By Judith E. Glaser
Here are 5 ways to elevate every day – and experience a release in the capacity to create and sustain change, growth and transformation:
By setting the context for candor throughout all of your leadership interactions, you level the playing field. You set the tone for people to be candid with each other – and candor leads to trust. “I trust you have my back – I trust your intentions – I trust you care.” Power and hierarchy become less important than the results colleagues can create together through trust, honesty and teamwork.
Neuro-tip: Candor, truth and trust
While the words – candor, trust and trust – are different, the meaning of these words activate the same networks in our brain. When we display the Prefrontal Cortex, our Executive Brain. This network opens the power of the Executive functions, such as strategic thinking, empathy, foresight, intuition, good judgment and handling uncertainty with less fear. So candor plays a role in elevating our capacity to work through difficult challenges with others – a core activity for change and transformation in organizations.Candor is a door to tapping wisdom and for discovering new ways to handle the challenges we face when stakes are high and uncertainty abounds. As Rolf Classon discovered – by setting the stage for candor with his top 200 executives at Bayer – he created a comfort zone for others in his team to lead with candor – elevating trust and the organizational potential for higher levels of personal, team and organizational success during the biggest transformation Bayer ever embarked upon.
CANDOR AND TRUST Are the Fabric of a Healthy Culture
Here are 5 things you can do, as a Leader of Change, to elevate candor and TRUST as the foundation for healthy conversations in your organization.
Success Factor #1: Elevate Candor and Elevate Transparency and Trust
Our brain is highly sensitive to reading signals of friend or foe as we interact. In .07 seconds we can tell if someone is telling us the truth. When they do, we label them friend and our whole mindset re-configures to allow us to engage more deeply. Being candid sends signals we will be transparent in our conversations and therefore can trust each other. These decisions are built into our hard-wiring and take place in Nano-seconds and elevate the quality of our conversations.
Success Factor #2: Elevate Candor and Deepen Relationships
When we learn how to be candid with others, we engage at a deeper level of connectivity. Our brain radiates energy, and the energy of connection is more powerful than any other, yet we can’t access this unless we feel safe. Being candid and focusing our candor on enhancing our relationships – such as telling the truth about who we are, or helping build relationships before focusing on task – shows we value others and want to build on each others’ strengthens. These decisions take place in Nano-seconds and elevate the quality of our conversations and our relationships.
Success Factor #3: Elevate Candor and Deepen Understanding
When we learn how to be candid, we are able to step into each other’s world, and understand each other’s perspectives rather than feeling we need to defend our own. The need to be right is an addiction which gets stronger when we are uncertain of where we stand. When we learn to deepen our connectivity by focusing on understanding others intentions, dreams, and aspirations – we communicate we have their best interest at heart. Our Prefrontal Cortex and Heart connection actually strengthen physiologically – and the quality of our conversations escalates – magnifying our ability to achieve greater results with others.
Success Factor #4: Elevate Candor and Build Shared Success
When we learn how to be candid, we are able to spend more time exploring what success looks like with others – not just my success – our shared success. Rather than focusing on ‘my needs’ – I am able to build a new world view that combines yours and mine in ways we would never have thought about it before. We know that our Executive Brain – our Prefrontal Cortex – has the capacity to literally build holograms of the future – when we are open enough to access this human capacity – we join our best thinking into one new world view with Shared Success as the outcome.
Success Factor #5: Elevate Candor and Elevate Courage to tell the truth
When we learn how to be candid, we elevate our courage to step up, and speak out. Human beings need to share what is on their mind. When we mask the truth, or avoid the truth, or when we avoid difficult conversations our body chemistry shifts. The word disease is ‘dis-ease’ and it’s a chemical discomfort that blocks the vital instincts for growth. Finding ways to be candid and caring at the same creates the healthy space for truth telling while strengthening relationships with others.
Candor is One Act that Changes Everything
Learning to have healthy conversations is the most fundamental and vital skills of a transformational leader. As Rolf Classon learned when he stepped up and stepped out of his own fear, and stepped forward to connect with his team through candor. Make candor a priority and open the door to business success. On some levels, we human beings are very simple. We turn to those who make us feel good and we turn away from those who make us feel bad. Finding comfort from people who care about us is a healthy strategy. Learning to down-regulate fear at work and up-regulate the factors that stimulate growth is a winning strategy for success is a game changer.
Judith E. Glaser is CEO of Benchmark Communications, Inc. and Chairman of The Creating WE Institute. She is an Organizational Anthropologist, and consults to Fortune 500 Companies. Judith is the author of 4 best-selling business books, including her newest, Conversational Intelligence. Follow her @CreatingWe or connect with her on Facebook.