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Give Praise That Isn’t Patronizing

Praise usually seems much easier than criticism, but a lot of people actually hesitate to give praise. They worry about coming across as patronizing, pandering, or just insincere. We think that praise is even more important than criticism, so we want to help people learn to give it the right way. https://twitter.com/candor/status/870311268208521216 Here’s a question we got from one of our podcast listeners: I am a new manager of two administrative employees. Their day-to-day tasks are important to my team.…

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How to Turn Feedback into Something You Can Act On

Hopefully you’re out there asking for and getting feedback regularly. That’s great! Now, if you’re getting a lot of feedback, we can pretty much guarantee that it won’t all be high quality, actionable stuff. We’ve said before, “Don’t criticize the criticism,” and we’ve talked about what to do if you disagree with the feedback. But what about feedback that you’re not sure what it means, or how to act on? What do you do with that? We recently got this…

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Are you an Absentee Manager, a Micromanager, or a Thought Partner?

In Episode 13 of our podcast we talked about the dreaded micromanager boss and how to work towards a better relationship with them. As a part of that discussion, we briefly talked about a few ‘modes’ a manager might fall into based on how close they are to the team’s work. 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…

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Are You An Interrupter?

We talked about one of the most frustrating meeting habits in episode 12 of our podcast -- interrupting! Kim and I gave some tips about how to handle being interrupted in meetings, and Kim explained some of the reasons that cause people to interrupt. Several listeners wrote in to commiserate about being interrupters and asked for our advice on how to stop. I just listened to Episode 12 of the podcast, and it really struck a chord. I have been…

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Radical Candor is Not About Labeling People

The Radical Candor vocabulary can be very useful for creating shared context and a shared standard around feedback. However, there are some good ways and some not-so-good ways to use this vocabulary. When used within a company, it can be tempting to label people using the 4 Radical Candor quadrants. “Oh, yeah, Obnoxious Aggression - that’s totally Ted!” Or people walking around making the letter “M” with their fingers to identify certain co-workers as Manipulatively Insincere (oh, that doesn’t happen…

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What It Means to Care Personally About Your Team

Most of us have experienced a bad boss, and unfortunately, those experiences can create lasting effects. Here’s a story and question we got from a listener after she listened to the first episode of the Radical Candor podcast -- it describes a common challenge that bosses have with balancing authority and Caring Personally and with building relationships with their direct reports. Hi Kim and Russ, Just listened to the first episode and wanted to share several of my previous "horrible…

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So You’re Younger Than Your Direct Reports…

We frequently talk to managers who find it challenging to have direct reports who are older or more experienced than they are. We’re taught from a young age to “respect our elders,” which actually means to defer to them. With this kind of conditioning, it can feel awkward to be in a position of authority over these folks. Here’s a question one of our podcast listeners sent in along these lines: I’m a young startup CEO, and both my Director…

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Candor’s “Give Feedback” Playbook

We’ve been so excited about all the engagement we’ve gotten from our podcast listeners. We are getting great, thoughtful questions after each episode, and we know they’re questions that others have as well! So we’ll be sharing some of the advice we’re giving to individual listeners here on the blog. Here’s a question from Kathryn: My question relates to how one can challenge directly regarding inflexibility. I have a staff member that really struggles with his daily responsibilities I think…

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6 Key Lessons for Every New Manager

CONGRATULATIONS! You’re now a manager! You’ve worked hard, done well and been promoted to lead a team. That in and of itself is a HUGE accomplishment. But it’s only the beginning. Because now you need to figure out how the heck you’re going to actually be a successful, inspirational, motivational leader. That, my friend, is no small task. In fact, I am not sure that there exists a more jarring transition than the transition from individual contributor to manager. I…

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6 Tips for Taking Feedback Well

Have you ever noticed that when it rains, everyone shows up to work talking about how everyone else can’t drive in the rain? Have you noticed that no one is showing up saying they themselves can’t drive in the rain? I gotta believe that some of those complaining about others’ poor driving, must also be driving poorly and the target of others’ complaints. Well, here at Candor’s Global Headquarters we get asked a lot some version of “how do you…

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