You walk into a clothing store and see two salespeople. One seems very uptight and has a scowl on their face while they fold merchandise, the other seems engrossed in their work, but isn’t frowning or scowling. Which one do you approach for assistance? Now imagine those two salespeople each work on commission. If this is the norm for them both, which one do you think takes home a bigger paycheck each week? No matter what kind of job you do, being approachable can help you succeed in many ways. Here are 4 tips to help you appear more approachable.
Guard Your Thoughts
We’ve all had the experience of having an angry conversation with someone in our head. This kind of “chewing over” something mentally can actually be quite healthy, but there is also an appropriate time and place for it. Compartmentalization is a critical discipline for all of life, so learn how to set angry or unpleasant thoughts aside for a time and focus on something more pleasant at work.
Don’t Overdo It
One of the key elements of being approachable is being non-threatening. People who are just the tiniest bit dowdy or possibly even frumpy are far more approachable than someone impeccably dressed to the nines or who overdo things like hair or makeup. If you look like you’re desperate for attention, you may not get it. Just be yourself and be happy.
There is possibly nothing in the world that makes someone more open and approachable than a warm, welcoming smile. Studies have also shown that it is nearly impossible to look at someone who is smiling without smiling yourself. Not only does smiling make you seem more approachable and pleasant, but it can also make others more pleasant as well. If you’re uncomfortable smiling or uncomfortable with your own smile, be sure to see a dental professional to learn about your options.
If you are constantly looking at your smartphone, lost in your own thoughts when you walk or never look up from your computer, you will give the impression of always being very busy. While this may seem like the ideal at work, the truth is, it might not be. Not only will you be less approachable, but constantly looking down at something will also keep you from being aware of what’s going on around you. Next time you need to use the restroom or walk to the copier, walk with your head up, look around you and make eye contact with those you pass.
Being approachable may be one of the most valuable skills you bring to the workplace. Thankfully, if it’s not a skill you already possess, it’s one that can be learned.
About the author:
Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for business, home, and family niches. Dixie lives in Phoenix, Arizona, and is the proud mother of three beautiful girls and wife to a wonderful husband.