The last post talked about "walking the talk" or being the role model. This principle supports that principle. You can only be a role model if you are visible. Being visible also allows you to see and listen. The more you take opportunities to check in with people in your organization the sooner they will realize that you are just checking in not checking on them.
I enjoy the opportunities I get to walk around. I wish I could have more opportunities. Checking in with people gives them an opportunity to share with me something that is important to them or something they are proud of. When I enter their space, I'm a guest. It seems to me that they gain confidence when I'm in their space. This allows them to take the lead and talk about things they are comfortable with and knowledgeable about.
Being visible also allows employees to get to know you on an more informal basis. Meeting times are generally focused and structured. When you walk up to someone and ask a question the setting is generally more informal. The more often one does this the sooner employees learn that you are approachable and that you are interested in them as people.
Being visible also provides me an opportunity to celebrate the things that are going right in the organization. So often my day is focused upon problem solving and I have little opportunities to hear about all the good things that are happening in the organization. By getting away from the office and meetings, I am able to hear from people who are focused on the key responsibilities of the organization. Generally, things are going right (or I would have heard about it already). Walking around helps me realize that there is far more going right in the organization than going wrong.
Being visible is mutually beneficial.