Leadership Traits - Openness

Openness is manifested as one of the leadership traits when it's clear that the leader values new experiences and new thought processes. Open leaders are the more likely to build diverse teams rather than creating executive teams exactly like themselves.

Open leaders are often perceived as valueing intellectual matters, thoughtfulness and creativity. They invite well thought out points of view that diverge from "we've always done it that way."

Open leaders create a psychologically safe team environment that:

  • Allows decentralized decision making
  • Has a place for dissent and loyal opposition
  • Is flexible
  • Encourages information sharing, this can result in better decision making

Leadership Tips

If openness is not your preferred style as a leader, consider creating your equivalent of "permission to speak freely" as in the armed forces. Once you grant permission, honor it.

Another technique for insuring that all voices are heard is for the leader to step out, so that team participants can speak openly, discuss options and make recommendations without making an effort to tilt in the direction they think the leader expects

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