If I had a penny for every time that a someone said to me “we have an open door policy here” … well you know the rest, suffice to say I would be richer than Midas ! Having an “open door” has not only become a buzzword but also a buzzthing (if there is such a word) … doors all over health and social care are wide open and ready for anyone … or are they ??
Having a literal open door is all well and good and don’t get me wrong it is a good starting point, however the true meaning of an “open door” seems to have become lost. For me having an open door is about being an authentic leader, it’s about visible leadership that is honest, trustworthy and holds the well-being of the people we care for and the staff who look after them in the highest esteem. For me the physicality of the door is irrelevant… is the person inside welcoming and receptive and do they take a genuine interest?
I have walked though many “open doors” only to find the door to be a mere token …. Conversely I have discovered many closed doors only to find the person I am looking for out and being visible, going to where the people are and truly listening to what is needed in their setting.
You may wonder where I am going with all of this?? Open doors ? Shut doors ? Well the point dearest reader is this …. The status of your door does not denote the leader you are (or aren’t!) let’s start to cut though the nonsense of leaving the door open, let’s start to talk about having an open door attitude not an open door policy, let’s get this right and start to value authentic leadership in nursing … not doors left slightly ajar !