On Leadership, Habits and Approachability


Are you approachable? Or have you unwittingly locked yourself into comfortable patterns and habits that are making you boring and impersonal? 

If you have, then it might be time to change! Your future may depend on it…

Change on a Personal Level

Fixed habits are hard to break.  Our habitual nature causes us to be fixed, rigid, and unwilling to change. I know my mind has fallen into this rut in the past, it’s happened to all of us at some point

Some of the habits I’m talking about are:

  • Having the same response to routine questions
  • Greeting clients with the same greeting you have been using for the past few years
  • Use the same words no matter what question you kids are asking

What kind of habits do you have when faced with essential conversations?

Research proves that habit rather than deliberation shapes over 40% of the decisions we make every day.”

Even though our natural response to our most frequent activities becomes a habit, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is always the most desirable.  Let’s think about this for a minute: A personal, authentic and heartfelt greeting to our family members is more meaningful than a standard fixed and boring auto-response.

Boring and Impersonal

This is what an auto response is for communication, boring and impersonal. Yes, we know you are busy, but when you are busy, sometimes saying nothing is much better than saying something for the sake of it…

Social Media

Simply put, auto responses will put you on the highway to nowhere. Think about this for a minute: Social MediaSocial media is anything that gets people communicating, engaged in conversation, and to be a part of something.

Some of the most common forms of   social media are: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Blogs, and Interactive Webinars. One thing social media is NOT is auto-response.

Here’s one suggestion that will work better than an auto-response message to your followers on one of your social media sites. Let’s use Facebook for example and let’s say you have new followers and comments: Once a week post something like this on Facebook

Thanks for all the new followers and comments. We look forward to your continuing comments, keep coming back!”

Automated Tweeting and Blog Posts

According to Freelance Copywriter’s Blog, Twitter, a social media platform that allows us to communicate in less than 140 characters. However, when posting automated tweets or posts to your blog, take a few minutes to write one line and the link to your latest blog post – much more professional and social.

If you post or tweet just to put something out there, this is a bad idea and honestly the content looks bad when it’s posted.

If you are going to use an auto post for example, for your blog post, you might post the following on Facebook:

“We have some thoughts on auto responses. Click on over to our blog to read our thoughts. What do you think?”

This is much more attractive, welcoming, informative, appealing, engaging, and social ~ after all, that’s what social media networks are supposed to be doing.


Let’s translate this into the people we meet on a daily basis, whether they are our friends, clients, customers, colleagues, or co-workers.

How do you think they would feel if you greeted them with a half-hearted message? How do you think you would feel if someone greeted you the same way? What perceptions would you walk away with?  Would you feel as though the greeting was casual, random and mindless? And, would you want someone to greet you the same way you greeted them?”

Here’s what you can do: Put a little effort into your greeting.  Choose one or more of the following: make it new, inviting, invigorating, genuine, delightful, and heartfelt.  You may be surprised at how people will respond to you.

They will welcome you with a smile, expressive eyes, a sincere hand shake, and or a genuine greeting in return.

A small positive change in a habit or routine can attract sudden, overwhelming good fortune.

One Conversation at a Time

According to Scott Ginsberg, in his book The Power of Approachability, approachability is a way of life, a way of business, a way of communication, and a way of social interaction.

In other words, approachability is a two-way street; you must be approachable and you must approach others if you are going to communicate with them.

Scott talks about the how and why to be approachable and offers a new model to an old idea: the basic to all victory in interpersonal communication is how approachable – and how willing to approach others – you are.

According to Scott: “Approachability is a way of life. Become the epitome of it.”

I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences on some of the fixed habit greetings and messages you have sent and received; auto-responses; social media; and on your approachability.


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Learn, Grow & Develop Other Leaders

Debra Olejownik is a consultant with DJC Core Consulting & Support Services, LLC
She helps clients identify comprehensive solutions to problems that inspires change
Email |  LinkedIn | Web

Image Sources:shopsoco.com


2 responses to “On Leadership, Habits and Approachability

  1. Good post. Thanks for sharing. (That’s my auto-response for commenting on blog posts.)

    I think some digital auto-responses can add value, but not when they are pretending to be or take the place of an actual response. If an auto-response is simply to provide information. There are some instances that don’t merit anything beyond a digital auto-response.

    Habits can be both good and bad. Being able to do things without much thought/energy means you can focus your thoughts/energy on more important things.


  2. Pingback: On Leadership, Habits & Approachability | Nonprofit Consulting blog|DJC Core Consulting organizational development help|nonprofits, colleges and university alumni associations battling burnout | stress management·

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