Call me cynical.
I’m always suspicious of a manager who goes out of their way to tell me they have an open-door policy.
That doesn’t make sense to me. Does that mean anyone can walk in at any time to talk about any situation? What’s the reasoning behind that?
I don’t think an open door is an invitation that team members are looking for. They want to know if their manager will operate in their best interest, even if it means telling them things they don’t want to hear. Will that person listen? Can she be trusted? Will he keep confidences? Will they respect me even if we disagree?
Managers establish trust not by opening their doors, but by being visible and available to their team.
They give their full undivided attention when required. Successful managers don’t have to announce the door is open, the doctor is in, the next person in line comes on in approach. A door is just a way to get in and out, not a symbol of power
One more thing about open doors. It leads to chopped up days, distractions, and diversions. A closed-door can be a good thing when you need focus. People understand and appreciate that.
As a manager, you don’t have to announce your door is open and invite people in. Better that you open the door to walk out of your office and go-to team members where they reside. See how that works for you.
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