Relationships & The Four Powerhouse Behaviors of Approachability

Executive Presence: Relationships 

Relationships Tool: Approachability 


One important part of leadership is being social in precisely the right way and in the right amount. That is where relationships are built. Relationship-focused leaders genuinely care, respect and demonstrate interest in others. It’s a basic understanding of social skills, so people know that you care.

Relationship-focused leaders promote healthy self‑esteem in others. When you are relationship-focused, you stop and chat about personal issues. You understand the value of attending an event with your direct reports. You genuinely care about their well-being.

You compliment, praise and congratulate your colleagues and even your boss. You greet employees in the morning and say goodnight in the evening. You give sincere accolades.

A focus on relationships does not mean that you will be everyone’s best friend. It means paying personal attention to people, building them up in a truthful way, so they can do their best work.

One of the tools that can help with cultivating your relationship skills is improving your approachability.

To be an effective leader, you must have people who want to follow you. People want to follow leaders who are approachable. Are you accessible?

Friendly and easy-to-talk to? Are you cordial when your direct reports ask you a question?

Have you ever worked for a leader that was unapproachable? How did their behavior affect your work experience? In our Executive Presence: Relationships workbook, we explore and replace behaviors that make you unapproachable.

Here are four powerhouse behaviors you can start practicing today to create positive connections with the people around you:

  • Create conversations
  • Choose your words wisely
  • Watch your non-verbal behavior
  • Be authentic

Reflect on your own behavior these past weeks of quarantine and notice where you fall short. What behaviors are keeping you from being your most approachable self? Even in our current climate of Zoom calls and WebX meetings, co-workers and direct reports can sense that you are not approachable.

Start by using the four powerhouse behaviors listed above to improve your approachability today.


Like what you just read? This is an excerpt from Lauren Miller & Brenda Corbett’s upcoming Executive Presence: Relationships workbook. Stay tuned for the release of this workbook in June 2020.




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