Can We Eliminate the “Open Door Policy”?

I recently read an article by Gary Vaynerchuk about the importance of open door policies. He is taking this concept to the next level by implementing a “forced meeting policy” to ensure he has a pulse on the way his company works. I like Vaynerchuck’s philosophy, but I think there is a better alternative that doesn’t require employees to be “forced” into a meeting with their boss. You may think, “What is wrong with an open-door policy? I want to communicate with my people, and it is important they know they can come talk to me.” Let’s review what it could feel like to an employee who may have never interacted with management before. You want them to leave their work station, walk across the

A Simple Act of Gratitude

Today, I was using the restroom and the woman who cleans our office happened to be in there doing her daily tasks. After I dried my hands and was about to leave, I said to her, “Thank you for cleaning.” She gave me a dumbfounded look because of my gratitude, but then replied with a chipper, “You’re welcome!” It hit me that when we are busy, we neglect to take the time to say thank you for the simple things. When we do express gratitude, it really goes a long way. Sure, she was just doing her job, but her job is cleaning up after everyone in the building, so that is a reason to be thankful, right? It is the same way for many people we come into contact with. Our customers, coworkers, managers

Why Be Mean?

I was in a local bakery last weekend. It’s a very popular, small store where they bake the bread on the premises. Every weekend there’s a line out the door for the best bread in the area. When I was close to the front of the line, there was a lady getting served who was just mean. She had a big order, that she wanted split into two for payment. She was getting some kind of special discount on half the order for cash. The young lady serving her was being helpful and doing her best, but made a genuine mistake. The customer was huffing and making disparaging comments and it struck me: who gains from this? Obviously, the lady serving did not find it pleasant or helpful, the customer clearly was

The Blame Game

Whose fault is it? It’s a question you hear all the time. A team loses a big game, who is to blame? Legislation passes or doesn’t pass, whose fault was it? A project at work doesn’t go as expected, who dropped the ball? It seems to be the first question out of everyone’s mouth when something goes wrong. Why do we do this? Why must blame be assigned? Issues don’t get resolved in the blame game – it’s a cycle that constantly repeats itself. What if instead of trying to place blame, everyone took ownership of the problem? Everyone involved said, “This is my fault, and here is what I am going to do to fix it and ensure it doesn’t happen again.” When something inevitably goes wrong, wouldn’t it b

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