Accessibility + Benefit = Value

It is not enough that you are highly accessible to your colleagues; your colleagues must also benefit from the interaction. After all, what is the point of being highly accessible if the interaction does not benefit your colleagues? Why would your colleagues reach out to you in the first place if not to obtain a benefit from the interaction? Take a look at the types of accessibility illustrated in the following list to help you visualize the relationship between access (your colleagues ability to get to you) and benefit (the benefit you create for your colleagues).

Low Access + Low Benefit. Due to your behavior, you are at risk of being inaccessible to colleagues in your in your organization and industry. In many ways, you are creating a self-fulfilling prophecy – you are not accessible to colleagues and, at that rare moment that they gain access to you, your colleagues do not benefit from the interaction.

Low Access + High Benefit. While your colleagues benefit from their interactions with you, their ability to gain access to you is inconsistent. You are at risk of creating frustration on the part of your colleagues, which may lead to them go elsewhere. It is common for colleagues to say to one another “She’s a great resource if you can get to her.”

High Access + Low Benefit. You have created a strong environment of access for your colleagues. However, your colleagues are not benefiting from their interactions with you, eroding their interest to come see you. You are at risk of being viewed as irrelevant.

High Access + High Benefit. You are demonstrating the right behavior for your colleagues to access you and feel that the interaction is benefiting them. Your high level of being accessible is positively contributing to your visibility in your organization and industry.

Beating Accessibility Hurdle #3

Accessibility is a Raise Your Visibility Indicator and I define accessibility as the degree in which colleagues can reach you and benefit from the interaction.

What is accessibility hurdle #3?

If I have an office, my door is likely closed.

What can you do?

– Leave your office door open all the time and assess the impact. Start small – do this for a day, and then two days, and then a week.

– Consider doing some of your work away from your office so that the door is open more. Schedule time to use a conference room to get some of your work done. This way, at least your door is not closed.

– Schedule times when you need to close your door so that you colleagues know when they can see you. For example, conduct your “closed door” work between 10:00am and noon or 3:00pm and 5:00pm.