I used to think that I was one of the most approachable people I know. I smile at everyone. Everyone seems to tell me stories that they don’t tell others. I learn a lot about people in a short amount of time. I am able to somehow ask questions that others would not. But I recently learned that I am not always approachable. A friend said that I am sort of “unreal.” When I couldn’t understand what she meant by that I asked. Unrelenting to learn about how I can improve myself – I asked how I could be more approachable.
I am educated (I have my MBA), I try to have a lot of life experience. (Sort of just so I could talk about them). I try to stay connected. (play the name game with me – it’s like Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon in Denver – it helps that I knew a few really well connected people). But then she informed me that these things were EXACTLY what made me unapproachable. I “know” a lot of stuff and can add to ANY conversation – rather than just listen. I have had an experience to top anyone else’s (Yes, the post from a couple weeks ago is TRUE – I did got the Academy of Country Music Awards in Vegas and was picked up at the airport in a limo and went to the VIP party afterward). I know a lot of people. I do really know someone who knows….
Ultimately, being book smart, connected and experienced does not equal being approachable. Being approachable means having a teaching spirit. Being interested in what anyone has to say (even if you’re not overly interested in the subject matter – you may learn something new). My challenge to myself over the next month is to learn something NEW about every person I interact with (even those that I have known for a long time). To be a much better listener. To be….Approachable.