At Launchways, we believe in doing something radical in the business world: telling the truth. We have seen clients succeed and fail based on their ability to foster a vibrant company culture and engage their people power. And we have found that honesty, transparency, and respect are the keys to positive business outcomes.
We have taken this experience and ingrained it into every part of our business. Our people-powered approach to HR and benefits requires deep honesty and respect between our team members, with our clients, and between our advisors and our clients’ employees.
So, one of our fundamental core values is being thoughtfully candid. We think we’ve hit upon something special with this value and the way we live it in our day-to-day work. Here’s what we have to say about being thoughtfully candid:
- What it means to be thoughtfully candid
- Why we value thoughtful candidness
- How being thoughtfully candid helps us be better
What Does it Mean to Be Thoughtfully Candid?
What does it mean to be thoughtfully candid? Well, you can break it down into its two parts: candidness and thoughtfulness. Being candid boils down to honesty and transparency while being thoughtful encompasses empathy and respect. Let’s take a look at each part:
The principle of candidness is simple enough: just be honest. But putting it into practice is a lot more complicated because it goes against what many of us may have been taught.
That’s because we tend to think that honesty is, in some way, bad. The truth hurts. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Ignorance is bliss.
But what we’re really saying is that we don’t trust the other person to handle our honest opinions. The misconception is that it’s better to pretend that we agree with them or that they are doing a better job than they really are just to spare their feelings or avoid conflict. But at the end of the day, this simply isn’t a good way of doing business.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that you should be outright rude or mean. And by being thoughtful, we can make sure that the truth doesn’t hurt. But, even without being thoughtful, being candid is still the best approach.
Take this example: imagine you get called into your manager’s office tomorrow. You walk in expecting praise for your work. After all, they told you how well you were doing when you asked them only last week. But instead, they tell you that you are being fired because of your poor performance. Were they doing you a favor by sparing your feelings until your performance became a serious issue? Or would it have been better for them to come to you as soon as there was an issue so that you could improve or address underlying issues?
What does candidness look like at work? The key to candidness is giving and receiving truly honest feedback and opinions without taking them personally or trying to spare (or hurt) coworkers’ feelings. It means giving your honest opinion in all cases, knowing that people will respect it as such and will respond with equal honesty.
With absolute candidness, there’s no room for passive-aggressive behavior, backstabbing, and office ‘drama’. In their place are open communication, mutual respect, and radical problem-solving. But candor is most effective when it is paired with an equal emphasis on thoughtfulness.
When you are being candid at work, it’s important to remember the humanity and intentions of the people you are working with. And to bring your humanity to bear when forming and sharing your opinions. For your candid input to be accepted and to foster a productive, energetic workplace, it has to come from a place of respect and empathy for your coworkers. If you want them to succeed and be happy, and they know that to be true, then they will welcome your honesty rather than seeing it as a threat.
So that’s the first aspect of thoughtfulness: empathy. Knowing where coworkers are coming from when they share their opinions and feedback, and thinking about their challenges and best interests when forming your own. Empathy is the basis of mutual respect, and it is also the key to developing strong, productive relationships with your coworkers.
But there’s more to being thoughtful than being empathetic. Thoughtfulness also requires that you act intentionally and with an open mind. We don’t just give our honest opinions: we give our considered opinions. We think before we speak and try to make sure that our positions are both correct and truly the honest reflection of what we believe in. This stops haste from causing miscommunications and gives us even greater trust in what our coworkers say to us.
We also try to keep as open a mind as possible. Because everyone is being honest and operating with good intentions, there’s room for real compromise, consensus, and understanding. There’s even room for people to change their minds!
Why We Value Thoughtful Candidness
At Launchways, we know that sustainable business success is built on the success of each employee. Helping our employees become the best, most productive versions of themselves is just good business.
In our experience, people want to be challenged. They want to grow and add to their value as an individual and as an employee. Which sometimes means pushing them to improve and equipping them with the skills and knowledge to become better employees.
When we come up with a business strategy or initiative, our first step is to identify the challenges and issues that we are trying to address. Without an honest evaluation of the status quo, we cannot develop an effective strategy. And without honest review of the initiative’s progress, success or failure are impossible to measure and progress is significantly stifled.
We believe that employee careers and personal growth should be approached in the same way. An honest appraisal is also necessary for our employees’ professional growth. It’s the only way that they can discover what they need to work on and get the advice they need to effectively address any issues or skill gaps.
Being candid allows our executives, managers, and team members to talk to each other honestly, enabling valuable feedback on all levels (we want our new hires to be just as candid with our CEO as our managers are with their team members) and empowering our employees to encourage each other to succeed. We believe that it is not just the morally correct way to conduct our business but that it is also one of the main factors behind our rapid success.
And we believe that thoughtfulness is just as important as candidness. Being thoughtful in our interactions fosters deeper connections between the people who make Launchways special. It allows us to trust that the candid feedback and opinions coming from our coworkers come from the best of intentions and are meant to help us grow as professionals and do our jobs as effectively as possible. Mutual respect isn’t just an ideal: it is a reality of life at Launchways.
How Being Thoughtfully Candid Helps Us Be Better
As one of our core values, thoughtful candidness shapes just about everything we do at Launchways. It makes us a stronger team and helps us develop innovative solutions for our clients.
Being thoughtfully candid begins with our weekly roundups every Monday morning. We start the meeting by giving genuine shout outs to coworkers we think did an exceptional job the previous week. We then go around and have each team member share their goals and projects for the week as well as their roadblocks that they need help on.
These meetings allow us to celebrate each other and share our projects and challenges. They set the tone of thoughtful candidness and set up spin-off conversations throughout the week in which we share ideas to help solve roadblocks and accomplish projects collaboratively.
Of course, being thoughtfully candid is also especially important to our review and feedback process. Our culture of openness and respectful honesty allows consistent feedback. That means that everyone knows where they stand, reducing stress, increasing engagement, and creating consistent opportunities for improvement.
There’s no simmering resentment or fear of secretly falling down on the job. If there’s an issue with our performance, we find out right away. But we’re just as quick to share strengths and successes, so we’ll also know if we’re doing a good job and feel genuinely appreciated for it. And being thoughtfully candid allows us to give more than qualitative feedback: it lets us genuinely help each other succeed rather than focus on raw performance. Honesty lets us get to the root causes of our challenges and successes.
Best of all, being thoughtfully candid lets us collaborate more meaningfully. We can work together to solve not only our own challenges, and those of our coworkers, but also develop better solutions for our clients. We make realistic plans, execute them more effectively, and track our progress to create the best possible outcomes. And our clients respect us for our honest approach and open communication with their internal teams. These collaborations make our work more meaningful and more successful.
Being thoughtfully candid is integral to how we do business at Launchways. It is one of our five core values that guide our decisions and culture. As we’ve laid out in this article, being thoughtfully candid means:
- Being honest at all times, but also having respect for coworkers and coming from a place of empathy and considered positions
- Open communications between coworkers, managers and team members, and leadership with employees
- Consistent feedback, personal and professional growth, deeper relationships, and productive collaboration
We think that our way of doing things makes our work more enjoyable, meaningful, and productive. If joining a team based on thoughtfully candid communication sounds interesting, check out our career page for current openings!