|Close that door!
One common obstacle to effective leadership is the lack of private, uninterrupted time to reflect, think and plan.
‘Open door’ policies, shared workspaces, and three-quarter-wall cubicles promote the free flow of communication and relationship building but can have significant negative consequences on performance and satisfaction.
If the original open door policy was encouragement to bring issues and questions to the boss without fear of reprisal, somehow that morphed into pressure to actually keep doors open at all times. At this point a closed door or move to a private space is often interpreted as something bad happening or lack of engagement with others.
But most of us need some private, uninterrupted space and time to do our more strategic reflection, thinking and planning.
Additional unintended consequences of an “open door” include:
Do you get the time and space you need to reflect, plan and do complex work? If not, what can you do to create it?
- Employees are less challenged to problem solve before bringing issues to their manager
- Colleagues don’t distinguish between urgent topics and those that can be addressed in routine meetings
- Those who are introverts (in MBTI-terms) have their energy sapped
Strategies used by clients include:
- Blocking time on the calendar with no meetings or responding to email
- Scheduling regular time at a different location, like a library or conference room
- Using a small white board or post-its on a closed door or cubicle wall with messages like “Focusing on writing until 2:30”
- Discussing and creating shared practices for respecting individuals’ preferences
What can you do?
Crystal Clear Consulting