One aspect to being an effective leader is … approachability.

What’s it mean to be approachable?

The word approachability comes from the Latin word “apropriare,” which means “to come nearer to,” if you think about it …to be approachable has an inference of two-way street.

If you want to be approachable and have people come to you…you need to stick yourself out there and create a consistent presence and good will.

How? one big step for some leaders is to be more outgoing, a smaller step could be to have informal one-on-one’s with employees and peers, asking questions, and listening instead of talking.

You could share about what is unique about you, what’s a passion in your world and learn about them.

Here are 5 ideas to help you become more approachable.

  1. Consistency is far better than rare moments of greatness. So be friendly to everyone, especially people who appear unimportant. You never know when you’re being evaluated by someone who IS important.
  2. Try walking slower. Make it easier for people to get your attention.
  3. Most people avert their eyes from oncoming strangers when they get within 10 feet of each other. See how many of them you can get to acknowledge you in one week. Smiling and verbally greeting others helps build bridges.
  4. When one of your staff members comes to you with an issue, ask “What are two or three aspects that concern you about this problem?”

Keep your door open. No physical barriers. And even if it means more team members stop by to “bother you,” you will wind up learning more about what’s going on.