We’re All a Little Insecure

Do children run to you or away from you?
What do your friends see in your eyes?
Do people find you easy to talk to?
Do you put people at ease?
Or, in other words, are you approachable?
Does it matter?

“As humans, we are all insecure to a certain degree, and we don’t want to risk looking stupid, being rejected, or feeling awkward.”
― Susan C. Young, The Art of Body Language
Ok, Susan, a good point, but I’m not seeing the connection to approachableness, let alone a benefit.
“When individuals feel comfortable approaching their leaders, their confidence to share ideas, discuss problems, and offer suggestions is strengthened. It emboldens them to take personal ownership and perform at higher levels within the organization.”
― Susan C. Young, The Art of Body Language
Oh, I see.
That would be nice, wouldn’t it? If employees and team members performed at a higher level.
Well then, how do I become approachable?
I googled, “how to be approachable.”
Know what I found? Articles with titles like, 16 Ways To Become More Approachable. How to Look Approachable. And, The Best Leaders Know These 6 Tricks.
All these articles are filled with tips like, “smile, keep your head up, and make good eye contact.”
But there’s a problem with these tips. Know what it is?
I’ll answer that question with another question. Why do talented actors get paid well?
Because acting is hard. It takes years of practice, refining, and coaching to fake a feeling believably.
Which means you can follow all the “tips” on how to be approachable, but if you don’t actually like people, you probably won’t pull it off.
I mean, look…yes, you should smile. It will help. But real approachableness?
You gotta like people.
– Zac Smith, VC