Candid Communication Leads to Successful Teams | Commitments of Conscious Leadership #4

“The team that sees reality the best wins”  ~ Jack Welch

Conscious leaders, with their teams, have found that one key to success is to see reality clearly – which calls for honest, open communication.  How candid is the communication within your firm?

Research shows a problem in many organizations is lack of candor.   People withhold facts, thoughts, feelings, and sensations often to avoid hurt feelings, to avoid conflict, feeling it won’t really matter, etc.

Some reasons people may avoid candor:

  • “I’m probably the only one who feels that way”
  • “I saw one of our competitors meeting with our clients but maybe I was mistaken”
  • “The new vendor we met with makes me feel uneasy”, etc.  But with an atmosphere of truly speaking candidly at your firm, then it means do not “withhold”

Usually when one withholds it causes a decrease or complete blockage of the energy needed for individual and team creativity, innovative thought and implementation.  This blockage of energy often leads to boredom or lethargy and a disconnect within the team – definitely not the path to success.

Those leaders leading from above the line realize the value of creating an atmosphere and culture in their firm of openness and honesty. Conscious leaders also nurture a culture of conscious relationships where each member of the team understands how to be candid without projecting on others.  Then the team members are able to instead turn those projections into curiosity – creating wonder questions that show openness to learning.

There are three overlapping circles related to and necessary for practicing candor:  truthfulness (meaning accuracy), openness (the complete truth) and awareness (self-awareness).

The key to effective communication is to learn to do so with unarguable statements:  “I’m having the thought that…”, “I feel…”, or “I’m having a sensation of…”.  Speaking with candor is to use statements that are unarguable and to do so with truthfulness, openness, and awareness.  And to avoid having someone react defensively be sure to speak in the most caring way possible – truthfulness does not mean blunt attack mode!

Committing your team to candor goes beyond speaking candidly to include listening consciously when others speak candidly. Listen to what you hear them saying, then repeat back what you heard them say to confirm accuracy.  Also listen to what emotions are expressed and reflect those back to confirm you understood.  Finally listen to their gut to be aware of what they really want.  Encourage your team to regularly give candid feedback – in writing or in person – and assure them they don’t need to be right, but just to share their thoughts, feelings and beliefs.

This type of candid communication highlights the importance of how you hire and build your team and the key role that your culture plays in your business.  If every member of your team is as committed as you are to living consciously, then of course your odds for success in implementing and benefiting from these lessons go up significantly.  If not, then you could face some major challenges.

Previous Iterations of Commitments of Conscious Leadership

Are You Committed to Curiosity?

Sustaining Leadership Success Through Emotional Intelligence

Management Skills vs Leadership Skills

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Drue Lawlor

Director of Business Transformation Coaching Drue leads our coaching and consulting. As a NCIDQ certified designer she and Gail co-developed the 12-month Strategic Business Transformation Group Coaching. The program leads the way in teaching designers how to build or redesign their businesses for profit and success. Outside of Gail Doby Coaching and Consulting she is the co-founder of Boomers with a Plan B. She is driven to help clients create a safer and healthier homes. You’ll find her in Senior Magazine and a contributor to the following books: Design for Aging: Post Occupancy Evaluations and Interior Graphic Standards, second edition.
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