Door sign which says STORYTELLING.I am Gina Dotson a human resources professional working in the health care industry. After three decades of managing and coaching employees, I know one thing for certain…connecting with people is critical and one way to make this connection is through personal storytelling.

I love “Raw Candor” because the theme is frankness and raw honesty. I believe we all benefit personally and professionally when we engage in genuine openness. The word candor comes from the Latin, meaning “to shine”. The essence of candor is to allow you and those around you to shine. And it is the notion of being candid that is evident here.


Growing up in an Italian family with the motto, “We put the FUN in dysfunction”, there were remarkably few moments of candor. Authentic expression was a sign of weakness leading to the belief, “If you swim with sharks, don’t bleed”.

Looking back, there is no surprise as to why I chose the field of human study and the profession of human resources development. Perhaps it was that early lack of communication that landed me exactly where I am today, nurturing leadership potential by engaging in conversations that balance care with candor. Honest and candid interactions are a vital, sometimes overlooked, component of effective working relationships. The lack of candor stifles the creative process, blocks new ideas and prevents people from making significant contributions.

In my daily walk, candor allows me to connect with people at a time when surface conversation would be more comfortable. For example, during a coaching session my decision to be candid about my struggles as a new manager begins to build trust and open dialogue. Providing a glimpse into my vulnerability; it allows the other person to know where I come from and helps them feel at ease. Candor can be a leveling agent. It can help you meet a person at the point of their need and can improve or even change your relationships.

Yes, there are still situations when I find it difficult to initiate a candid conversation. I would love to bury my head in the sand, hoping the issue could self destruct like the Mission Impossible tapes that guided Mr. Phelps to his next assignment. Rarely does this happen. I have learned that candor works. It removes uncertainty and doubt. However, we must not lose sight of the fact that candor is a very sharp arrow in the quiver of honesty.

Perhaps in practicing candor, we may consider the teaching of the Sufis:

• Speak only after our words have managed to pass through three gates. At the first gate, we ask ourselves, “Are the words true?” If so, we let them pass on; if not, back they go. At the second gate, we ask, “Are they necessary?” At the last gate, we ask “Are they kind?”

Quote Details: Eknath Easwaran: The Sufis advise us… – The … (n.d.). Retrieved from ht


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