12 Attributes of a Great Leader: #7 Clear and Candid Communication

I tend to say whatever is on my mind, as succinctly as possible. I believe it provides clarity (even if it’s not agreed with) and clarity leads to speed. Hence, I’ve always leaned towards saying exactly what I am thinking. I’ve had more than one person tell me, “you say the things that other people are thinking.”.

Now, that’s my style. It doesn’t mean it’s the right style or the only style. Everyone is different and should communicate in a manner that fits their style. That being said, I think one hallmark of leadership and management is being able to have the candid conversations and if necessary, delivering the uncomfortable truth.

In this podcast, I am joined by a colleague, Ritika Gunnar, to discuss the topic of Candid Communication as a manager and leader. Our conversation focuses in 3 areas:

1) Sharpening contradictions: the best managers identify disagreement in their team and tease it out. They know that letting it persist can create an unhealthy culture. It’s much better to get it on the table, even if it leads to a difficult discussion, than to let it lie in the background.

2) Don’t let problems linger: if you have a challenge with someone or something, speak up…put it on the table. If you let it linger silently, frustration and anxiety build and the trust amongst a team deteriorates over time.

3) Giving feedback: for many managers, it is very hard to give candid feedback, especially when it is negative or potentially confrontational. I believe that at their core, everyone wants to know the truth and where they stand. So, we discuss some techniques for how to deliver the harder messages. Your teams will thank you for it (sometimes many years down the road).

I hope you enjoy the podcast.

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