“Candor is a compliment; it implies equality. It's how true friends talk.” – Peggy Noonan, Born Sep. 7, 1950.
In times past, social interaction required a facade of formality. Especially in a business context.
Gentlemen wore suits of clothes, and exchanged handshakes and cards and engaged in small talk, followed by queries and responses about family. Then business, negotiations, etc.
Maybe, if things went well, after hours, drinks would be had. Coats removed. Ties loosened. Sleeves rolled up. Language becomes looser. And finally… candor can be shared.
And when you can speak with candor, you make friends. Everyone loves someone who can confidently speak their own mind. It makes them feel empowered and encouraged to follow suit. Masks removed. Trust is gained, rapport is built, and real communication can happen.
Because now, the audience feels like you are on the same level. You're seeing eye to eye.
But Hey-Seuss Cristo, what a dance that was to get to he good bit! Aren't you glad we don't need all that bullshit anymore?
With the advent of social media, you're already at cocktail hour. You can skip the boardroom formality and get straight to speaking candidly among friends. Cuss. Be non-PC. Talk shit and bust balls. But be REAL.
It's magical, but it's true and it works.
Talk to people as peers, equals, colleagues… FRIENDS, even… And surprise! They change themselves to fulfill that role.
And that's powerful. Much more powerful than it was when you used to have to put in a weekend of schmoozing just to work with a client, and maybe by project number two (if everything went well) you can start to have an actual human relationship.
Now, we connect directly and instantly. We might even become friends BEFORE we ever make a deal.
It's easy and cheap to do this online, and is way more efficient and effective than adhering strictly to the formal posturing and propriety of old, simply because it's tradition.
So, tell me. How are you dissolving the barriers of formality between yourself and your clients/customers? How are you using candor to CREATE the context of trust and friendship?