Being approachable means that people feel comfortable coming up to say hi to you and that they feel they can trust you with expressing their needs. This is important not just for your daily life, but for your business. If you’re in charge of leading a team, such as your employees or a group within a company, you have to be approachable in order to facilitate the process of communicating information.
You may not even be aware that people don’t think of you as approachable. Still here are some ways to be easier to talk to, especially at work:
1. Greet With A Smile – A smile lets the person know that you’re comfortable with them and that you’re happy to see them. Even if you’re not, a smile indicates to them that they are welcome, and therefore they will feel immediately comfortable with sharing what they have to say.
2. Be An Attentive Listener – Engage in the conversation by using words that indicate you are listening such as, “I see” and “I understand.” Follow up with short questions that are relevant to what is being shared, and stay away from any sarcasm or accusations. Sometimes employees want to bring up a sensitive topic and they want to make sure they are being treated very seriously.
3. Follow Through On Your Proposed Actions – If you promised to do something, follow through on it. This heightens people’s perception of you as someone approachable. If they know they can come to you for help and you actually follow through on implementing any necessary changes, then you are someone they can come to for help. However, you do have to be aware of times when implementing the change desired may not be the route to take, and therefore you should explain what will work best and why you’ll have to do things differently.
4. Create Positive Rapport – The more you speak positively about your teammates, the more approachable you are because they know that they can hear something encouraging from your observations.
Aside from becoming more approachable, these tips help you on the path to becoming a better leader, one who is aware of the team’s needs and who strives to create a positive work environment.