Taboo, you say, but stay with me here...
The Open Door Policy…that is what is expected of all leaders and managers all the time. It was the backlash to long ago when executives were always behind closed doors, never approachable, never available.
Watch here to find out:
- why I believe this has become a slippery slope,
- what it costs you and your team when you are available 24/7
- what you can do instead, and
- why it's worth it.
What Can Happen Here: 2 Major Downfalls
Your day’s plan of what you must do goes out the window because you are bombarded with ‘got a minute’ meetings. (which are never a minute…there is context, time needed for understanding and comprehension, planning and action).
You disempower your team: You deny the opportunity for them to figure stuff out on their own because the pop-in is so quick and easy. They literally get into the routine of micro-managing themselves, they put all the responsibility back on you, and since you want to make sure things go right and it becomes easier to oblige, you think for them by providing the yes or no they want to hear (providing the coup de gras to their development)
If You Can Close Your Door:
- You nearly eliminate the abrupt pop in's. You teach your direct reports that your time is valuable, that there is something to be said about asking permission and planning a conversation.
- You empower your team to find answers on their own. You are developing them ("Teach a man to fish") rather than thinking for them.
- Your day will be much smoother, less bumpy with interruptions. You will have much more focused control over what you are working on. Create a system that still allows you to be available, but not at a price.
Benefit of the benefit
As they get more comfortable with their own decision making you are building their confidence in the work that you all do, the vision of what the company is working towards becomes clearer in their own mind as they put the pieces together on their own. There WILL be an adjustment period of backlash to this, but that’s all it is…an adjustment period. They then realize they are much more capable than they thought. Responsibility becomes sacred to them rather than a scary burden, ownership and pride can begin.