Below are some typical hurdles to accessibility and suggestions for improving them in your organization and industry.
Being Accessible does not mean you are available 24/7/52. We all have limits on the degree to which we can be reached by co-workers, and you should feel comfortable enforcing and expecting others to honor these limits.
Can you be too successful at modeling accessible behavior? Is this an example of “too much of a good thing”? We all know that sunlight is a good thing, yet too much can cause skin cancer. We know that the human body needs sugar to survive, and yet too much may cause diabetes. If you’re wildly successful at being accessible, you may find your calendar under attack.
Your goal is to make sure you are being accessible to serve the needs of others, not to become their servant.
Visibility is also comprised of “reputation” which is the intangible ways that individuals connect with you. Are you being welcoming to your colleagues and creating an atmosphere that reflects your desire to be accessible? When your colleagues come to see you, is your behavior creating or hindering access? Here are some ways to create a welcoming atmosphere that inspires access:
Visibility is comprised of “presence” which is the tangible ways that individuals connect with you. Here are a few ways to make sure it’s as easy as possible for colleagues to find you.
Being readily 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 who reach out to him.
To be accessible does not just meant having an “open door policy” or ensuring your team knows your cell phone number. Accessibility is about creating an atmosphere where your colleagues can reach you – even interrupt you – and leave the interaction with a positive feeling. Are you accessible? Perhaps you possess low self-awareness of how your behavior in your organization diminishes outreaches by others.
How comfortable are you when introducing yourself to others? One characteristic of effective Introducers is that they are naturally comfortable introducing themselves. It could also be that they have mastered the ability to diminish any short-term discomfort that arises as they do.
I believe you can build your ability to be consistent, attentive, skilled, and invested when introducing yourself. However, I think it would be presumptuous to tell you to be comfortable when introducing yourself. Whether you are an Avoider, Fumbler or just plain unconsciously competent, some of you will not be comfortable introducing yourself, no matter how many books you read.