We’ve all been subject to the leader who wasn’t approachable. And that made our jobs miserable.
That’s why we’ve got to be aware of what makes a leader approachable. We’ve also got to implement the actions of approachable leaders.
What Is An Approachable Leader?
This is a million dollar question. What makes a leader approachable? What does an approachable leader do?
Approachable leaders take a different kind of approach to leadership than those concerned about appearance or fame. They know leadership goes deeper than the surface.
Approachable leaders are leaders you feel comfortable going to. This type of leader makes you realize he is there for you. He’s ready to listen and hear you out.
This is what an approachable leader is.
How To Become An Approachable Leader
Becoming an approachable leader is probably the greatest thing a leader can accomplish. The approachable leader will have a great impact on those he leads and the ears of those around him.
So, how do you become an approachable leader? Approachable leaders practice these 10 actions:
1. Approachable leaders have an open door: Leaders who sit behind a closed door all day long become cut off from those they lead. Their teams can become antsy because they rarely see this leader and feel like they’re imposing on him when they need to talk.
Decide to have an open door when it comes to hearing out your team. Give them permission to approach at any time.
2. Approachable leaders smile more: A scowling leader does not say “I’m approachable! Come, let me know what you need and what’s happening.” Rather it tells those you lead to stay away and don’t bother me.
Make the choice to smile more often than not. Let your team know they can approach you by welcoming them with a smile.
3. Approachable leaders share their mistakes: One thing approachable leaders know is that mistakes need to be recognized. And they’re willing to go first with their mistakes.
Approachable leaders open up about the mistakes they have made. They also let their team know where the mistakes have led.
By being open about past mistakes, you encourage others to share their trials with you. Doing so allows you to help guide them through the tough times.
4. Approachable leaders learn names: There are businesses that have very large staffs. In these businesses, it can be hard to learn team members names. Yet the best, and most approachable, leaders know that knowing the names of their teams make them more approachable.
When you begin to make the effort to learn names, people will see your willingness to get to know them. This makes them see you as approachable. If you work for a large organization, make a commitment to learn at least one new person’s name each day or week.
5. Approachable leaders share the glory: You will find there are leaders who hog all of the glory for a job well done. You will also find that these leaders are rarely the approachable ones.
Rather, the leaders who share the glory are the ones who are seen as approachable leaders and people rally around them.
Don’t hog the praise for yourself. Pass it around to the ones who really helped your company get to where it’s at.
6. Approachable leaders tell stories: Stories have a great power. They draw people in and they help people remember details.
Stories can also help make you more approachable. People are drawn to stories. Stories click with others. And stories create community when done right.
Tell stories that encourage your team to be a community.
7. Approachable leaders keep secrets: We’re often told there shouldn’t be any secrets in leadership. You should be open and honest with those you lead.
I’m with you, to a point. There does come a time when leaders must keep secrets.
You may be faced with a situation where a team member comes to you with a personal issue or a workplace grievance that requires grace and tact to get around.
Know when to keep a secret.
8. Approachable leaders are positive thinkers: There are positive people and then there are negative people. I don’t know about you, but I’m generally drawn to the positive people rather than those who hold a negative worldview.
Having a negative outlook will make others see you in a negative light. Change your perspective and begin to think positively. Share this positivity and others will see you as approachable.
9. Approachable leaders tell the truth: I know, I know. I said before that approachable leaders keep secrets. And they do.
However, approachable leaders also tell the truth. They won’t cover up or lie when the going gets tough. They know the truth wins out.
10. Approachable leaders chat: Lastly, approachable leaders are willing to sit down and chat with those they lead. Whether it’s at the lunch table or at the front door.
Approachable leaders initiate conversations with others. They open the doors to conversations. They make the first move so others can feel more comfortable.