What's an accurate adjective or word to describe people who are not necessarily friendly, approachable or agreeable, but they come across as very genuine, cheerful and energetic, and that even though they might be important people, they give you the feeling that they care about you and they are "one of us".

Basically the opposite of distant high-level executives who are completely out of touch and inspire neither confidence nor respect.

  • 3
    They are genuine and care about you and are “one of us’ but are not friendly, approachable, or agreeable??
    – Jim
    Commented Jun 6, 2015 at 15:26
  • I think I’d describe that person this way: *He may be aloof, but I’m pretty sure he’s on our side.”
    – Jim
    Commented Jun 6, 2015 at 15:30
  • @Jim: Yeah, it's a bit hard to explain, but we've all worked with someone like this, haven't we? They're not your friend, they're pretty unavailable all the time, and some of their decisions do not sit well with you. Yet, they have this strange charisma and are pretty convincing as well, and they always make you feel important.
    – sudokai
    Commented Jun 6, 2015 at 16:16
  • 2
    @kai: Ooer. They sound a bit like Tony Blair!
    – Margana
    Commented Jun 6, 2015 at 16:27
  • 1
    @WS2 I edited the original question and approachable is now striked-through. I was trying to describe it as accurately as I could. It's a rare trait after all. Someone else above mentioned politicians, and I definitely agree that for example, former U.S. president Ronald Reagan would fit the description, even though I don't agree with many of his policies. Still politicians are often associated with distrust, so.... Maybe charismatic is the word I'm looking for.
    – sudokai
    Commented Jun 6, 2015 at 16:56

8 Answers 8


How about affable?


pleasantly easy to approach and to talk to; friendly; cordial; warmly polite

Or amiable (synonym of affable)?


having or showing pleasant, good-natured personal qualities; affable

  • Thanks, but being polite and cordial and superficially friendly are not exactly the traits I was describing. I guess I was looking for words to describe someone not just with a pleasant and mellow personality, but someone who is a good communicator and makes you feel he's "on your side" and feels close to you.
    – sudokai
    Commented Jun 6, 2015 at 16:25
  • I think about your description of "on your side" a bit. Do you mean like a harsh coach in a sports team who may be strict on the ouside but you know you could talk to him or her about anything?
    – RexYuan
    Commented Jun 6, 2015 at 18:29

Perhaps down-to-earth ?

: informal and easy to talk to
: practical and sensible
(from m-w.com)

The list of antonyms on m-w.com in particular seems to clearly oppose your "out-of-touch executive" type.


I think you should reconsider...


Friendly and easy to talk to:

managers should be approachable

EDIT: If they make you feel that they're 'one of us', perhaps you're looking for


Enabling a person to feel that they can relate to someone or something:

Mary-Kate’s problems make her more relatable


  • It doesn't convey the meaning of "perceived personal closeness" I was going for.
    – sudokai
    Commented Jun 6, 2015 at 16:29
  • @kai: see edit.
    – Tushar Raj
    Commented Jun 6, 2015 at 17:06

I think this is about charisma. Charismatic people can chair a meeting or deliver a speech and give everyone hearing the feeling that this person is to be trusted, to be voted for, that this person will not let you down.

The definition of charisma is a special and rare charm held by someone that makes others want to follow or obey them.


Would personable be a good word for this?

  1. of pleasing personal appearance; handsome or comely; attractive.
  2. having an agreeable or pleasing personality; affable; amiable; sociable.



Edit: @kai after reading your edit and the following comment,

"we've all worked with someone like this, haven't we? They're not your friend, they're pretty unavailable all the time, and some of their decisions do not sit well with you. Yet, they have this strange charisma and are pretty convincing as well, and they always make you feel important."

I'm changing my answer. I gather the personality you are talking about is that of a "politician", in this case figuratively.

  • "politician" - (AmE) "a person who acts in a manipulative and devious way, typically to gain advancement within an organization." Google

  • "politician" - "one who deceives or outmaneuvers others for personal gain" TFD


This question is actually double-barreled. It asks for a single word to describe at least two possible dimensions, adjectival and adverbial, to people's personalities. This is challenging, to say the least. It reminded me of Bob Sutton's observation that, "Passion is an overrated virtue in organizational life and indifference is underrated."

Is mensch a good blend? A Yiddish word describing a person of integrity

Here are some adjectives that could stand for one of these facets:

authentic, sincere, trustworthy, genuine, upstanding, caring

Here are words that could describe the second:

remote, dispassionate, removed, distant, unempathic, affectless, disconnected

  • Someone "downvoted" my answer without commenting about why. I'm taking issue with this because, in my view, my main point -- the question is double-barreled -- has previously gone unnoticed and is obviously true. The OP is asking for a single word that collapses two fairly unrelated personality dimensions. While this is certainly possible, as evidenced by the responses so far, no one has any kind of grasp on how to do this or what this word might be. I've come as close as anybody else.
    – user97231
    Commented Jun 7, 2015 at 13:41

Warm, (emotionally) available, involved.

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