During a conversation I had recently with Jason Dykstra of the Thriving Leaders podcast about the value of conflict.

He asked me about the practicality of using an open-door policy as a tool for encouraging employee participation. I told him I encourage executives not to use the term; “open-door policy” is something lots of leaders say but most employees don’t trust.

How an Open Door Can Close Off Participation

Even sincere leaders can struggle with managing an open-door policy. It can lead to being interrupted frequently or getting sucked into putting out lots of little fires and having trouble focusing on their own work.

Plus, the same employees typically take advantage of the open door over and over, rather than a diverse range of employees contributing a variety of opinions and views.

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