How To Be A More Approachable Leader

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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.

Learn more from Aaron Parkinson by connecting with him on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.




Becoming A Self-Taught Leader

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Becoming a great business leader takes a lot of self-teaching. You can, of course, sign up for courses wherever you can get them, but a lot of your learning is going to happen independently as you discover books written by great leaders, articles on leadership, and explore your interactions with your business mentors.

These are three easy ways that you can begin to self-teach yourself about leadership:

1. Google It! – The internet is there for your 24/7, so no matter where you are or what time it is, as long as you’ve got a device and an internet connection, you’ve got access to thousands of articles, downloadable books, reviews, and other information relevant to leadership.

2. Book It! – Remember bookstores? Big bookstores will have excellent sections on business and leadership. You can sit and explore a few books before you commit to buying them. Some online bookstores have limited previews of a text, so going in person is a great way for you to determine which leadership book best suits where you’re at in your learning.

3. Network It! – Attending workshops and conferences are an excellent way to learn from the top business leaders. Take a notebook with you and jot down the most relevant pieces of information that stick out for you. Most business leaders are invited to speak because they have great information to share and getting to hear them in person might appeal strongly to those who learn by listening.

The most important thing is to make time for learning. People like to say, “I just don’t have time,” but that’s not true. There is always a way to make time for the things that will help move you forward, so carve out 15-30 minutes a day that you can dedicate to doing a little reading and self-learning. It will add up quickly.

Learn more from Aaron Parkinson by connecting with him on FacebookTwitter, and Google+.