Articles

Embracing an Open Door Policy (All Day, Every Day)

There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to force a door open that’s been slammed shut (literally and figuratively.)

In the always evolving world of publishing there’s lots of talk about doors that open and doors that close (and sometimes we make our next move depending upon where we can wedge the tip of our foot in.) Not always the best theology but it happens to make sense a good deal of the time.

The hard (knock-on-wood hard) truth is unless someone in a position to help us or promote us (or our work) to the powers that be, can wedge a door open for us, there’s little we can do to get in (and through to the other side.)

Which is why cultivating good communication is always the best policy (and the first step in the right direction.)

I like how the CEO of General Electric, Jack Welch, describes the perfect side-by-side individual who understands that above all, relationship investment trumps every other move a person can make.

To step through that next door (personally and professionally,) Welch paints a picture of how individuals move through those connections (doors) in their day-to-day lives.

They go up, down, and around their organizations to reach people. They don’t stick to established channels. They’re informal. They’re straight with people. They make a religion out of being accessible.

It is this open door policy that likewise opens the door of trust amongst people. The more trust is developed between two individuals the more permission is given to lead (or be led) by one another.

As John Maxwell writes – Everyone knows that trust is a building process that takes time, energy, and intentionality.

Finally, once those doors are open and trust is shared, a whole new level of achievement is possible. Equally important (especially during such volatile times as these), an open door policy also offers people shelter in times of difficulty.

James Stockdale says it best here. “When crunch time comes, people cling to those they know they can trust – those who are not detached, but involved.”

Every single day we walk in and out of doors, may we all see the value of keeping ours open out of respect to others. We never know — the next person who steps in might be one of us.

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