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Episode #279 – The Core Value of Candor in Your Animal Health or Veterinary Career

The Vet Recruiter®
The Vet Recruiter®
Episode #279 - The Core Value of Candor in Your Animal Health or Veterinary Career

Caleb: Welcome to “The Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider,” brought to you by The VET Recruiter. In this podcast, Animal Health executive recruiter and Veterinary recruiter Stacy Pursell of The VET Recruiter provides insight and practical advice for both employers and job seekers in the Animal Health and Veterinary industries. The VET Recruiter’s focus is to solve talent-centric problems for the Animal Health industry and Veterinary profession. In fact, The VET Recruiter’s mission is to help Animal Health and Veterinary companies hire top talent, while helping Animal Health and Veterinary professionals attain career-enhancing opportunities that increase their quality of life.

Today, we will be talking about the core value of candor in a person’s Animal Health or Veterinary career. Hello, Stacy, and thank you for joining us today.

Stacy: Hello, Caleb. As always, I am glad to be here with you.

Caleb: Stacy, we are continuing our series about core values today, are we not?

Stacy: We certainly are, and as you mentioned, the core value that we are discussing today is candor.

Caleb: What exactly is candor?

Stacy: That is a good place to start our discussion, and that is with a definition. According to the dictionary, candor is the quality of being open and honest in expression or of being frank.

Caleb: Haven’t we discussed being honest previously in this series about core values?

Stacy: Yes, we have, and there are a couple of reasons for that. First, as we go through this series, you will notice that honesty is a central thread that runs through many core values. It is an attribute that these core values have in common.

And second, being honest and being candid are certainly similar, but they are not exactly identical.

Caleb: What do you mean by that?

Stacy: A person can be honest without being candid. For example, if you are reluctant to tell the truth and so you “beat around the bush” or try to drop hints, that is not being candid. When you have candor, you are straightforward. You are not afraid to tell the truth or be honest, even if the honesty is uncomfortable or causes tension. In fact, some people are even candid about themselves, and their candor causes their own discomfort, but they know they must confront reality and that it’s the best thing for them.

And viewed within that context, candor is a rare trait.

Caleb: Why do you say that?

Stacy: The main reason is fear. I have discussed fear on this podcast many times before, and with good reason. Fear is one of the things that often holds people back from doing what they should do or going after the things that they want, both personally and professionally. To put it another way, fear can stop a person from growing.

Caleb: So, you are saying that fear sometimes stops a person from being candid or speaking with candor?

Stacy: Yes, that is right. It could be the fear of how other people will react or what other people will say. If they are afraid of being candid about themselves in some way, maybe they’re afraid to be honest about their shortcomings.

Caleb: Because if they are honest about their shortcomings, then they will have to face them.

Stacy: Correct. And people typically do not want to admit their own shortcomings, much less face them and must deal with them.

Caleb: I can see how fear really does hold people back. And we are not even talking about fear holding them back from exploring other employment opportunities. This is just basic human interaction with other people, and it seems like fear can have an impact on that, too.

Stacy: It definitely can. This is why I speak about not letting fear dictate your actions, especially in regards to your Animal Health or Veterinary career. If you make decisions based on fear, more than likely those are not the best decisions for you. That is because you are not being proactive, you’re not being bold, and you are not taking risks. And to be truly successful and reach your full potential, you have to do those things and do them on a consistent basis.

Caleb: And people are afraid to do that?

Stacy: Many people are, and because they’re afraid to do these things and they allow fear to influence their decisions, they can’t grow their Animal Health or Veterinary career the way they truly want to.

Caleb: Stacy, if being candid and being honest are similar but not 100% identical, then what about having a lack of candor? Is that the same as being dishonest?

Stacy: That’s a great question and I’m glad you brought it up.

Having candor is more than just telling the truth. It is also the willingness to come forward, even if you might be afraid to do so. There are two ways a person can be dishonest. First, by saying something that is not true. And second, by not saying something that is true. This is also known as dishonesty by omission when a person knows the truth but intentionally ignores it and/or decides not to share it with others.

So yes, not having candor in a situation can be dishonest. However, it’s situational in nature.

Caleb: How is that?

Stacy: It depends on the importance of the situation. If it involves a critical project at work, then it could be labeled as dishonest, especially if the person who is withholding the information stands to benefit from not being candid. On the other hand, if a person is not candid about, say, whether or not they like a woman’s outfit or whether a man’s cologne smells good, then you don’t necessarily have to put that in the dishonesty category.

Caleb: Because they are not really benefitting from doing so. They are just trying to not hurt another person’s feelings about something that is not critical in nature.

Stacy: Exactly.

Caleb: That brings to mind another question. It seems to me that some people actually enjoy being candid. Or maybe the word is blunt. They seem to enjoy being brutally honest at the expense of others. Is that the same as being candid, and if not, what’s the difference?

Stacy: That is another great question, and it does relate to this conversation.

Having candor is not the same thing as a person who likes to be brutally honest because they enjoy saying hurtful things or want to feel better about themselves by tearing others down. These types of people do exist. For example, they might say they don’t like a woman’s outfit or that a man’s cologne does not smell good because they don’t care about the other person’s feelings.

Being brutally honest just for the sake of being brutally honest is not candor. That is because there is rarely a benefit, either for the individual or the group. Having candor should serve a purpose in a person’s Animal Health or Veterinary career. Being candid should lead to a positive and productive outcome, either because it involves the solving of a problem or the improvement of a situation. That’s why candor is a core value in the first place. It results in things becoming better and not worse.

Caleb: That makes sense. Stacy, what are some examples of being candid or having candor? Maybe that will help us get a better picture of this core value.

Stacy: One example would be the ability to tell employees both the positive and negative aspects of their work. Another would be to give honest feedback to a colleague or employee about a speech they gave or a presentation they made. You are not trying to hurt their feelings, but you are trying to give them information that will help them to improve and to grow.

Caleb: So is candor a lot like constructive criticism?

Stacy: You could say that, although it might be more accurate to say that constructive criticism is a form of candor. Giving constructive criticism is one way that you can be candid.

Caleb: Stacy, just from the examples that you gave and the other things that we’ve been discussing today, would be accurate to say that being candid is a leadership trait?

Stacy: Yes, I would absolutely say that. Good leaders must be candid, and they must be able to give constructive criticism. On the other hand, they should not be brutally honest because they enjoy tearing people down. Great leaders build people up and encourage them, even if they have to be candid and honest about shortcomings or situations.

And this is why employers want to hire people who are candid, because they know that they are leadership material. One of the benefits of being candid is that it helps to solve problems, and there is no shortage of problems in the world, and that includes in the professional realm. Employers want and need people who can be candid and lead a group of people toward a common goal in an encouraging way that supports a positive workplace and overall company culture.

Caleb: So you’re saying that employers support candor throughout the organization, or at the very least, they should?

Stacy: Yes. This is why candor is one of the core values of The VET Recruiter. We support candor and we strive to exhibit candor throughout the organization, from the top down. It’s important to remember that if an organization wants its employees to engage in a certain behavior, then that behavior must be first modeled by the senior members of management.

Caleb: So, some organizations are the “Do as I say and not as I do” type?

Stacy: Yes, unfortunately that is the case isn’t it Caleb.

Caleb: Stacy, how can someone practice transparency or make sure that they’re being candid? Even someone who is not necessarily a leader or who is not in a leadership position within their company?

Stacy: Even if a person is not a leader, they can practice transparency in their Animal Health or Veterinary career. It is not something that is only for leaders or the members of management.

I have a list of things that you can do.

First, practice having uncomfortable or unpleasant conversations. This can be as easy as asking someone to give their honest opinion about a matter, even something that relates to you or your job performance. People shy away from uncomfortable conversations and situations, but if you can get used to them, then that can give you an advantage.

Second, diversify your sources of information. The more sources of information you have at your disposal, the better. That’s because information is the key to solving problems in the workplace, and sharing that information with your coworkers is critical. This tip could be general in nature or specific to a certain situation. It is also good advice for a person’s life overall.

Third, admit your mistakes when you make them. Being honest and truthful about yourself is a major component of being candid. It’s easy to be candid about other people’s mistakes and shortcomings, but it’s more difficult to do when you’re dealing with yourself. Once again, this is how you improve and grow in your Animal Health or Veterinary career. You can’t give yourself a “free pass” all the time.

Fourth, be honest and tell the truth and do not hold back important information. This is the crux of candor, and you can practice doing this in just about every interaction that you have with people.

Caleb: But of course, you may not want to insult a person about their wardrobe or their cologne or perfume.

Stacy: Right! Because ultimately, candor is all about being positive, encouraging, and productive. It is providing helpful feedback that will hopefully benefit the other party.

Caleb: Stacy, we’re just about out of time, so is there anything else that you’d like to add before we wrap up today’s podcast episode?

Stacy: Yes, the last thing that I would like to mention is that candor is linked to trust.

Caleb: It is? How is that?

Stacy: When you’re candid with someone—truly candid—that means that you trust them to hear what you have to say. Ideally, it also means that they trust you to be candid and honest with them in a way that will help them to become better.

Caleb: So, being candid is better when you already have a trusting relationship with someone?

Stacy: Yes, that is true. However, a trusting relationship is not a prerequisite for being candid. If that was the case, then there would not be a lot of candor in the workplace. While it is easier to be candid with someone when you trust them and they trust you, you can also use candor to help build a trusting relationship.

Caleb: You can?

Stacy: Yes, absolutely. Being genuinely honest is one of the building blocks of trust, especially when you’re being honest with the best of intentions because you want the other person to improve and evolve. People can tell when other people are trying to help them, and when you’re candid with them in an attempt to be encouraging, they know that you’re trying to help and they’ll be more likely to trust you in the future.

Caleb: That makes sense! Stacy, thank you so much for joining us today and for all of this great information about the core value of candor and a person’s Animal Health or Veterinary career.

Stacy: You’re very welcome, Caleb, and thank you. It has been my pleasure, and I look forward to our next episode of The Animal Health and Veterinary Employment Insider!

Caleb: If you are an Animal Health company or Veterinary practice needing to hire your next employee be sure to log onto The VET Recruiter.com and if you are an Animal Health professional interested to see what other Animal Health jobs are out there be sure to reach out to Stacy Pursell. If you are a veterinarian ready to make your next job move connect with Stacy at www.thevetrecruiter.com We look forward to seeing you again soon.

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