One of the keys to success in today’s professional climate is making your clients and colleagues feel you are accessible. If they feel accessible, then they feel heard. If they feel heard, then you’re telling them they matter. Their opinion of you and loyalty to you is a function of your accessibility and feeling heard. It’s not about right or wrong. It’s about being heard.
So, how accessible are you? Are your systems set up for accessibility, or do you hide behind your systems? Do you use the phrase “I’m out of the office” to imply you don’t want to talk with them? In the age of smart phones, if you tell me you can’t connect with me because you’re out of the office, then you’re telling me to don’t want to communicate with me. You’re telling me you don’t care.
If you’re one of my clients or colleagues, and you’re trying to reach me, then it’s more a question of am I available, not am I out of the office. I don’t even know what “out of the office” means. My office is wherever I am, and my systems are designed for me to be accessible.
Now, being accessible does not mean always being available. I may be in a meeting, or unable to talk at that moment, because my attention is being given to someone else. They know that and respect that.
If you’re one of my clients or colleagues, then you have one phone number and e-mail address for me because that’s all you need. Use either one of those methods, and you will find me. I don’t want you to worry about how to reach me, nor do I want to place the burden on you to figure out how to find me.
I promise you will feel I am accessible 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You will feel you are my only client or colleague.
I will never hide from you. You matter too much to me.
If I don’t answer when you call, it’s because I’m focused on someone else. As soon as I take care of them, I’ll call you back. And when we talk, I’ll give you the same focused attention. I won’t be distracted. I promise.
I will reply to your e-mail according to the sense of urgency you’ve expressed in it, but never longer than 24 hours later. Also, I will notice if you have my name in the “To:” field or the “Cc:” field. That will be a variable in my decision-making with my reply.
Ask yourself the follow questions:
- What does your currently level of accessibility say about you?
- Is it what you want it to be?
- Do you make others feel you’re accessible?
What they feel is what really matters.
This is also true personally as well as professionally. If I make my friends and family feel that I notice them and that they matter to me, then our relationships are healthy and good. It used to be about me proving I was right. Now it’s about them being heard. It’s not about right or wrong.
I am able to be accessible to everyone in my life because I have a heavenly father who is accessible to me. He notices everything I do, and I feel I matter to him. I have a heart to care about others because he cares for me.
I believe having a good work-life balance means having the proper mind-heart balance. It’s built on the promise of accessibility.