If you walk into your local bookstore and pick up any random title on interpersonal communication, the majority of the books will simply remind you to "always be approachable."
Wow, you think, thanks for the advice.
But when you walk into a room full of strangers, attend a national conference or start a new job, that advice doesn’t help maximize your approachability.
In the book The Power of Approachability, my goal was to help the reader change his or her paradigm of communication and think of every interaction – big or small, online or off – in terms of approachability.
Now, as the research continues, I’ve created a new model. It’s called The Approachability Indicator™. For the past five years, I’ve examined thousands of case studies, scientific journals, books, interviews, surveys, assessments and articles on what the world thinks approachability means. And although the research showed that various disciplines and people viewed the word differently, there were several fascinating commonalities among all the sources.
Because the word “approachability” derives from the Latin verb apropiare - which means “to come nearer to” - it is a two way street. Fig. 1 represents both inbound and outbound channels. Outbound, or proactive approachability, is stepping onto someone else’s front porch. It’s about being bold. It’s about breaking the silence. And it’s about taking initiative. Inbound, or reactive approachability, is welcoming others onto your front porch. It’s about openness. It’s about availability. And it’s about making yourself accessible to others.
As you see from Fig. 1, all types of approachability fall into one of seven categories:
- 1) Social Capital: willingness to develop new relationships
2) What You Say: dynamics of conversation
3) What You Don't Say: non-verbal communication
4) Keeping It Real: authentic and attractive personality
5) Drop Me A Line: easily reached
6) Physical Availability: openness of personal space
7) Personal Availability: openness of mind and heart
- 1) Opportunity
LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Which president was the most approachable? Why?
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Author/Speaker/That guy with the nametag