Can I Be Candid?

Uh oh…

Is your station — your company — built on a foundation of speaking truth?

As a consultant, I’ve always believed my responsibility is to tell hard truths to those who’ve hired me. That’s not always easy. Hopefully, over my career, I’ve become more tactful, more sensitized to the discomfort honesty can cause.

But speaking truth with kindness and compassion still requires me to speak truth. It’s what I’m paid to do. And it helps if the recipients believe, feel inside their hearts, that my intention is to push them to being better, not to provide a rationalization to push them out the door.

That’s one of the reasons relationships have always been a huge part of my business. I don’t have much client turn-over (virtually none, in 25 years, if we took new ownership due to consolidation out of the picture) so the time necessary to forge deep relationships is available.

I’ve done it enough to have a good sense of the behaviors necessary to strengthen an attitude of candor in your building.

  1. Pursue Self-Awareness: You must be self-confident enough to know your own strengths and weaknesses, to be brutally honest with yourself from the start.
  2. Admit What You Don’t Know: If you don’t know, say so. How else can you learn?
  3. Be Vulnerable: Fear of failure is more rampant in our business now than at any time I can remember. Jobs are scarce, internal politics can be vicious, and it feels suicidal to admit weakness, to own failure. Yet from the courage to show vulnerability comes enhanced trust between team members. In fact, it is the best way to build strong bonds.

If you don’t have an atmosphere of candor and honesty in your building, your job is so much harder.

If your employees don’t feel safe enough to challenge you, to tell you things you don’t want to hear, you’re limiting the imagination potential of an entire staff.

If someone further up your food chain needs to see this, please share — and if I can help you create a culture of candor, call me.