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Being approachable as a leaderHave you ever wondered why people in your workplace abruptly stop chatting or laughing when you, as the leader, enter the room? Do you feel offended? As if they would hide something from you? Or maybe they even talked bad about you? The truth is: they (mostly) don’t!

The reason why they feel the need to stop their current giggles and chitchats is that they feel uncomfortable when the “boss” is entering the room. For them, it is the wrong place to “have fun” and they feel that there is, or should be, a distance between them as a group and you as the leader.
Let me tell you, it is fine like that! As a respected member of management, you should be able to maintain a healthy distance to personal relations between you and team members.

…If there wasn’t the great BUT!…

…you have to make sure that people do not fear you, feel overwhelmingly controlled or mistrusted, but that they respect your role as a leader. If you think that one or more of these points are what you are confronted with – there is a way to overcome unnecessary walls between you and the team.

How can you counteract the fear, rejection or mistrust of employees towards you as a business leader?

Many people have an automatic reaction to someone in authority. Sometimes it is blind devotion to the leader, sometimes it is distance, sometimes it might be rebellion while some people simply have an intrinsic motivation to fight against hierarchies.
You, as a leader, have to find a way to be heard and appreciated, simultaneously be respected as a leadership member and want to be followed.
How you make that happen might sometimes be difficult to put into practice when it comes to age-old cliches of leadership.

You have to be approachable!

“Approachable” in the sense that people can see you as authentically human, apologetic, genuine, appreciative, humble and personal – you lead by example and you are allowed to ask for help. And all of this requires a lot of confidence from your side.
Being an approachable leader means being the perfect match for people who are looking for:

  • Guidance, but freedom
  • Respect, but trust
  • Productivity, but joy
  • Accountability, but happiness
  • Efficiency, but human relation

How does that sound for you as a leader? Is it what you would like to see and feel within your company culture?Knowingly or not, people LOVE being needed by nature and being able to help where they have their strengths.

Now it’s up to you!

It is time to show people where YOU need help as a leader. Show the pain points of the mission you are in. Share some insights into your vulnerable humanity. Not because you are weak, but because you are in the same boat and heading in the same direction.
Showing vulnerability or admitting where you are wrong and asking for advice gives people the much needed feeling of human appreciation, regardless of the job title. You make room for your workforce to make themselves strong, by helping you. Who would not appreciate a union of TWO strong parties working on ONE common goal?… Now – YOUR turn!

Are you looking for assistance in how to engage others and being approachable? – I can help. Contact me.


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