Suzy Welch, author, and CNBC contributor says that all effective managers have a unique weapon at their disposal which they have used to take their management skills to the next level. What is it? Candor. She advises that managers who speak to their team members frankly, tend to earn respect more easily.
This may sound simple and even counterintuitive considering today’s increasing “p.c.” business environment. However, research shows that candidates want to work for people they respect and trust. By adopting a culture of candor, management can improve their employee’s overall satisfaction.
What is Candor?
Candor is synonymous with purity, fairness, unreserved honesty, forthrightness and sincere expression among others. A manager who uses candor is an emotionally intelligent leader who gains the trust of his team through transparency and openness.
Candor Facilitates Transparency and Trust
In a 2014, American Psychological Association survey of more than 1,500 U.S. workers, it was found that distrust was pervasive among most employees. More than 25 percent of employees stated that they did not trust management or the company for which they worked. Only half of those employees reported that they felt their employers were “up front” with them on all matters. This lack of trust may be due to either perceived or actual transparency issues. Following the financial collapse of 2008, many have become cynical toward corporations and management, assuming that they are being kept in the dark about at least some issues.
Three Tips on Being More Candid with Your Team
- The first step is to make it a point to have regular meetings with your team where corporate goals are discussed. When an employee can see the big picture they can understand their role and how it fits into those aims. Understandably, they will be more likely to place trust into management that keeps them in the loop.
- Encourage open discussion. Whether you introduce a team forum or simply make it a point to invite commentary, it is important to keep the channel of communication open.
- Avoid censorship. This is a tough one. We all know that a disgruntled or unhappy employee is like a disease that spreads. However, as part of your commitment to open discussion, refrain from censoring negative comments on Slack or message forum. Instead, take the opportunity to show yourself responsive and address the comments personally. Take note of the criticism as if there is no ulterior motive, even if you suspect otherwise. Inquire if others have had the same feelings or experiences. By keeping open communication, you have the opportunity to address the smoke before it becomes a fire.
Proof Candor Works
There are several clear advantages a manager enjoys once they cut out the corporate jargon and talk straight with their team. Employee alignment occurs when you take the time to look at the big picture goals and help each member understand their role within the organization. Candid leadership fosters employees who understand the company vision and want to be a part of helping achieve company-wide goals.
When leaders show transparency and openness to ideas, problems are solved faster. Be open and honest with your teams about company challenges. Utilize your employees to help provide solutions. This simple act will breed employee engagement, which we all know is key to employee satisfaction.
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