Leave The Door Open

Leave The Door Open

Last week a colleague was giving a training session in a hot and stuffy room with no natural light. To keep the audience happy my colleague decided to leave the door to the room wide open and allow fresh air to circulate.

Without realising it, and I should add that my colleague doesn’t have a particularly loud presentation style, his voice carried out of the room into the space beyond.

Now this space was an open plan, hot desk environment and coincidently, or as fate might have it, one such desk was being used by a stranger who was seeking just the kinds of business support for his organisation that my colleague was evangelising.

As my colleague left the training session the stranger came up to him and asked for his business card, thanking him for an entertaining and educational afternoon of positive distraction.

You could think of this as being a pure coincidence and even potentially annoying to an audience outside the room who wanted to quietly get on with their work.

I tend to think of this differently. By leaving the door open we do open up the chances for encounters, engagement and interaction that would otherwise pass us unnoticed. I am not just thinking of when we are out and about in social situations but also when we are online. If we put up all the digital security fences and block out our profiles with Fort Knox style privacy settings then we may just be missing out on the online equivalent of such a blind date.

We could be accused of being too transparent to our competitors, of overtly selling our wares to those who might not wish to listen, but the benefits of enjoying otherwise lost encounters must far outweigh the occasional ire from the random online hot desker.

Put it out there, leave your door open, and you never know who might come knocking…