Candor that Strengthens Relationships and Delivers Results

Set a tone of candor early in relationships. Let people know you’re frank, open, forthright, and kind from the moment you meet them.

Candor is difficult because:

  1. You wait for big hairy issues before practicing it.
  2. You can’t find the perfect words.
  3. You might be wrong.
  4. It might hurt people’s feelings.
  5. They’ll get mad and lash out.
  6. You won’t be able to explain yourself clearly.
  7. It will make things worse.

People avoid candor because they fear bad outcomes.


Candor feels like swimming up stream if you’ve gone with the flow too long.

Sooner is better than later. The worst time to deal with issues is when you waited until you can’t wait anymore.

When frustration fuels candor, you waited too long.

Begin relationships by talking about an ‘awkward’ topic. (I don’t mean politics.)


Candor is simply noticing. It isn’t belligerence, anger, or being in someone’s face.



Jump right into something that others might not bring up . Be known for caring honesty.

How to practice candor without being a jerk:

  1. Relax. Tell yourself you like the person you’re speaking with and let that feeling show on your face. If you don’t care, you’re a jerk to practice candor.
  2. Maintain eye contact. Don’t have a staring contest. 
  3. Soften your tone. Candor isn’t an accusation.
  4. Be curious.
  5. Be real.

Difficult topics are easier after setting a tone of kind candor early in relationships.

How might leaders set a tone of candor early in relationships?

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Part 2: Candor that strengths relationships and delivers results