When we hold back from saying the things we want to say, we do so with the belief that we are being nice. We don’t tell the people we are close to our honest opinion or offer all the facts. We shy away from exposing the complete truth as if silence protects our relationships. And by not telling others what they should hear, we are also protecting ourselves because it gives others no reason to provide us critical feedback in return.
"When we choose to stay quiet, it affects growth—ours and those around us."
Being candid is a skill, and it’s one you can get better at.
First, understand that candor means you are speaking up and offering actionable feedback or an important response to a request or proposal. If something could be improved, learning to present alternatives in a way that encourages the other person to grow or improve takes away any chance that your feedback will be taken as criticism.
Second, be proactive in using your voice. Instead of waiting to be asked to join a conversation or provide input at a work meeting, volunteer your opinion and join the conversation on your own. Often, when we’re put on the spot, speaking candidly can be difficult. Being an active participant makes it easier to add our voice to the conversation.
Like any muscle that requires exercise to strengthen, working on your candor and speaking up more often will get easier the more often you do it.