In part one, you examined five early warning signs.
Today, let’s talk about how people might feel interacting with you if you are unapproachable:
1. People will be on guard around you. Because they feel tense. Self-conscious. Afraid to offend you. Walking on eggshells. Hesitant to set off your emotions.
And the mental energy they expend on those fear-based thoughts (1) robs them of their ability to be true, (2) prevents them from offering full information, and (3) scares them away from sharing what’s most important. What questions are your employees afraid to ask you?
STRATEGY: At the end of your meetings, try asking, “What questions did I NOT ask that you were hoping I WOULD ask?”
2. People will be at a loss of words around you. Because you make them nervous. Because you don’t give them permission. Because you aren’t making communication a relaxing experience. How easy is it for people to open up around you?
STRATEGY: Learn to influence and inspire through imperfection and inadequacy.
3. People will feel like a non-person around you. Especially if unnecessary titles prevent them from getting to know each other authentically. Also, if unspoken hierarchies exist, take caution. This hampers the freedom of expression and creates psychological distance between people. No matter how “open” (you say) your door really is. Are you treating people like people, or statistics?
STRATEGY: Lead with your person and follow with your profession. Put values before vocation, individuality before industry and personality before profession.
4. People will feel tense or nervous around you. Which causes them stress. Which corrodes their health. Which impairs their positive attitude. Which lowers their overall performance. Which loses the company money. Do you bring peace or drama to other people’s lives?
STRATEGY: Learn how to incorporate deep breathing into everything you do. I suggest reading Eric Maisel’s Ten Zen Seconds. Changed my life forever.
5. People will hold (mostly) shallow interactions. And your communication topics will always remain superficial. Nobody will ever get to the heart of any important issues because they’re holding back, unsure about how you might react. As a result, very little ever gets accomplished. Do you really think asking about traffic or the weather is an effective conversation starter?
STRATEGY: Ask Passion Finding Questions (PFQ) like, “What was the best part
about your weekend?” and “What keeps you busy when you’re not working here?”
6. People will perceive interactions with as being longer. And, therefore, uncomfortable. As such, most interactions will end prematurely because people will want to get the hell out of there as soon as possible. Ultimately, this reputation will contaminate the space that surrounds you. How could you make the time spent with you seem shorter?
STRATEGY: Hold meetings in which everybody is standing up. Instantly cuts the perceived meeting time spent in half.
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REMEMBER: The only judgment your people can (honestly) make about you is how interacting with you makes them FEEL.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if YOU think you’re approachable – it only matters if you’re perceived and remembered as being approachable by the people you serve.
If not, I guarantee your organization WILL suffer.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How is being unapproachable hurting your organization?
LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For the list called, “71 Words Employees Never Want to Hear Their Manager Say,” send an email to me, and I’ll send you the list for free!
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That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur
Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!