Leadership Strategies: When to Close Your Door

Are you the "door is always open" type? Or are you more formal, and want a call or email before someone asks anything of you? Either way has its benefits and if it fits your personality, you only need to change a little bit. Think about it...One small change of direction when a ship is ready to sail across the ocean and it will end up in a totally different port.

The same goes for you. If you are a pleaser, open door all the time kind of leader, you are doing yourself and your employees a disservice. Also, if you are an avoider who wants to control the time and place of interactions, you may well miss important opportunities that only come from spontaneous moments.

Pleasers, listen up! Closing your door does not make you hard, cold and indifferent. It makes you accountable, clear and firm. It is a major part of leadership to know when you need private time to let your creative juices flow.

Most pleasers are so afraid they will be judged as uncaring if they take a stand - they sell themselves out to be at the top of the popularity list. It eventually drops you down because one of the key aspects of leadership is to keep the innovative, hot and new ideas at the forefront of the business.

In "Don't Bring It to Work"; you can begin to see that the pleaser personality developed long before you became an entrepreneur and a leader. It started in your home as a child. You may have wanted to please a parent, or a sibling, and get the attention and acknowledgment for being "the good one". That is not your role anymore. The pleaser who becomes a strong leader is one who has learned to take this pattern and turn it to its healthy opposite - the truth teller.

And the avoider: Keep your door open at random times during the day to see what happens. Experiment by watching who shows up and what they need from you. The avoider grew up in a home where there were often lots of conflict. They learned to wall themselves off from that unwanted, irritating tension. However, the wall is also there to limit honest and heartfelt conversations. "You can't really talk to him (or her)" is often the staff mantra concerning the avoider.

The healthy opposite of the avoider is the initiator; this is the leader who leaves the door open for whatever, and that includes the possibility of conflict. However, it is my observation that when the avoider door is open, it calls in good dialogue rather than dissention.

Whether you need to close the door or open it, know that what you are doing is moving away from fear and worry and opening to creativity and collaboration. You can learn more about your patterns by taking the Pattern Aware quiz at sylvialafair.com and even better, you can have a free half-hour consultation about how to transform your patterns for even more effective leadership.


Sylvia Lafair PhD,is CEO of Creative Energy Options,Inc. is a Top 30 Leadership Expert with Global Gurus, Contributing Writer with INC.com, Business Consultant and Award Winning Author of Don't Bring It to Work, GUTSY: How Women Leaders Make Change, and UNIQUE: How Story Sparks Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement.

Dr. Lafair provides executives and entrepreneurs coaching and programs that build strong interpersonal communication skills, increase team effectiveness and achieve rapid growth.

Go Deeper | Website

Want More?

New Graphic
Subscriber Counter