I’ve been doing some political door knocking for our federal election, which has given me a chance to practice my ability to suss out which dogs are approachable and which ones are, well, not so much. Of course some dogs are all bark and no bite, while others that seem cuddly and approachable are, well, again, not so much.
So here’s my thought for this week: Given that so many employees complain that they can never get access to their leader, and so many customers complain that they can’t get access to a live human being in some companies, how accessible are you and how approachable are you?
Are you easily accessible to your fellow employees and customers? Do you have regular “In” office hours that you advertise? Are you easily reachable by phone? Do you read your e-mail messages and respond in a reasonably timely manner – even if it’s just a a quick, “Got it! Thanks!”?
But being accessible isn’t enough. If you really want to improve communication with your teams and customers, then you also need to ask how approachable you are. How approachable you are will impact the level of trust and open and honest communication in your workplace. It will allow employees or customers to share some uncomfortable truths with you that you absolutely need to hear. So what is your personality, body language, and communication style conveying to people who approach you? We know from studies that people with a good sense of humor are considered far more approachable, trustworthy and easier to open up with.
If you want to be more successful in your job, make sure everyone’s welcome on your porch. Oh, and try to keep the barking and biting to a minimum!
Michael Kerr, 2015. Michael Kerr is an international business speaker and author who helps leaders and organizations achieve outrageous results.
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