being approachable

(an excerpt from Smile & Move)

We all have our ‘customers.’ And most of us have more than one type of customer.

  • A teacher serves his students as well as his school administrators (and maybe even parents).
  • An administrator serves her teachers in addition to a group of county administrators.
  • A doctor serves his patients as well as his practice partners and perhaps a hospital staff.
  • A CEO serves her stockholders as well as her management team and outside clients.

It’s an interdependent world.

We depend on each other and as a result, we need to make ourselves accessible and approachable to our people: customers, constituents, family, friends, colleagues, patients, leaders. We’re not islands. To make good things happen, we need to connect with people.

Being approachable is being receptive to occasional interruptions, making ourselves regularly accessible to others and doing it with a smile … a smile not only with our mouths and eyes, but an internal and authentic smile that can be felt by those we interact with.

If we create a situation where people feel the need to walk on eggshells when they come to us (asking for help, guidance, or a solution), eventually they’ll stop walking on the eggshells and go to someone else. If that happens, whether we’re a leader or not, our value to others is gone. And when we’re shopping for something and the store no longer delivers the value we’re looking for, what happens? We go somewhere else.

Be approachable. It invites opportunity.

smile & move thought…

When you’re asked to do something for someone else and you say, “Yes,” does your YES say “Yes, it would be my pleasure” or “Yes, if I have to”? How patient are you with the latter from someone else?

Smile & Move. Be happy. Do great work. Get the book.

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