HOW TO USE APPROACHABILITY TO STAND OUT AS A LEADER
One of the most important components of leadership is inspiration. Leaders have a responsibility to galvanize their followers and motivate them into consistent, energized action – especially in situations of pressure. Most people assume that leadership is predominantly about decision-making and delegation. However, the human component of being in charge of people means that the more approachable a leader is, the easier it becomes to persuade and inspire devotion from followers. This is because people instinctively relax about obeying someone with whom they clearly share history, interests, perspective or worldview. Approachability helps establish common ground that not only unites leaders and followers, but also enhances the reputation of a leader beyond the boundaries of professional performance. If practicing approachability happens to be a challenge for you, here are a few pointers to guide you towards connecting with others in an accessible way:
1. Have an Open-Door Policy
Approachability starts with the basic initiative to make oneself available to others. When it comes to management, this can be achieved successfully by establishing an open-door policy. It may sound cliché, but simply making it known that the leadership of a company is prepared to listen to employees without any restrictions creates an atmosphere of transparency that endears leaders to their followers. An open door policy isn’t just about literally listening to employees speak however. It’s also about responding efficiently and comprehensively to all forms of communication whether in real-time or not. Every memo, email, text message, voicemail, fax, phone call, video conference, letter and so on should be treated as a priority that deserves attentive feedback. It takes effort and commitment, but it is worth it to emphasize the message ! that reaching out to you won’t result in rejection or indifference.
2. Give Praise Generously
Professional environments place a lot of expectations on employees. Everyone has deadlines, quotas and targets to satisfy, not to mention the fact that all of this happens under foreboding supervision. Experiencing such conditions constantly in the absence of any validation is enough to waver any reasonable person’s confidence. This is especially why proactive acknowledgment of good employee performance is crucial, not just for approachable leadership, but for effective leadership in general. The more praise a leader gives to employees who deserve it, the more excited and encouraged employees become to give their best efforts. Positive reinforcement yields gratification in people that directly amplifies their productivity which is a why any good leader should never hesitate to congratulate someone for a job-well-done.
3. Project Optimism
In a perfect world, life would never present any problems. The reality is however that everyone, and by extension every organization, goes through ups and downs over time. In the face of unpredictability, people naturally look to leadership to provide a sense of stability and direction. One of the most meaningful ways to fulfill this expectation is to offer reassurance to others when things are either difficult or going wrong. Making an effort to be optimistic is uplifting. It is encouraging. Done the right way, it enables people to step out of their self-absorbed paranoia and refocus their energy on success rather than failure. When optimism is expressed by a leader, it translates into compassion that draws adoration from followers.
The burden of responsibility often compels leaders to distance themselves from followers in order to maintain formality. Whereas some detachment is prudent, having zero casual interaction with the people being led only corners leaders into a position of alienation. It serves well for leaders to humanize themselves with a measure of personal disclosure. Finding a way to engage with employees that isn’t hinged on professionalism creates the opportunity to form social bonds that make it easier for employees to dedicate sincere loyalty to their leadership.
Even the smallest effort to be approachable is like planting a seed. It may seem small and insignificant in the present, but following through with it stands to produce flourishing benefits that bear good fruit in the long run. Even if leading others is difficult, just being able to do so in a context of openness and transparency eliminates countless variables of hostility that would otherwise make conflict much likelier. Check out more of RISE Programs’ Blogs for helpful advice on leadership, and remember to spread the word by sharing this post. If you like what you just read from our blog, you’ll love the various informative workshops and events listed on our website and social media. Whether you’re interested in personal development, or overall improvement of your business, give u! s a call at 1 (888) 823-7757 to find out how RISE Programs can help you break past your daily struggles and start soaring in success.