by Sebastian Oros
What do you offer your organization? There’s no doubt that you bring a specific, necessary set of skills to your position. After all, you’re here! However, when it comes to personal development, team growth, and overall health of your business, you may find that your best ability is often your availability.
What Does “Availability” Mean?
Being available means providing opportunities for others to access you. There are no specific times or days baked into the definition. Being available means providing chances for others to connect to you – at the appropriate times for all.
Why Is Availability Significant?
Your availability (how accessible you are to your team) greatly impacts organizational cohesion and culture. It creates connection between you and the rest of your organization. When a team knows each others’ strengths and weaknesses and builds trust, their capacity for success skyrockets. Your availability to your team encourages a safe psychological environment, makes it easier for team members to ask important questions, and sparks innovation since new ideas can be quickly and easily shared.
Unfortunately, availability is often misunderstood. Too often, it’s interpreted as a lack of boundaries – both personal and professional. People sometimes believe they have to be constantly available to input and conversation from their team without any limits. Here’s the reality – healthy, intentional availability is critical to your organization’s ability to grow and thrive. Let’s talk about what you need to make it happen.
Start With Personal Availability
In order to begin from a healthy place, start by determining whether or not you’re currently available to yourself. Yes, you read that correctly. Self-awareness and openness to personal honesty are the building blocks you need to be appropriately available to your team.
Ask yourself these important questions:
- Are you open to being honest with yourself?
- Are you willing to work on yourself?
- Is it important to you to recognize your strengths and challenges?
- Do you give yourself a chance to set goals for yourself?
- How often do you go through the motions?
- When can you be more brave?
Once you’ve established yourself in a healthy place, you’re ready to make yourself available to the rest of your organization and unlock that next level of connection.
Follow Through With Availability To Your Team
Next, begin with these questions to help you assess how available you are to your team:
- Are you open to feedback? If you’re not, your team won’t see you as available even if you claim to be.
- Do you understand what triggers you in conversations? If you react inappropriately, it’s a sure way to shut down the dialogue.
- Have you allotted time for others? This may be as simple as building in a calendar event each week.
- Is growing through conversation something that’s important to you? If you’re not actually interested in connecting and learning from your team, they will sense that your efforts aren’t authentic.
- How often do you ask others open-ended questions to gather insightful information for enhancing productivity? Real availability isn’t about checking a box.
What Are The Benefits To Availability?
When you combine the ability to be available to yourself and others it creates inspiration! It unleashes conversations and taps into employee strengths, desires, motivation, and willingness. Being available allows for culture building as people want to approach you – maybe for the first time – but eventually on a consistent basis.
Would it feel great to feel that sense of connection? Would it feel good to know that you’re seen as someone that people can relate to, bond with, and brainstorm alongside? Pay attention to the social nuances around you – wouldn’t it be incredible to feel welcome, comfortable and productive every day?
Begin using availability as a metric of your daily productivity…you’ll be surprised and pleased by the results. Need a little support? That’s what we’re here for at The Intention Collective. Reach out.