If you’ve been labeled shy, aloof, arrogant, distant or reserved, here are a few tips that could help you be experienced as more approachable:

  • Be the first to speak. Initiate interaction. Don’t wait to be approached.
  • When conversing, make steady eye contact. Don’t stare the person down, but connect enough, eye-to-eye, to give the other the distinct impression that you’re listening and you care about what they have to say. Let your eyes convey interest in them.
  • Make the first few minutes of the interaction easy for the other person. How? Share a piece of information about yourself, or the reason you’ve been brought together. Or, ask them a question that gets them talking.

To be an effective leader, you need to be perceived as approachable so that people around you feel comfortable and at ease in your presence. Approachability fosters open communication and builds trust.