“Candor is kind; uncertainty is cruel. Candor is kind because it generates clarity.”


“Everyone wants to know where they stand.” …Jack Welch.

Do you know where you stand with yourself?  Have you learned to receive feedback?  Have you increased your self-awareness by asking for the gift of feedback?  Are you ready to give feedback in order to help someone know where they stand?

If you answered affirmatively, you have completed one of the first steps to creating your authenticity!

“Know thyself” ~ inscribed at the temple wall at Delphi reminds us to pursue self-awarenes.  In Bill George’s book, True North: Discovering your Authentic Leadership, he reminds us to “peel back the onion,” the layers of yourself to discover your authentic self.  He recommends you understand your values, your strengths and what drives and motivates you.  Indeed, this includes uncovering your blind spots and understanding how your life story impacts you and your leadership.

Do have others who give you the candor and clarity you need?   Are you able to give the same to others?

Join me in this discussion.  You need to know where you stand with yourself, your teams and organizations.

Your Thoughts?

2 Responses to “Candor is kind; uncertainty is cruel. Candor is kind because it generates clarity.”
  1. Nick Konczak
    January 13, 2014 | 2:42 am

    Great post – I couldn’t agree more about feedback creating clarity and awareness. I’m curious about unintended consequences in a feedback-rich work environment. I have recently witnessed a few occasions at work where people receive multiple sources of conflicting feedback and the feedback receiver seems to become ‘frozen’ and unable to act on the feedback… Maybe there’s a dark side of feedback?

    • Cindy Charlton
      January 13, 2014 | 7:00 pm

      Thanks for your comments Nick!

      Yes, I agree there could be a dark side of feedback. When feedback givers fail to understand their own motivation for giving feedback and have not taken into account how the person to whom they are delivering the feedback will receive it, then feedback is no longer a gift. It can become simply a desire to hurt or harm or a even a “check-the-box” activity to get it done.

      Sometimes in organizations, the formal feedback process (performance reviews, 360 information, etc.) can be one more thing leaders and colleagues have to do and, quite frankly, they may do it rather thoughtlessly.

      I encourage leaders to ask themselves 3 questions when getting ready to deliver feedback to someone:

      1) Why am I about to deliver this feedback? What do I hope to accomplish?
      2) How will my feedback be received by this person? Have I tailored the message so they can hear it?
      3) Will this feedback help the person grow and move forward?

      Giving feedback requires as much thought and skill as receiving feedback. The funny thing is leaders who can do both well notice they become more authentic and approachable to others! And their results, longer term, are more sustainable.

      Thanks again for commenting Nick!

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