Monday, August 17, 2009

How to Kiss Your Leader of the Year Award Goodbye

We’ve been exploring the impending dangers of unapproachable leaders in part 1 and part 2 of this three-part series.

Today, let's finish up with a collection of practical strategies to circumvent a few more of those dangers. Specifically, how people feel walking away from you:

1. When you're unapproachable, people walk away with self-esteem damage. Because when you don’t respond objectively, openly and curiously to their ideas, people feel less intelligent after talking to you.

Eventually, they find themselves not wanting to talk to you. And sadly, people will almost feel at peace or relieved if they haven’t talked to you in a while. All because you never took the time to consider “how you leave people.”

QUESTION: What invisible walls have your close-minded attitudes built?
STRATEGY: Learn how to leave a positive imprint on everyone you meet.

2. When you're unapproachable, people walk away feeling deflated. And they’ll feel that things are hopeless after being around you. This corrodes motivation and hampers commitment. Which lowers their performance. Which heightens animosity. Which makes loyalty vanish. Yikes.

QUESTION: How often do you inspire people to inspire themselves?
STRATEGY: Help people fall in love with themselves by practicing Namaste.

3. When you're unapproachable, people walk away emotionally numb. Because they were never given permission to relax, be their true selves and exert their distinctiveness. They were forced into compliance. They were haphazardly labeled ENFJ and then stored in a nice little, predictable box. This is what happens if people feel constantly judged by you.

Or if you take issue or ague with everything they say. They perceive your value system to be SO opposed that your ego won’t allow you to listen to them. Eventually, they won’t bother approaching you at all. And that’s when you, as a leader, miss out on their valuable ideas, opportunities and feedback.

QUESTION: How often do you overlook people who might offer meaningful ideas?
STRATEGY: Learn the difference between exploration and accusation.

4. People will walk away feeling devalued. Especially if you didn’t monopolize the listening and make them feel essential. And eventually, they might start asking themselves, “Why do I even bother talking to him anyway?”

QUESTION: How do people experience themselves in relation to you?
STRATEGY: Learn how to make people feel essential.

5. People walk aware worse. Kind of the opposite of the outdoor rule, “Leave the camp sight better than the way you found it.” In this case, people are in a bad mood after being around you.

Which kind of makes them NOT want to be around you very often. And, when they ARE around you, it results in curt communication underscored by a lack of mindfulness because all they’re thinking about his how badly they want the conversation to be over.

QUESTION: Are people diminished, unaffected, or enlarged after their encounter with you?
STRATEGY: Decide how you would like people to experience you.

6. When you're unapproachable, people walk away having missed opportunities for growth. Without mental flexibility and openness, here’s what happens: People stop learning, which means people stop growing, which means people start dying. Yikes. Not good for business.

QUESTION: How do you add value to people?
STRATEGY: Become a Value Adding Machine by learning the two most important words for listening louder: Take notes.

REMEMBER: The only judgment your people can (honestly) make about you is how interacting with you makes them FEEL.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter if YOU think you’re approachable – it only matters if you’re perceived and remembered as being approachable by the people you serve.

If not, I guarantee your organization WILL suffer.

How is being unapproachable hurting your organization?

For the list called, "7 Ways to Radically Raise Receptivity of Those You Serve," send an email to me, and I'll send you the list for free!

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author, Speaker, Coach, Entrepreneur

Never the same speech twice.
Always about approachability.

Watch The Nametag Guy in action here!