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Candor - A Key Ingredient for Effective Service

The Webster definition for candor is the act of being outspoken, frank, and candid. For me, it means being transparent and authentic in my communication.

How open are you in your communication? Do you filter your words and messages? Those two questions will challenge your integrity.

Certainly, there are situations where it is prudent to limit shared information. It is certainly wise to consider the appropriateness and timing for the disclosure of sensitive information. But to build trust, we must always tell the truth. Partial truths can mislead. You can even make a technically accurate statement but leave false impressions by using certain voice inflections. Once people sense you are lying, you break trust. Broken trust is difficult, and at times, impossible to rebuild.

Open, honest, kind communication is the mortar that will bind people together. To speak truthfully, you must first be truthful with yourself. Personal integrity and an accurate humble self-assessment is prerequisite for effective candor with others. If you lie to yourself, you will carry a bias of mistrust and suspicion and consequently restrict your communication. However, if you will be honest with yourself, then you will be empowered to be open and sincere with others. Honest people have nothing to hide.

Finally, to be a person of candor, you must not fear the opinions and judgement of others. What other people think of you is truly none of your business! It is possible to deeply care and serve someone and also be free from the need to please them. You can choose to be a people server, but not a people pleaser. When you choose to respect and serve someone, regardless of how they treat you and regardless of what they think of you, you create the possibility of becoming a major influencer in their life.

As you replace your fear of pleasing them with a desire to genuinely serve them, you will begin to truly listen to understand them. Since you no longer esteem their judgement of you, you will relax and be real. When they sense your genuine respect and kindness, they will lower their guard and start to relax as well. This is powerful! Great agreements and relationships are grown in a rich soil of kind candor and respect.

So how are you doing? Are you open and real with the people in your life? What are you hiding from? What are you afraid of? What fears will you choose to drop and replace with bold kindness, understanding and service?

I challenge you to sit with those questions, get real, and then joyfully go and powerfully serve.

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