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Radical Candor Obnoxious Aggression

6 Tips for Giving Helpful Feedback

The best feedback is Radically Candid. It Challenges Directly while showing you Care Personally. To make that easier to do, we break it down and say that Radical Candor is HIP: Humble, Helpful, Immediate, In person, Public praise/Private criticism, not Personalized. But, what do we mean when we say "helpful?" Techniques for delivering Helpful feedback can help you think before you speak. 1. Get clear about how you intend to help Take a moment to think through the reason why you…

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Encourage Feedback

5 Ways to Encourage Feedback Between Others

It’s a lot easier to lead by example than it is to change other people’s behavior. If you want to encourage feedback between the people on your team, you're going to have to create an environment where people fee safe and encouraged to give real feedback. When I was at Google, rather than focusing on “giving feedback” to my team, I encouraged them to tell me when I was wrong. I did everything I could to encourage people to criticize…

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Constructive Feedback

The Problem with "Constructive Feedback"

A question that we’ve gotten from a number of readers is: I tried to give X constructive feedback, but then X got all defensive. How can I get through to X? When a person begins a conversation by saying or even just thinking, “I’ve got some constructive feedback for you,” the other person’s defenses go up right away. There are three problems with the way that’s phrased. The first is the construction of the sentence--basically, “I’m gonna tell you a…

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Candor

The 3 Best Leadership Traits for Managing Through a Crisis

There’s no manual for how to lead your team through a pandemic like COVID-19. Most people in the workforce today have never lived through a global crisis of this magnitude, so it can be difficult to know what you’re getting right and what you’re getting wrong.  While there’s a lot we don’t know, there are a few things we know for sure: Everyone will remember how their boss responded during this crisis, and getting your team to challenge you can…

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Antiracist

6 Steps the Radical Candor Team is Taking to Be Antiracist

We have been compelled by recent, tragic events — including the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, as well as the disproportionate toll of COVID-19 on Black, Indigenous and People of Color — to take a hard look at ourselves and ask, how has Radical Candor contributed to systemic racism and what specific steps will we take to be part of the solution? For a company committed to helping everyone kick ass at work without losing their…

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Radical Candor And Racism

I Received Some Important, Radically Candid, Criticism About My Own Implicit Racial Bias

Like many white people, I have been thinking about how I can best actively be engaged in the Black Lives Matter movement and dismantle systemic racism in the U.S. One thing I think white people can do to become more antiracist in this moment (and going forward) is to be candid with ourselves and others about the racist things we have said and done in the past. The purpose of telling these stories is educational, not to shame ourselves or…

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Challenging Conversations

Why It’s Important for Leaders & Coaches to Double Down On Radical Candor During a Crisis

I’ve received a lot of questions over the last few months about how to apply Radical Candor in a crisis. The coronavirus pandemic has disrupted the workforce in ways we’ve never experienced before. Suddenly, millions of people who are used to working in offices are now working from home. In addition, tens of millions of people have been laid off or furloughed. People have asked me, in these situations, does Radical Candor still apply? The answer is yes. In fact,…

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Improv Radical Candor

How to Make Learning to Have Effective Feedback Conversations Fun

Every once in a while, if you’re lucky, you get to work on something that is so fun you can’t believe it’s work. For me, collaborating with my team and the folks at Second City Works to create a workplace comedy series, The Feedback Loop, was one of those experiences. Not only was it fun for me, it will make feedback conversations fun for everyone. Since Radical Candor was published, my team and I have been working hard to figure out the best…

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Emotional Labor

Acknowledging the Intense Emotional Labor of Being the Boss

The story below is from a time in my career 20 years ago, long before we were in the grips of the current global Covid-19 pandemic. I’m sharing it now because I thought it might help managers who are struggling with the emotional labor of being the boss. I described this story in the section of Radical Candor about why caring personally about each employee is central to your job as a leader. That is more true now than ever…

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Candor

Gender & Radical Candor: Why Gender Politics & Fear of Tears Makes Radical Candor Harder for Men

I had such an interesting talk with the folks at First Round Capital about gender bias and Radical Candor. Read the full article, or check out these highlights: I was recently talking to a physics professor whose student didn’t know the quadratic equation. (I don’t remember it from high school algebra either, but I’m not majoring in physics.) Stunned, and wondering how she’d gotten this far with such a gaping hole in her knowledge, he told her she needed to…

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