Being accessible benefits everyone. Ram Reddy is the Chief Information Officer at The Rockport Group, offering high-quality dress and casual footwear to customers globally. Despite the daily challenges he faces in his busy workplace, Ram is committed to being accessible to those that reach out to him. “Being accessible is a key part of collaboration. Although many of us have offices that physically separate us from one another, it is important to act as though there are no walls. If a colleague needs me, I want her to be able to get to me. Likewise, I like getting out of my office and rather than email a colleague a question, ask him my question or follow-up with him in person. This also allows my colleague to access me in ways that help them.”
When you work to be accessible to your colleagues, you are the one who truly benefits because you:
identify issues and problems earlier, leading to quicker resolution, enhancing productivity, and reducing frustration.
increase your influence in your organization as you become a “go-to” person who is known for helping others solve problems.
create opportunities for yourself to participate in activities that are meaningful to your career and your organization.
bolster your reputation in your organization and industry by modeling behavior that your colleagues can emulate.
Introducers introduce themselves with energy, clarity, and confidence. Why reinvent the wheel? Let’s take a cue from our Introducer colleagues and practice some of the behaviors they weave into their introductions that make Introducers so effective when connecting themselves to others. Recall that, at their best, Introducers are the following:
Consistent.They have developed a repeatable series of steps in which they introduce themselves. Like the instructions on the bottle of shampoo in your shower (rinse, wash, rinse, repeat), keep it simple.
Attentive.They focus on what they are doing as they introduce themselves, and they pay attention when their colleague is introducing herself. Introducers shake hands firmly and maintain strong eye contact.
Skilled. They approach new colleagues with confidence, ask questions that create an opportunity for engaging small talk, and ensure that they exit their introduction in a strong manner.
Invested. Introducers recognize the importance of introducing themselves in such a way as to raise their visibility and value in their organization and industry.
Have you ever noticed that there are some colleagues who seem to remember names better than others? Do you covet their secret? Have they bought a DVD on the Home Shopping Network to build their memory skills? Do they picture a boat when they meet Bob and a house when they meet Harry?
For a variety of reasons, some of you are more able to remember names than others. I don’t know the secret, if there really is a secret, or if there is one secret that fits all of us. Colleagues who seem to remember names tend to be attentive and invested in the conversation. They have made a conscious choice that remembering a name is important.
These name-rememberers repeat the name of the new person they just met back to the person at the point of introduction. They use the person’s name as they engage them in small talk. When introducing their new colleague to others, they repeat their new colleague’s name. When you are more attentive and invested, you will remember names better and more naturally.
For these folks, remembering names is not a gimmick or a game, it is a goal on which they are intently focused.