You can’t expect everyone to be receptive to you, but one of the most important traits of a leader is to be approachable. If you want to ensure that your reputation amongst your peers and the people you lead is stellar, you have to be an approachable person; someone that your teammates admire, not fear.
Approachability Is a Leadership Skill
Being approachable does not come easy to everyone. If you are one of those people that struggles with it, here are some of the ways you can become a very approachable and charismatic leader. Try these simple tips for three months, on how to become more approachable, I guarantee you will definitely see positive results in the way people approach you in the workplace.
Greet Everyone Personally
Even a simple “good morning” followed by the name of the person you are greeting; will help you enhance your approachability. This happens in small increments every single day.
When you get into the habit of greeting people day in and day out, you convey to those people that they matter to you. You also give them a feeling of freshness and maturity, giving them the support they need to get on with the day and be their most productive self.
Greeting people on a regular basis not only enhances your own reputation in front of your teammates but you enhance people’s productivity throughout the day.
“Just a couple of words (good morning) and a smile on a consistent basis, can make a big difference in helping you become more approachable.”
Show You Care
People are naturally drawn to other people who show them genuine care without malice. When you set aside some time during your week to check in with your team, you are, in a way, reminding them that they matter to you.
“Deliberately taking time out of your schedule to check up on people like a friend, increases your approachability.”
Demonstrating that you care about your teammates and peers gives them incentive to catch up on you too, establishing a friendly relationship between them and yourself.
You can also practice being a good listener when they are speaking, ask follow up questions to show that you are interested and reflect back to them what they just talked about.
“Small but consistent everyday acts of care for others go a long way to improving your approachability.”
Ask your teammates and peers “How May I Help You” from time to time. When you convey to the other person that you are willing to do something to make their work or their task easier, you are essentially aiding their situation.
You are also conveying subtly that you care about them and that your problem-solving skills are up for grabs. Next time, when the same coworker or teammate actually needs your help with a task or an assignment, they will not hesitate to knock on your door.
“You become a better and more approachable leader when you ask people if they need your help, and you offer it on a regular basis.”
Have a Sense of Humor
There are times in the office that you might have to be absolutely serious about something pressing or urgent. However, there are other times that require a certain degree of levity. In this case, you must ensure that you know the difference.
You must know the situations when you can crack a laugh and defuse the environment. If you see that your employees or teammates are becoming too serious and that this seriousness is affecting the quality of work they are doing, it is great to de-stress them by cracking a joke or two in good fun.
However, you have to ensure that the jokes you crack are workplace appropriate and that they do not offend anyone in the workplace. Do not use cutting humor at the expense of any one single person or community and do not be too self-deprecating. Being self-deprecating can work against you in the case of becoming more approachable.
“Nothing makes you more approachable than being a source of levity for people when it’s needed.”
It is only when you become approachable and friendly with the people you lead that can you expect to lead them efficiently and effectively.
Without the power of approachability, you only have half a shot to success as a leader. If you want to develop approachability as a skill for leadership in your organization or any other part of your life, just follow the simple suggestions that have been listed above and observe your approachability increase.
Big ideas are always simple. Little acts of care and kindness go a long way to increasing your approachability as a leader.