What Does Candor Mean in the Professional World?

April 24, 2020
3 Min Read
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Towards Data Science

The definition of candor is marked by openness, sincerity, clear communication, and a bit of personal exposure. Now that you have candor definition under your belt, what does candor mean in the context of the workplace for professionals?

Before we jump in, take a peek at our actionable candor skill guide! 👀 It includes examples of candid leaders, the do's and don'ts, and types of professionals that can benefit from candor.

Designing a candor creature

The DNA sequence of candid creatures consists of directness, openness, and sincerity. Constructing a candid individual takes time. But, the results are well-worth it once you start implementing it in your professional life. Giving candor means...

  • Generating faster results. There’s a level of commitment when it comes to candor. It can lead to long, but lively debates. But remember, candor cuts out the unnecessary fluff. These conversations allow professionals to rethink, reanalyze, and find unique solutions.
  • Influencing others to be candid. We often hear that change starts at the top. We believe everyone and anyone has that power. When you introduce candor or even radical candor into conversations, it prompts others to speak directly and honestly. That kind of influence can start anywhere, it’s about taking that first step towards candor.
  • Provide advice and support. In the course of the conversation, the person on the receiving end may be confused. Part of candor is offering support and guidance to help them excel. Take this opportunity to provide insight and guide them in the appropriate direction.  
  • Building comfort with candor. It can be uncomfortable when being candid because it requires some degree of vulnerability. Avoid any personal attacks or aggressive verbiage. The more candid conversations you have, the (more) comfortable you'll get.
Real talk: A team that values candor yields faster results and builds trust between teammates (Courtesy of Creative Market)

"If you can dish it, you can take it." Ever heard of that expression? When you start leading candid conversations and encouraging professionals to be open, be prepared to accept candid feedback too. Receiving candor means...

  • Inviting a fresh perspective. Whether you like to admit it or not, we've all experienced symptoms of the I-know-it-all bug. A candid conversation introduces a unique way of thinking. This is your chance to see the conversation from a new perspective and gain insight that you didn't even knew existed.  
  • Investing time in yourself. Candor isn’t meant to tear you down. It's finally an excuse ⁠— an opportunity, really ⁠— to have some quality one-on-one time with yourself! Reflect on past experiences, brainstorm avenues of improvement, and build yourself back up again.
  • Listening wholeheartedly. Take the time to really listen to the other person. There is a purpose to this conversation. Don’t get caught up in any negative remarks. Instead, pinpoint the main ideas and clarify any questions you may have before you hit the ground running.
  • Practicing gratitude. It’s very easy to get defensive, but there's no malice here. Remember, the person leading the candid conversation cares about you and wants to provide guidance. Be appreciative and take the time to show your gratitude.

A company that prioritizes candor yields successful results. But, the challenge is influencing your peers to take that first step towards openness. Sometimes the best way to show the benefits of a new skill is to reveal the absence of it. With that being said, what can lack of candor lead to?

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