Candor is identified as one of Matter’s top soft skills that is linked to performance, development, and career success.
Matter’s definition of
Communicates in a truthful and in a straightforward manner.
Matter is based on an ontology of over
30 recommended skills.

What is Candor?

Candor requires openness, sincerity, clear communication, and a bit of personal exposure. It’s often uncomfortable to be candid because it requires some degree of vulnerability.

So, what does candor mean? When you exert candor in your communication, you encourage others to do the same. Candid communication allows you to both give and get the information you need to improve your team performance and professional growth.

Grow professional skills
with Matter

Free Forever. 2 Minute Setup. No Credit Card Required.

Great Examples of Candor

Caroline Wanga

Moving up the ranks from intern to head of diversity and inclusion at Target, Wanga learned that the most important factor for team success is guidance and honesty. She became so supportive of open, honest communication that she launched Target’s first-ever performance-based diversity and inclusion goals. These goals enabled employees at all levels to speak out and share feedback directly with the leadership team.

Sir Patrick Stewart

The English actor best known for his tenure as the fictional Captain Picard of Star Fleet, is well-known for his candor on screen and in real life. He has spoken frankly about his abusive upbringing, his stance on women’s rights, and his own mistakes over the years.

Why Candor Is Important

Positive Communication

Candor shows that you are inherently honest toward and supportive of others. Candid statements offered with the right degree of helpfulness and constructive guidance show that you are caring, not hypercritical.


Candor creates a culture of transparency and openness. The definition of candor means encouraging everyone in the organization or team to voice concerns and challenge assumptions.

Growth Mindset

Honesty and trust cultivate a culture where immediate feedback is normalized and welcomed. Candor creates a learning environment. This encourages teams to embrace failures and take more risks.

What Candor is NOT About


While open communication and feedback may not always be “positive,” it should always be designed to be helpful and offered with sincerity and respect.

Perfect Timing

Part of candor’s value lies in its immediacy. Lack of candor and timeliness in feedback can negatively impact your team. Candor has the power to transform a mistake into a learning experience in the moment, not at a later “perfect” time.

Personal Criticism

Candor isn’t focused on the person, but the issue that needs to be addressed. By taking a removed approach, you can avoid making the listener feel attacked.

Abilities That Lead To The Mastery of Candor


Assuming the Best Intentions

Operate under the belief that every person in the workplace wants to do great work. Extending this professional courtesy leads to non-accusatory conversations and reduces the risk of personal attacks.


Being Considerate

Candor does not mean disregarding other people’s feelings. Avoid saying things you’ll later regret by taking a moment to gather your thoughts and composure before communicating.


Being Objective

What you are about to say is your opinion and as much as it feels like the absolute truth, you might not have the whole story. You may be flat out wrong. Our candor definition is about creating a dialogue; remaining objective helps to keep the door open rather than slamming it shut.


Focusing on the Good of the Company

Candor requires direct, straightforward speaking. Say what you think, say what you mean. Being polite but succinct shows others on your small business team that you value their time and realize that they are professionals who can handle the truth when it’s presented properly.


Getting to the Point

Being candid is about authentically sharing your thoughts and feelings to improve a situation. Make sure your are being candid in the spirit of building up rather than tearing down.


Sharing Specific Examples

Without specific examples to support your opinions, it’s hard for anyone to gain deeper insight or understand your point of view. Sharing specific examples will increase your chances of getting your message heard and acknowledged.

Who can benefit from practicing Candor?

Explore Complementary Skills to Candor

Candor shouldn’t be practiced in a vacuum. Improve your Candor by exploring and developing these complementary skills.

Recognition, Rewards & Surveys that Matter

Free Forever
2 Minute Setup
No Credit Card Required
Questions? Watch or Schedule a Demo