In business and in life, candid communication and straight talk are essential for success, says Nancy Eberhardt, author of a new book called Uncommon Candor, A Leader’s Guide to Straight Talk. 

As an executive coach and a leadership development and strategic consultant who is chief executive officer and owner of Pathwise Partners, Eberhardt has worked with hundreds of senior business executives across the country. In her work, she teaches individuals to foster an atmosphere of candor and openness in their organizations.  Eberhardt says that strategic thinking and business planning prove effective only when leaders talk honestly and directly about what is working and what is not.

In Uncommon Candor, a guide for business leaders and individuals dealing with sensitive communication issues on and off the job, Eberhardt encourages readers to learn the behaviors and authentic ways of speaking and communicating that tap into the power of candor. She feels strongly that honest and direct communication leads to a culture that not only cultivates growth and accomplishment, but also increases the value of the organization.

In the book, Eberhardt says there is a right way and a wrong way to be direct and candid in business situations. “We’ve all seen the national news clips of organizational executives and leaders failing to use straight talk in their communications. Whether it is GM’s failure to address safety issues, or Facebook’s recent handling of their research efforts, the lack of candor with customers and the general public is evident too frequently.

Eberhardt says businesses thrive on direct and candid communication. However, when straight talk is absent and organizations are filled with spin and “yes people,” morale, productivity and profits suffer.  “One of the hardest things for any individual to do, whether in business or personal relationships, is to be truly candid with another person, especially when conveying bad news. But if candor is lacking, personal growth and learning might never take place, hurting the individual and, in the long run, the company as well.

Eberhardt stresses that lack of candor is an unspoken crisis in today’s business world. The phrase, “I wish you had told me” can be the death knell for organizations large and small. Eberhardt says, “Candor is truly the best policy.”


About Nancy Eberhardt:

Nancy K. Eberhardt lives in Richmond and is Chief Executive Officer and owner of Pathwise Partners LLC, is an Executive Coach, leadership development and strategic consultant, assisting senior executives and their Boards with achieving breakthrough results they are committed to causing in their organizations. She blogs about Uncommon Candor, A Leader’s Guide To Straight Talk ( and her book with that title was just released.  She is a certified Gazelles Strategic Planning Coach.

An active community volunteer, Nancy has served as the Chair of the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce, Vice-Chair of the WolfTrap Foundation, (the only National Park for the Performing Arts) as a member of the governor-appointed Virginia Baseball Stadium Authority Board and the Advisory Board for the University of Virginia School of Continuing and Professional Studies.

Currently, she is on the Board of Directors for Congressional Bank headquartered in Bethesda, MD and teaches Business Communications and Ethics as Adjunct Faculty for the Jack Welch Management Institute Executive MBA Program. She serves on the Board of Impact Makers, a fast-growing company and leader in the revolutionary B Corp movement, giving its profits directly to community charities.

Prior to forming Pathwise Partners, during her tenure as a regional bank President, she was responsible for fifty locations, hundreds of employees, a number of successful mergers and more than $1 billion in customer relationships.  Before she was named president, she led the bank’s consumer product development division for more than a decade.

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