If you’ve been out in the business world for any length of time, you’ve heard someone mention that their door is always open.

The message is that if you have an idea or question or even something that’s bothering you, you can go to them and they will listen.

And I’ve known plenty of leaders at places where I’ve worked where this was legit. I knew that if I went in (and I often did) and wanted to talk, they would be receptive.

The problem in business comes when the door is open, but the ears are closed.

I wonder which is the case for you today?

Bottom line is… are you approachable?

Do your people, your team members colleagues and peers feel OK coming to you and sharing what’s on their mind?

It’s a huge question. And it’s one that people figure out the answer to pretty quickly… especially if the offer of an open door is put out there in conversation.

If it’s just a gesture that you have no interest in backing up, then you can almost make things worse than not offering at all.

I’ve known plenty of friends and coworkers who had basically just shut down because they had something to share, were offered that open door and when they went in to share it was clear that they weren’t really being listened to.

That’s a great way to drive people off.

But… on the flip side. When your door and ears are BOTH open, it can be one of the most powerful and empowering things for your business and team.

That’s because there is tremendous value and knowledge, ideas and questions, insights and thoughts bottled up inside of each of the people in your organization. With some exceptions, most people want to be there and be a valuable part of the organization.

And when the word gets out that you are someone that truly listens and will take those words to heart and seek to take action, you’ll unlock more and more of that potential inside each of your people.

So, before you go opening your door, make sure your heart and ears are there first. Then see what follows.

Thanks for listening to today’s episode. I’d love hear from you about today’s topic or just in general. You can shoot me an email at shawn@shawnwashburn.com or head to shawnwashburn.com/contact and you’ll find links to connect with me on social media as well.