4 Ways on How to Be More Approachable at Work & Events
There was a time I was at gym class in the 6th grade.
Just minding my own business.
Suddenly, a kid named Cartier blurts out:
‘Armani, why do you always look so mean?’
When he said that, a bunch of the other kids in the gym class agreed.
They were like:
‘Yea, Armani looks so mean that I’m afraid to approach him!
I was shocked.
This was one of the first times I was made aware that I looked mean.
As a little kid, I was able to wave this off.
However, as an adult, not being approachable is a fast way to lose out on opportunities.
It sucks to be judged for something that you’re not.
You are not standoffish, even if you look standoffish.
In this article, we are going to discuss 4 ways on how to be more approachable at work, social events, and in life.
Correct Way to View Approachability
First of all, there are some levels of approachability beyond our control.
A person can only make so many adjustments to their mean face.
If they are trying too hard to be approachable, that’ll lead to:
- A nice guy.
- Being fake.
Therefore, the best way to build approachability is by asking:
How do I allow others to know my character?
When this is set as the intent, we keep ourselves as the focal point.
This allows us to stay rooted in our personality, so we don’t become a people pleaser.
This question also allows us to make the initiative to make improvements along the way.
Approachability is a blend of physical and mental adjustments.
Allow us to go through some ideas.
1. Resting Bitch Face is a Problem
Humans process tons of information with their eyes.
So, if they are met with a scowled face, then chances are they will run the other way.
‘What do I do about the resting bitch face?’
Think about thorns…
Have you ever gotten a thorn stuck in your foot?
What did you do?
‘I got another thorn and used it to poke out the thorn from my foot.’
Why didn’t you use your fingers?
‘Because my fingers were too big while the other thorn was tiny and efficient.’
Just like we used a thorn to remove a thorn.
Use a resting bitch face to remove a resting bitch face.
- Make your face look 10x meaner.
- Hold it for 6 minutes.
Once done, let go.
How do you feel?
‘Wow, my face feels loose and relaxed!’
That’s a peek into slowly melting away the resting bitch face.
2. Tone Down the Sass and Sarcasm
Sarcasm is a very polarizing personality trait.
Some people love it.
When they see someone with sarcasm, they are in awe.
This type of person loves deadpan comedy.
On the other hand, there are a number of people who find sarcasm rude and condescending.
Sarcasm in itself is not bad.
But if you find yourself struggling to look more approachable, then it may be wise to tone down the sarcasm just a bit.
Build more rapport, then assess if the person is the type to be open to sarcasm.
3. Do the Approaching First
One of the most approachable people from my last job was the one who always did the approaching.
She was this girl named Melanie.
Melanie was in her mid-30s, had risen dramatically in her career, and was quite attractive.
This made it difficult for her to be approachable. Others were intimidated by her.
Especially because she managed so many people on the floor.
I’m sure she was aware of this issue.
Do you know what she did??
She did the approaching first!
When she would introduce herself, ask questions, and crack jokes…. others would be like:
‘Melanie, you’re way nicer than I thought!’
From there, her reputation as an approachable person built.
4. Create Micro Body Language Adjustments
Doesn’t it feel strange to go to a networking event when you’re new in town?
You’re hopping from person to person struggling to think of conversation material.
There was this winery I went to in Virginia for a social.
I just moved to Virginia and didn’t know anyone.
So, I went by myself.
I began having a conversation with a guy named Sam.
He was talking about his career and was getting into it.
From the corner of my eye, I could see a guy who was hovering aimlessly looking for someone to talk to.
I looked at the guy, made subtle eye contact, smiled…
Then I SLIGHTLY shifted my body outwards as if I was making room for this stranger to come to the interaction with me and Sam.
After the SLIGHT shifted body language, he came my way.
We introduced ourselves.
With body language, micro has the potential to translate into macro.
- A smirk makes an impact.
- A gentle touch on the shoulder makes an impact.
- And slightly opening your body to invite someone in makes an impact.
Learning to Be More Approachable
These are 4 ways on how to be more approachable at work, in business, and in life.
Apply what works and gently build more social opportunities.
Some people can just show up to an event and have a herd of people come their way.
They may be a celebrity, has a harmless face, or possesses an elevated level of magnetism.
View that as a rare occurrence.
For the most part, people have to work on improving themselves from a physical/mental level to be more approachable.
Social skills are the holistic education for life.
And you only stop learning once you die.
If you enjoy this article on how to be more approachable at work, in business, and in life, then be sure to check out my book:
This book has tons of concepts that break down social skills.
You’ll learn more about:
- Making small talk.
- Listening effectively.
- Creating and holding conversations.
- And building a social circle.