Many leaders don’t realize it, but if they are not approachable, their businesses and employees may be deeply affected. It’s simple. Approachability is the ability to be accessible to subordinates. It means you are easy and open to meet with. But, most importantly, being approachable comes down to your employees’ perception of you, so here are five ways to let them know you are:
If you are meeting with an underling, you should not be eyeing your computer or having a phone conversation. Any other work or personal preoccupations can wait. Not giving a person your full attention conveys that he or she is unimportant to you.
When you are open and transparent with employees, they will give you the same consideration. If you are not fully sincere, others will sense that you are pretending to be a character that you are not. It is much easier for workers to trust a supervisor that is genuine because they won’t feel that you have ulterior motives.
Integrate with Employees
If you stay in the office and let workers come to you only, you inadvertently create an uneasiness, since they do not know you personally. Try meeting subordinates in their spaces, such as their work areas or offices. You can even invite employees out for a coffee or a meal for a frank discussion.
Choosing a neutral location can ease the tension for many employees that may feel nervous or overwhelmed about meeting with a boss on his or her turf.
Quell your Emotions
Do not overreact to any news that may anger or disappoint you. You want others to feel comfortable around you rather than afraid of you. Even your face and related movements need to be managed so you don’t convey the wrong message.
That being said, validate the feelings of others and spread joy when necessary. React positively to others’ ideas and thoughts.
Allow Others to Relate to You
Talk to your employees about their interests outside of work. Let them know who you are as a human being, with interests, a family, and a personality. You may find that you and some of your workers have a lot in common.
This approach shows the employees that you, too, are an integral part of their team, and they won’t look at you as a privileged outsider.
In conclusion, it certainly isn’t difficult for a leader to become more approachable to subordinates, but it definitely is a necessary prerequisite to success. The best bosses and managers choose to come across as approachable because they want others to freely share any input with them that may improve the workplace and build a better company.