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There’s No Such Thing As A B Player; There Is The Wrong Person In The Wrong Job

There’s No Such Thing as a B Player; There Is the Wrong Person In the Wrong Job

Everyone can be excellent at something. That’s very different from saying anyone can be good at anything—definitely not true. Sadly, lots of people never find work they are truly excellent at because they stay in the wrong job too long. Bosses keep this kind of employee on for several reasons: they’re not sure they can find someone better; it takes time and effort to train new people; and they like the person and feel it would be unfair to encourage…

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It’s Not Radical Candor If You Don’t Care Personally

It’s Not Radical Candor If You Don’t Care Personally

What makes Radical Candor radical is that it’s a deviation from the norm, which tends to fall somewhere between acting like a jerk and avoiding confrontation altogether. The purpose of Radical Candor is to create a new normal where guidance is both kind and clear, not to reinforce bad behavior. This means that if you don’t Care Personally about the person you’re delivering Radical Candor to, you’re exhibiting Obnoxious Aggression, not Radical Candor. Ever since the book Radical Candor: Be…

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Ruinous Empathy Can Wreck Client Relationships

Ruinous Empathy Can Wreck Client Relationships

Our Candor Coaches, myself included, frequently field questions about how to apply the principles of Radical Candor beyond employee-manager relationships. Often we are asked how to practice Radical Candor with clients. Similar to the old adage that’s been instilled in us since kindergarten, “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” many operate from the idea that “the client always knows best.” Unfortunately, this can sometimes be a straight line to Ruinous Empathy — when…

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Radical Candor Is Growing Because Relationships May Not Scale, But Culture Does

Radical Candor is Growing Because Relationships May Not Scale, But Culture Does

What started as an epiphany after receiving candid advice from a stranger ("it's not mean, it's clear") has not only become a bestselling book – Radical Candor: Be a Kick-Ass Boss Without Losing Your Humanity – it's also blossomed into a company dedicated to bringing Radical Candor to teams around the world. Over the past year, we've seen a huge appetite for the management philosophy and its practices, and as a result, Radical Candor the company is growing. While almost all the problems we’ve seen companies encounter…

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What Jonathan Courtney, Co-Founder Of AJ&Smart, Learned From Silicon Valley’s Top CEO Coach On Being A Better Boss

What Jonathan Courtney, Co-Founder of AJ&Smart, Learned From Silicon Valley’s Top CEO Coach On Being a Better Boss

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of being a guest on Jonathan Courtney's podcast, The Product Breakfast Club to discuss my experiences as an author and CEO coach teaching Radical Candor in Silicon Valley and around the world. Below is a transcript of our conversation about the concepts of Radical Candor and how they can empower teams to do the best work of their lives. For those of you who’d prefer to listen than read, check out the podcast…

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Feedback, The Law, And Mandated Manipulative Insincerity

Feedback, the Law, and Mandated Manipulative Insincerity

I spend a lot of time these days showing people how to put the Radical Candor framework of “Care Personally + Challenge Directly” into practice by providing frequent feedback, and how to use the framework as a way to guide difficult conversations to avoid falling into Ruinous Empathy, Obnoxious Aggression, or Manipulative Insincerity. When it comes to difficult conversations, some of the most difficult are around gender.  I have found that gender politics and fear of tears pushes men away from being as radically…

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To Compete With A Work Martyr, Don’t Play The Game

To Compete With a Work Martyr, Don’t Play the Game

It’s frustrating to work with somebody who expects to be rewarded for being more miserable than you are, who’s constantly trying to engage in a contest about who can work longer hours, who has masochism confused with commitment. These people are known as work martyrs. And if your boss is too blind to see what’s going on, it’s even harder. I used to try to compete with work martyrs. But, truth be told, work martyrs aren't always as bad as you think.…

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A Happy Marriage Of Growth And Stability

A Happy Marriage of Growth and Stability

I recently learned that my great-grandfather Taylor Malone started a company with my husband’s great-great uncle, Joe Hyde, in Memphis, Tenn., my hometown. Oddly, it took us 11 years of marriage to learn this. We just found out thanks to a visit to a cemetery in Connecticut, but we’re happy to know now. It’s a great story about how we all need a balance of growth and stability to build great teams, to have successful careers, and to live the lives…

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What’s The Ideal Manager-Employee Relationship?

What’s the Ideal Manager-Employee Relationship?

You may have seen me featured as "The Candid Boss" for The Muse, an online career resource destination. One of the questions I am often asked is, can managers and employees be friends at work? An even more essential question to ask is, what does an ideal manager-employee relationship look like? How is it different from a friendship? The “boss-employee” relationship is relatively new. For most of human history, we accomplished our great collaborative feats through terrible brutality — forced labor. During…

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The Star Intern: A Mentor’s Radical Candor Journey

The Star Intern: A Mentor’s Radical Candor Journey

  We recently heard from Dimitar Simeonov, who shared his story about reading Radical Candor while managing an intern when he was working at Twitter as a senior data scientist. While Dimitar's no longer at Twitter, at the time he had been there for four years and was responsible for the intern’s technical mentorship. Thanks for sharing the learning and the love, Dimitar! *** Two weeks in as an intern mentor, I had a dilemma. My intern was performing with the cadence…

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Rolling Out Radical Candor: Part One

Rolling Out Radical Candor: Part One

We love working closely with teams rolling out Radical Candor, and offer coaching, training and customized workshops. We can help teach you to: share the ideas with your team and learn how to tell your feedback stories; practice key skills like soliciting feedback, offering meaningful praise, and giving helpful criticism; and create a culture of guidance so that all the burden of feedback doesn’t fall on your shoulders. We also work with leaders to help you build more cohesive teams…

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Keeping It Real

Keeping it Real

The good news is that the term “Radical Candor” has entered the lexicon. The bad news is that there’s a risk it becomes a meaningless buzzword. We need your help to fight this. Please let us know which ideas in the book or the podcast you have rolled out with your team. What’s working? What’s not? If you’re willing, we will feature your stories in our blog and email newsletter. If you want it kept confidential, we will honor that…

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Radical Candor In The Grocery Store

Radical Candor in the Grocery Store

On Sunday I took my 8 year-old daughter to the grocery store after her Little League game to pick up something for dinner. She and I were both a little tired and grouchy, and beginning to snip at each other. She was cold and wanted to make it a quick trip; I shared, and magnified, her impatience. At one point we were in a narrow section between the olive bar and the bananas and my daughter stopped in her tracks,…

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A Radical Candor Rollout: Interview With Gather

A Radical Candor Rollout: Interview with Gather

We recently got the chance to talk with another leader who has rolled out Radical Candor on his team, and we wanted to share his experiences with you. Nicholas Miller is the co-founder and CEO of Gather, a company creating event management software for restaurants and other venues. Here’s how he introduced Radical Candor at Gather, and how it has helped them evolve their feedback culture. How did you hear about Radical Candor, and how did you introduce it to…

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How To Avoid Kicking Up

How to Avoid Kicking Up

You may have heard the phrase “kissing up and kicking down,” which refers to the tendency of some people to try to please and flatter their bosses while taking out frustrations on the people who report to them. While this is a common behavior, I’ve found myself more likely to do the opposite. Here’s a reader question I received about this: In the book, Kim talks about an instance where she "kicked up" with Larry Page. I'd like to think…

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What To Do When A Peer’s Feedback Annoys You

What to Do When a Peer’s Feedback Annoys You

We recently received a listener question about peer feedback, and it’s one that I come across often in conversations with readers. Russ and I talked about why peer feedback is so important in episode 23 of the podcast. Here, I’ll give some additional advice about how to approach peer feedback. ...this has to do with a part-time job in retail. I am 56 and have a coworker who is 22 or so. She has been there 3 years and I…

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Send Your Boss Radical Candor

Send Your Boss Radical Candor

We often hear from fans of Radical Candor: “Gosh, I wish my boss would read this!” Or: “How can I tell my boss about Radical Candor without implying I think she’s bad at it?” We’ve said before that it can be risky to Challenge your boss Directly, even when you show you Care Personally. We’ve shared some tips on our podcast for giving feedback to your boss, but it’s definitely a tricky situation. Not everyone feels comfortable starting out this…

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Reacting To Trump’s Bloviating BS With Radical Candor

Reacting to Trump’s Bloviating BS with Radical Candor

Today I turn for inspiration to Daryl Davis, the R&B musician who helped persuade Roger Kelly, Imperial Wizard, to quit the KKK. “While you are actively learning about someone else you are passively teaching them about yourself. So if you have an adversary, an opponent with a opposing point of view, give that person a platform. Allow them to air that point of view regardless of how extreme it may be. And believe me I’ve heard some things so extreme…

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An Open Letter to James Damore

James, you’ve touched the third rail that is gender. I’m writing not to add to the abuse pouring down on you, but because I believe that third rail is hurting not just you but all of us. I’m writing an open letter because I know that there are a lot of others who believe what you believe but are remaining silent. I think this stuff is better out in the open. I’ll admit as a liberal, a woman, and a…

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Roll Out Radical Candor On Your Team

Roll Out Radical Candor on Your Team

A number of you have asked how to roll out Radical Candor on your team. How can you get started with some of the ideas from the book and the podcast as a group? Last year, I wrote an Advice Column post answering a CEO's question about introducing the concepts and starting to build a Radically Candid culture. But let's get more specific. Here are a few simple things you can do: 1) Start a book discussion group. Have your…

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