As you rise in your career, you may find yourself working under some people who may not be as smart, exposed or as talented as you. Another possibility is that you may be working under people who do not invest in their personal and professional development, hence you become more knowledgeable and skilled than them after a while.

This article will show you the best ways you can remain humble when you are smarter than the people you work under. The following are the simple ways you can so this:

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Never tell them that they are wrong

This is not to suggest that your boss will be right all the time, there are times when they may not be. The idea is that you should not confront them directly, do not say things like “you are wrong” or “I don’t think you are right”. My advice is that you avoid both phrases, instead say things like “is there an alternative method”, “can we review or reconsider”. This makes it easier for them to have a rethink.

Your suggestions should come as questions

If you are convinced that your idea is the best solution to a particular challenge in the office, present it as a question to your boss. Presenting your idea in the form of a question makes it seem like you are seeking advice from your boss, rather than imposing your idea. For instance, “shouldn’t we try this new software, I think it is the best available” sounds better than “this is the best software available, let’s use it”. Learn to present your ideas as questions.

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Make your ideas seem like it’s theirs

You can make your ideas seem like it emanated from your boss, this is one of the best ways for you to gain their support in executing that idea. Don’t be afraid to transfer ownership of your idea to your boss, as long as the idea will get executed and it will benefit the organization. Instead of presenting your idea using “I” use “We” or “You”.

Make them feel very important

This does not mean that you should flatter them, flattery can be harmful on the long run. You should learn to be very respectful, obedient and be very humble. Fix you focus on the things they are good at and always commend their efforts. Help them improve on their weak points, remember you are there to provide support for them. Be a good support.

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Deliberately downplay your smartness

ou do not want your boss to become envious of you, this would be very harmful to your relationship and may be threatening to your job. You have to try to deliberately downplay your abilities sometimes. This requires some level of skill and maturity, you must do all you can not to appear smarter than your boss no matter how brilliant and talented you are.

You must stay humble to maintain a healthy relationship with your boss and to perform excellently at work. I hope this article has been helpful with the ideas shared?

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About the Author

Obaro Aziza is an HR professional with specialties in Learning and Development, Training Facilitation, Talent Acquisition, Business Partnering, Performance Management, Talent Management, HR and Business Consulting, Business Development, Strategy, Business Analysis, Business writing. 

You can reach him on LinkedIn here.

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