In my business, I have found that at the top of the list of problem areas resides communication. Working in a global market adds in a variety of cultures making communication something that should not be taken lightly. With the world getting flatter, many of us now have customers, suppliers, partners, or team mates in other countries. For more than 5 years now my company has been working to grow our team in India and working diligently to make our processes better, as we have learned that the majority of our issues arose from communication, or lack thereof.
My US team has worked hard with our India team to create an environment of candor and better communication with every team member. In their culture, it is not easy to create a space where people feel comfortable to communicate in a way that is open, forthright and just plain candid!
We have made lots of progress, but I feel we can be even better. We did this by making candor the key thing brought up in our conversations and team meetings. I would obnoxiously ask over and over “what is our biggest issue….being Candid right? So are we being Candid?”
About 5 years ago I read a book called Winning by Jack Welch. To this day, one thing still stands out about that book…Chapter 2 entitled “Candor:” He spent an entire chapter on being Candid. He said, “When you’ve got candor – and you’ll never completely get it, mind you – everything just operates faster and better.” He was very adamant about the benefits of it, but also discussed why it is so difficult to accomplish.
So how do you get Candor? Even though we are fighting human nature, it can be done. Jack says, “There is nothing scientific about the process. To get candor, you reward it, praise it, and talk about it. You make public heroes out of people who demonstrate it. Most of all, you yourself demonstrate it in an exuberant and even exaggerated way – even when you’re not the boss.”
Keith Ferrazzi also talks about candor in his latest book who’s got your back? He says it is up to us to make it happen and to create an environment of candor. He points out that studies conducted since the 1970s make it clear that those who avoid conflict undermine their relationships and their success. He also says “Candor, or caring criticism, always ends up being greater than the sum of its parts. In other words, when candid exchanges between people collide, the fusion generates entirely new insights, new ideas, and new approaches what we collectively call innovation.”
We at Efficience think this is a very important issue and we continue to work hard to stimulate an environment of Candor. Is Candor alive in your company and in your life?