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.
When it comes to introducing yourself to colleagues you don’t know, do you avoid introducing yourself at all costs? Perhaps you are highly uncomfortable or severely under-skilled. Much like getting a flu shot, you want your introduction to be quick and painless. In fact, you wouldn’t introduce yourself to others at all if you could avoid doing so. Do any of the following “Avoider” characteristics seem familiar to you when you think about introducing yourself to others?
Presence is the tangible ways in which you connect with others. This is the place where activities and behaviors that help you be seen in your organization and industry exist. When you work to build your presence, you are seeking physical ways to connect with others as well as contribute to your organization and industry. You cannot be visible if you are not seen by others!
Participating with a Purpose
“Interacting with others” is comprised of ways in which you can raise your visibility “one-to-one” with others. Unlike interaction, “participating with a purpose” is focused on “one-to-many” experiences with colleagues. Participating is comprised of activities where you raise your visibility when many of your colleagues are present.