“Candor is the key to collaborating effectively. Lack of candor leads to dysfunctional environments. Believe me, you don’t want to be at a company where there is more candor in the hallways than in the rooms where fundamental ideas or policy are being hashed out.” ~ Edwin Catmull
In part three of our three part series on communication mistakes, it’s time to talk CANDOR.
By definition, “candor” means the quality of being open and honest in expression; frankness.
As the leader of your company, the worst thing you can do is sugarcoat things. Leaders who lack candor in their communication do nothing but hurt the company. And make no mistake about it, sugar coating challenging topics doesn’t just come in the form of manipulating the message … it also comes in the form of silence. And silence is arguably more deadly. Avoidance isn’t leadership.
Constructive criticism and challenging the status quo is essential for good leadership and developing a high performance team. Leaders who don’t avoid or sugarcoat the challenging conversations are far more trusted than those who remain silent or soft around issues.
Leaders would do well to remember that not all communication is verbal either. When tensions are high, body language becomes louder. It’s important to be mindful to what your body language is communicating during challenging situations.
According to Joel Peterson’s book, Entrepreneurial Leadership, leaders should develop 5 specific mind-sets to help them communicate more effectively. These are:
- I have valid viewpoints and make valuable contribution.
In other words, be confident in your ideas and how they can impact your team and their performance.
- I can be influenced by new information.
Communication is interactive, and while you should be confident in your ideas, you should always be open to receiving new information and evolving your ideas.
- I am genuinely curious.
Seek to understand … not show how smart you are.
- Our goal is for the best idea to win.
It’s not about you, it’s about them.
- I will balance inquiry with advocacy.
Present your reasoning and create a safe environment for others to do the same.
By adopting these mind-sets, not only will you become a more intentional and better communicator, you will also set the stage for real candor in your communication at all levels.
Teams respect a leader who trusts them with the facts, the truth, and seeks their input around solutions to internal challenges. When teams trust their leader, the company is fueled with the power to meet their mission and achieve their vision!
If you’re ready to take your business and leadership skills to the next level, and if you think your business could benefit from more insights like what’s offered in this article, let’s start a conversation. LXCouncil may be the perfect next step!