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Business Coach: How To Be Candid

Business Coach Train StationIn this featured transcript, David Robinson (2-time NBA Champion and Admiral Capital Fund co-founder) talks with Clay Clark (Founder of and expert Business Coach) about customer service training and using candor on!

Daniel:     What’s up guys? My name is Daniel McKenna. I’m the executive producer and pirate captain of the ship here at Thrive Fifteen. Today we have Clay Clarke sitting down with Hall of Famer David Robinson. David Robinson is going to be talking to us about management and why candor must be a constant.

First of all, let me be candid; that shirt looks great on you. You look beautiful. Secondly, David is going to be talking to us about why, if you are in management, why candor has to happen, and why it has to be there, and how it’s going to affect your team and your team’s performance.

Clay:    David, thank you for joining me my friend.  A business coach can help your business.

David:    Right, thank you, my pleasure.

Clay:    Hey, there are millions of people watching this throughout the world who are running businesses, they’re starting companies, and they have no idea how to be candid. As an example, when I ran my first business, I know that whenever I had a staff problem, I would tend to speak in vast generalities. I would never want to talk to someone one-on-one and to him the specific issue I had. I like to dance around the issue, because I always was worried about offending people. I could imagine working for me had to be very frustrating, because you had no idea what I actually about you because I would give you that false kindness stuff. is one of the best places to learn customer service training princicples and how to be candid. Mentors like David Robinson will have you laughing while you learn practical action steps for your business! A business coach can offer guidance.

This whole concept of being candid is not something that most people are very familiar with, yet it is something that all business owners need to be familiar with. In your mind, what does it mean to be candid or to be direct with somebody?

David:    Well, I think to be candid is to at least let them know where they stand, being honest and forthright in your criticism, both positive and negative. One of the great things for me is being from the sports arena, I got the candor all the time, whether I liked it or not. I would go out to another arena and the fans from the other team would tell me everything they thought about me. Candor was something that I had no shortage of. I think it’s good because I think we need to hear both the good and the bad, and that’s what’s important.

When you’re being candid with someone, whether it’s someone you love or someone on your job, you’ve got to share both the good and the bad. I think that makes it more acceptable, it makes it more human. If you’re just sharing the bad, you will have problems.

Clay:    You own businesses now. Since retiring, you went out and started a school. Just say that you hired somebody, and somebody’s in a position of leadership, and for whatever reason they’re just not delivering. They were supposed to get this done and they just didn’t get it done. How do you deliver candid feedback? Specifically, what do you do? Is your move to pull somebody aside and talk to him privately? What do you do whenever you have to give somebody that direct feedback that might not necessarily always be positive? Check out an expert business coach on

David:    Well, I can’t do that periodically. If we have evaluations every six months, I can’t wait until six months and then tell him, “Oh, I’ve been nice to you every day, but I failed to tell you that I’m really disappointed with this part of your performance.” I think on a day-to-day basis, they have to know. You need to give them instant feedback. You have a pet; you better tell that pet right at the time he’s peeing on your rug that you should not be peeing on my rug, or else later on he’s not going to remember that that was the bad thing he was doing.

I think we need to be really diligent about being immediate in our feedback when we’re sharing with them, so that when it comes time for evaluation we can say, “You did a really good job except for the times you peed on the rug. I was a little bit disappointed with that and that actually may be enough for termination.” Then you have actual reasons to site; you have things that you can point to. It’s very difficult if you have not told anybody about their shortcomings and them you come to evaluation time and you have to write something negative about someone, and it comes as a complete surprise to them that you did not like that.

Clay:    Why do most business owners not tend to give people feedback immediately? Why is the natural inclination to not say anything at all until we get to that evaluation? Why is what you’re saying so different than what we would naturally all want to do?

David:    I think part of the reason is that the expectations around the workplace are not clear. Sometimes if they’re not particularly clear, you don’t feel entirely comfortable stepping in. We should be very clear about our culture. We should know. Around my house, my children have a very clear picture of what I expect of them. When we step outside of those boundaries it should not be hard for me to say, “Well, sweetheart, you know you really kinda shouldn’t talk to your mom that way because …” No, “You know you’re not supposed to talk to your mom that way. That has been made clear to you, so if you ever raise your voice to your mother like that again, we will have a problem.”

I can make my point and I can drive that point home in a short period of time because that understanding is there. I think in the workplace we need to have those understandings that’s part of the culture. When the culture is in place then we can easily correct. Visit with a business coach soon.


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