Being approachable is an underrated quality to have as an IT professional. it may depend on your role, but many IT professionals are relied upon for advice and help with tasks. This could be from people working under you, your peers, your manager or all other kinds of coworkers. Learning to become more approachable will make you seem more professional, get more respect from other people, and will be looked on favourably by your boss. Let’s take a look at some ways that you can become more approachable.
1. Don’t Wear Headphones
You might like to listen to music throughout your work day. I can understand this, sometimes whenever I need to do some work (or when I write these posts), I like to put music on. It helps me concentrate and block out distractions.
However, having headphones in is a good way to deter other people from approaching you. It makes you look like you don’t want to be disturbed. Have you ever tried to approach someone who had headphones on? Did you decide not to? Or did you approach them and feel bad for interrupting their music? Even if you didn’t, it’s this kind of doubt and questioning that we’re looking to avoid.
2. Positive Body Language
Body language is a big part of how people perceive you. You can become more approachable by the way you conduct yourself.
If you sit down mostly in your job, then try to sit straight, in a comfortable position, and seem interested in your work. If your body language makes you seem tired, or frustrated, other people will notice this and will be hesitant to approach you. Remaining in a calm and comfortable position is a great way to improve this.
If you stand for a lot of your job, also try to remain calm and comfortable. Don’t come off as frustrated, or rushed, or annoyed – these are all traits that can be reflected in your body language and will make you seem less approachable at work.
3. Be Positive
A big way to become more approachable is being positive. When you’re at your desk, walking around, or just around the office in general, it’s helpful to stay positive. Positive people are easier to approach, which helps out your team and makes you look good to your boss. Your boss wants to see his team do well, and if you’re helping others out, then it’s a big part of that.
Being positive is a great way to be more approachable. If you’re negative – frustrated, annoyed, tired, angry, anything else – it can seem more threatening, people won’t want to approach you, and it gives of bad vibes about you to others. This will hurt your chances of a pay rise and promotion!
Bonus Tip: Answer Your Phone
Yes, even though I’ve mentioned three, I thought I’d throw in a bonus tip as well!
It might seem counter productive, but answering your phone can make you seem more approachable. There are always people in the office that don’t pick up their calls, or screen their calls, or just don’t use their phone. The phone is an important part of the business and should be used well.
Answering your phone all the time makes you seem approachable as you’re not avoiding anyone and are happy to talk to whoever is calling. This will translate this attitude into those who are around you, who will realize that you’re happy to talk to people, even if it’s interrupting your work.