Biggest leadership blind spot - not being approachable
In today’s corporate culture, no leader can afford to be aloof from his team members. However, mistakes creep in unconsciously- sometimes it is the authoritative persona of an employer which reinforces the inherent shyness of the workers.
Never the less, employees prefer their managers to be more approachable. A recent survey has suggested that their performance improves under such a leadership. An added benefit is that the manager can get relevant information at the earliest. The thumb rule, “If you have to get things done from people, you have to speak to them in their language,” applies here.
Even interviewees open up if the prospective employer appears to be able to understand their level of conversation, as against demanding strict decorum.
The following measures would take you a long way in becoming more approachable.
Learn tactics to initiate a conversation
Literature is available in this field. Reach out, shake hands, make eye contact, ask questions.
You may not agree with an employee’s approach to the task at hand, however, responding to his suggestions tactfully will make him feel important.
There is no harm in sharing your perspective on an industry trend with an employee and seeing how they respond. Next thing you know, they are sharing their opinions on business issues with you.
Add a personal touch
Find a conversational topic- from market trends to kid stories, from global events to business books- leave no stone unturned.
The things you say with your body and posture without speaking can make or mar a dialogue. A relaxed position in your chair, a smile,a few nods and proper eye contact can lift barriers in communication. A glance at your watch or phone can discourage someone from talking any further.
Being ready with questions
Even something out of their league such as, “How do you think we should attempt a business expansion?” would encourage the team members to be proactive.