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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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Radical 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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Give Immediate Feedback Because Feedback Has a Short Half Life

Radically Candid praise and criticism is immediate. You'll remember the specifics much better when you point something out right away, so you’ll be more clear with your feedback. You’ll also be more kind (and results oriented) because you’ll give the person the opportunity to repeat the good or fix the bad faster. Continuing our tips and techniques for the HIP Approach, here are some reminders and practical suggestions for giving immediate feedback. Feedback has a short half life Remember, the…

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Micromanager

Micromanager, Absentee Manager or Thought Partner — Which One Are You?

We call managers who have low, almost non-existent involvement in their team’s work absentee managers. Those with extremely (maybe excruciatingly) close involvement are micromanagers. And in between those are the thought partners, the ones who empower, enable and encourage their teams to do the best work of their lives. How can you determine where you fall on this spectrum so you can learn how to move in the right direction instead of being a micromanager or an absentee manager? To help you figure out when you’re…

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Radical Candor With Strangers

How to Practice Radical Candor With Strangers

"I can see how Radical Candor works when I already have a relationship... but what about with people I barely know. Isn’t it too risky?" Our Radical Candor coaches get this question fairly often, and I won’t pretend it isn’t risky to offer feedback to a complete stranger. It is. But not being Radically Candid is also risky. And the rewards of being Radically Candid for you and for the other person can be enormous. In fact, the idea of…

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Brutal Honesty And Radical Candor

Brutal Honesty and Radical Candor: 6 Ways You’re Getting Radical Candor Wrong and 5 Ways to Get It Right

We have learned something really important from the way that the press sometimes covers Radical Candor. And we want your advice on how to communicate this idea more clearly. We want to learn to describe Radical Candor in a way that is not open to misinterpretation: too often press articles assert that Radical Candor is the same thing as brutal honesty, as front-stabbing, or that it is some sort of license to be a jerk. It is none of those…

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