride

Get Ready For The Next Ride

In the last few decades, the American worker has been outsourced, off-shored, and automated on many factory floors and in many routine tasks. Up next is broader and more encompassing automation that will likely affect many more workers, including many professionals.

While automation has been happening for decades, now technology is even beginning to replace knowledge workers—accountants, business managers, doctors, lawyers, journalists, researchers, architects, higher-education teachers, and consultants. 

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The American Dream

The American Dream

Smart technologies will become ubiquitous, invading and changing many aspects of our professional and personal lives and in many ways challenging our fundamental beliefs about success, opportunity, and the American Dream. The best research to date indicates a high probability that technology will replace 47 percent of US jobs or displace as many as eighty million US workers within the next ten to twenty years. 

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The Smart Machine Age: A New Game Requires New Rules

The Smart Machine Age: A New Game Requires New Rules

In the Smart Machine Age or SMA—operational excellence may well become almost totally technology-driven, making human innovation the key to value creation.

Organizations will need their people to be hyper-learners who can adapt to rapidly changing environments. These needs are unlike what was required in the command-and-control style organizations of the Industrial Age.

Agility, adaptability, and responsiveness also will be required for most, and thus organizational efficiency will be necessary but no longer sufficient.

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A New Kind Of Smart

A New Kind Of Smart

NewSmart is a measure not of what you know or how much you know but of

  • - the quality of your thinking, listening, collaborating, and learning.
  • - how good you are at “not knowing” and decoupling your beliefs (not values) from your ego.
  • - how good you are at being open to continually stress-testing your belief about how the world works.
  • - how good you are at trying out new ideas and ways to accomplish your objectives and learning from those experiments.

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Humility: The Gateway to Human Excellence

Humility: The Gateway to Human Excellence

Humility is rarely associated with intellectual aptitude or professional success in Western societies, especially in the United States.

Synonyms for Humility often include lowliness, meekness, and submissiveness—characteristics that would seem to be the antithesis of achievement and success.

Our definition of Humility comes from our study of it as a philosophical, intellectual virtue and psychological construct. We define Humility as a mindset about oneself that is open-minded, and selfless.

This enables one to embrace the world as it “is” in the pursuit of human excellence.

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The Meaning Of Humility

The Meaning Of Humility

That doesn’t mean thinking less of yourself, but it does mean thinking about yourself less (e.g., how you look, what other people are thinking or saying about you; how you’re coming across; how you’re being judged). It implies the lack of intellectual pretentiousness, boastfulness, or conceit, combined with insight into the logical foundations, or lack of such foundations, of one’s beliefs. 

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Focussing Outwards

Focussing Outwards

The outward focus that follows from a Humility mindset is what’s in our best interest. Truly effective teamwork, collaboration, and innovation can’t happen when we’re defensive or when we’re too tied up in looking or feeling superior to our colleagues, teammates, clients, or customers.

Humility is the gateway to human excellence in the SMA. It’s necessary in order to excel at the foundational NewSmart Behaviors which underlie the highest levels of thinking, learning, and emotionally engaging with others.

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Good intentions and Quieting The Ego

Good intentions and Quieting The Ego

You must slow down and make daily, thoughtful choices and exert effort to engage in the behaviours that will allow you to develop the skills you’ll need to survive and thrive.

Quieting Ego is how we can deliberately work to reduce our reflexive emotional defensiveness; have empathy and open-mindedness; engage in reflexive Listening, and proactively seek other people’s feedback and perspectives to stress-test our own thinking. 

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Practising Mindfulness

Practising Mindfulness

The most effective way to quiet our ego is through practising mindfulness.

Quieting Ego through mindfulness results in heightened attention and awareness to experience and reality—in the present moment—that is open and receptive without bias or distortion.

Meditation is one way to improve mindfulness, to quiet our egos, and to behave with humility. Another way to practice Quieting Ego is through gratitude. Studies of gratitude have discovered wide-ranging physical and psychological benefits associated with it. 

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Managing Self: Thinking and Emotions

Managing Self: Thinking and Emotions

A fundamental component of managing ourselves is the simplest to understand but not always the simplest to do: Slowing down. This seems counterintuitive to the cultural pressures in this day and age of doing more and more, faster and faster, with fewer and fewer resources. What we are talking about, again, is being mindful; slowing down to pay adequate attention and curbing our reflexive cognitive and emotional ways. 

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Managing Yourself

Managing Yourself

Managing our emotions and behavioural reactivity is also important to managing ourselves, and so is our ability to understand and react appropriately to other people’s emotions—which together constitute emotional intelligence (EI).

This is so very important because so much of the value-added work humans will do in the SMA will be done in small teams. Sensitivity to other people’s emotions has been found to be a key to effective collaboration.

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Reflective Listening

Reflective Listening

It’s hard for any of us to critique our own thinking and truly think critically. We’re just too wired to confirm what we already believe, and we feel too comfortable having a cohesive simple story of how our world works. We need to have thinking “partners” who force us to confront those biases, and we need to listen to them.

The most effective way to think innovatively is to think with others in small teams made up of people who have experiences and training different from us.

You need to listen to others to open your mind and push past your biases and mental models.

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Listen To Learn

Listen To Learn

Listening is the way most of us learn. To be a good listener you have to be totally focused on the speaker with an open mind. You have to listen in a non-judgmental way, with the only goal being to try to understand what the other person is saying before you prepare and deliver your response.

Good listeners ask questions to make sure that they understand before responding, or they paraphrase and repeat back what they believe that the person said and ask if they’ve understood correctly.

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Otherness: Emotionally Connecting and Relating to Others

Otherness: Emotionally Connecting and Relating to Others

Accepting NewSmart and Humility as well as practising Quieting Ego, Managing Self, and Reflective Listening lays the groundwork for relationship building with others.

What else can you do to help yourself better focus on and connect with other people? Here are five keys to connecting with others:

(1) be present,

(2) be genuine,

(3) communicate affirmation,

(4) listen effectively, and

(5) communicate support.

Trust doesn’t just happen—it takes hard work, and it requires slowing down and taking time to be genuine with and care about other people.

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The NewSmart Organization

The NewSmart Organization

Old Cultural Ways:

Individual wins, Play cards close to the chest, Highest ranking person wins, Listen to confirm, Telling, Knowing, IQ, Mistakes are bad, Competing, Self-promote.

New Cultural Ways:

Teams win, Transparency, the Best idea wins, Listening to learn, Asking questions, Being good at not knowing, IQ & EQ, Mistakes are learning opportunities, Collaborate, Self-reflect.

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CURATED BY

micaldw

Hydrographic surveyor

To manage and lead a team, you need to meditate so that you dissolve your ego. Buddhism for the corporate world.

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