To Tell The Truth – Candor and Kindness


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I am a big fan of the magazine, SUCCESS.  They do a great job with articles, interviews and relevant topics geared toward business and sales.

In a recent edition, Darren Hardy interviewed Jack Welch.  As always, Welch had a lot of great information to share.  My biggest takeaway was his comments around the often misquoted, “Get rid of the bottom ten percent of the organization.” 

Welch shared with Hardy that you get rid of the bottom ten percent----after you have let the individual know that he/she isn’t achieving desired standards. That requires a conversation of candor, which many people avoid. 

After all, does anyone really enjoy having the tough conversations?  In Welch’s opinion, candor is a gift and a required skill for effective leadership. It eliminates wondering where the heck you stand in the organization and/or with your boss.   

Effective sales managers are good at having the ‘candor conversations.’ I often refer to these conversations as truth telling.  Give your team a gift by giving them some honest feedback. 

Years ago, I coached a sales manager on having a truth telling conversation. He shared with me that members of his sales team were surfing the internet during the day for personal reasons, not professional.  I quickly corrected him and said, “They aren’t surfing the net….they are stealing.”  He looked at me in shock. I continued. “Well, aren’t they getting paid to work for the company during the day?  And if they have that much time on their hands, shouldn’t they be calling existing clients to simply thank them for their business?  Also, I thought one of your core values was integrity.”

The sales manager got the point and held a truth telling conversation with his team about ‘stealing.’  Behaviors changed, sales went up and a core value was reinforced.  

Give the gift of candor. You might be the first person that has ever held the truth telling mirror up to a salesperson. As the famous poet Maya Angelou said, “When you know better, you do better.”  Help your sales team do better. 

Good Selling!

Colleen Stanley

President and CSO

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Colleen Stanley
Colleen Stanley is president of SalesLeadership, Inc. a business development consulting firm specializing in sales and sales management training. The company provides programs in prospecting, referral strategies, consultative sales training, sales management training, emotional intelligence and hiring/selection. She is the author of two books, Emotional Intelligence For Sales Success, now published in six languages, and author of Growing Great Sales Teams.


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