[June 22, 2017] Effective leaders make a habit out of those things that work; that sustain them in times when things are tough. Leaders, therefore, must use their skills at persuasion to enforce standards of excellence. The only way to do this is to be approachable where people are not afraid to come to you and voice their concerns, issues, and opinions.
One of my commanders once told me to never bring him bad news. I was a junior officer and thought to myself at the time that perhaps I had done something wrong; in the future I simply didn’t bring him any news at all. Also, I didn’t feel the need to help him make the unit better. Later as I looked back my time there, I considered it a near failure. This is what an approachable leader does not do.
A team environment where folks are fearful to speak up and ask questions (even “dumb” questions) is one that is destined for failure. Authentic leaders make it known they welcome criticism and challenges to their way of doing business and are genuinely open to other viewpoints regardless of perceived value.
Leaders know that only through those around them can missions or tasks be completed. By ensuring they are approachable, leaders create an atmosphere where thoughts, ideas, and discussions can flow throughout their team and organization. This is done first by making it known that undue criticism is unacceptable. It is also done by taking the steps to reward those with the courage to step up and make their thoughts known.
Approachable does not mean the need to be liked or popular. It also means not being a pushover. This leads to weak leadership. Approachable means that folks can be assured they will be heard and given fair consideration. Some simple tools help; smile, don’t react negatively, thank them, avoid overreacting (either positive or negative), and be consistent in any reaction.
An approachable leader will see the morale of their team and organization increase when seen as an authentic person who cares enough about members to treat them with respect and consideration. Cooperation will improve within and a more positive attitude will prevail.
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- Good Habits #1: Never Assume Anything: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-1-never-assume-anything/
- Good Habits #2: Walk Around and Talk with People: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-2-walk-around-talk-people/
- Good Habits #3: Read Mission-Related Material: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-3-read-mission-related-material/
- Good Habits #4: Take the Initiative: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-4-take-the-initiative/
- Good Habits #5: Effective Use of Time: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-5-effective-use-of-time/
- Good Habits #6: Show the Human Side: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-6-show-the-human-side/
- Good Habits #7: Speak Properly: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-7-speak-properly/
- Good Habits #8: Transparency: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-8-transparency/
- Good Habits #9: Continuous Learning: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-9-continuous-learning/
- Good Habits #10: Make No Excuses: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-10-make-no-excuses/
- Good Habits #11: Thinking Out Loud: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-11-thinking-out-loud/
- Good Habits #12: Ability to Make Hard Decisions: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-12-ability-to-make-hard-decisions/
- Good Habits #13: Be Conscientious and Timely: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-13-be-conscientious-and-timely/
- Good Habits #14: Being Honest and Straight Forward: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-14-being-honest-and-straight-forward/
- Good Habits #15: Giving Credit Where It’s Due: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-15-giving-credit-where-its-due/
- Good Habits #16: Walk the Walk: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-16-walk-the-walk/
- Good Habits #17: Politely Accept Feedback: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-17-politely-accept-feedback/
- Good Habits #18: Have a Sense of Humor: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-18-have-a-sense-of-humor/
- Good Habits #19: Adhere to the Golden Rule: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-19-adhere-to-the-golden-rule/
- Good Habits #20: Forget Perfection: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-20-forget-perfection/
- Good Habits #21: Be Open to New Ideas: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-21-be-open-to-new-ideas/
- Good Habits #22: Be a Sounding Board: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-22-sounding-board/
- Good Habits #23: Treat People Fairly: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-23-treat-people-fairly/
- Good Habits #24: Ask ‘Who Needs to Know’: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-24-ask-needs-know/
- Good Habits #25: Be Generous: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-25-generous/
- Good Habits #26: Be a Paragon of Standards: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-26-paragon-standards/
- Good Habits #27: Have Patience: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-27-patience/
- Good Habits #28: Look Like a Leader: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-28-look-like-leader/
- Good Habits #29: Smile: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-29-smile/
- Good Habits #30: Give a Simple Thank-You: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-30-give-simple-thank/
- Good Habits #31: Show Your Passion: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-31-show-passion/
- Good Habits #32: Ask Good Questions: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-32-ask-good-questions/
- Good Habits: 33: Be a Teacher: https://www.theleadermaker.com/good-habits-33-teacher/